Brazilian President pushes for stronger ties between Brazil and CARICOM

Brazilian President pushes for stronger ties between Brazil and CARICOM

Brazilian President, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, has made a call for stronger relations between CARICOM and Brazil, noting that Brazil and the region are confronting similar challenges, and can learn from each other’s experiences.

He has also pledged his country’s support to vulnerable CARICOM countries, promising to assist the region with food at a reduced cost.

Addressing CARICOM leaders at their 46th Regular Meeting in Georgetown, the Brazilian President decried the lack of air, land and sea connections between Brazil and the region, saying it is a major stumbling block that affects trade between his country and CARICOM states.

“We literally want to pave our way to the Caribbean, we will open corridors, capable of meeting supply demands and strengthening food security in the region,” the Brazilian President said.

Acknowledging  that the region has been faced with grave food security challenges, President Lula said the ongoing war in Ukraine and the situation in Gaza, are not helping the situation.

He said Brazil will however step up to the plate and assist the region wherever it can.

“Brazil can offer food stuffs at competitive prices, but it can also help increase local Agriculture productivity. I invite for that reason, CARICOM countries to join the global alliance against hunger and poverty that will be launched by the Brazilian G20 Chairmanship. We want to promote public polices and mobilize resources for this cause,” President Lula stated.

According to President Lula, the region also faces the challenge of being burdened with high debt, because of unfavorable payment terms by multinational agencies.

To assist in this regard, President Lula announced that by the end of this year, Brazil will make a contribution to the Caribbean Development Bank’s concessional fund for Caribbean countries to access.

Further he announced that Brazil and CARICOM have jointly decided to strengthen the integral management of disaster risk through the regional response mechanism of the Caribbean Emergency Management Agency to assist with disaster in the region. 

On the issue of climate change, he said although rich countries are the drivers of climate change, they have failed to live up to their pledges to fight the  climate crisis which continues to affect the region.

President Lula said one of the priorities of his government is  the development of the Guiana Shield which covers, Guyana, Suriname and Venezuela for the benefit of all CARICOM. 

On the issue of security and stability, he said it is up to leaders in the region to ensure that the region remains a zone of peace.

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