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Posted in: Statements from CARICOM Meetings by admin | 07 June 2006 | Release Ref #: 106/2006 | 2280

    (CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana) Trade and economic relations as well as South-South cooperation between the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and Brazil are expected to expand under the stewardship of His Excellency Arthur Vivacqua Correa Meyer, the Plenipotentiary Ambassador of the Federative Republic of Brazil to CARICOM.

    The career diplomat, who is currently serving as Brazil’s Ambassador to Guyana, presented his credentials to CARICOM Secretary-General, His Excellency Edwin Carrington on Wednesday 7 June at the CARICOM Secretariat Headquarters in Georgetown, Guyana.

    In welcoming Ambassador Meyer to his new post, the Secretary-General said the Ambassador’s appointment attests to the importance which Brazil has assigned to its relations with CARICOM. He observed that Brazil has made tremendous social and economic strides, including the use of ethanol as an alternative source of fuel and its achievements in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

    In the context of tackling HIV/AIDS, the Secretary-General noted that the Region welcomed Brazil’s cooperation with the CARICOM-led Pan Caribbean Partnership Against HIV/AIDS (PANCAP). The two sides signed an Agreement in May for Brazil’s free supply of antiretroviral drugs for up to 500 persons living with HIV/AIDS in the countries of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).

    Mr. Carrington also lauded Brazil’s leadership role in the UN Peace-keeping Mission in Haiti, CARICOM’s newest Member State, whose ‘return to constitutional rule’, he said, had been welcomed by the Community.

    The CARICOM Secretary-General noted that CARICOM was now enjoying closer relations with MERCUSOR as a result of Brazil’s support, and said that the Region was pleased with Brazil’s endeavours to deepen the relationship between the two groupings through the “proposed CARICOM-MERCOSUR Free Trade Agreement.” He further stated, “The Region is delighted that the proposed Agreement would also protect the principle of special and differential treatment, necessary criterion if small States are to survive in a world increasingly characterised by trade liberalisation.”

    In his remarks, Ambassador Correa Meyer said that CARICOM had become “an important trading partner” for Brazil, as its exports to Brazil in 2005 amounted to US$2.4 billion dollars. The Ambassador added that Brazil looked forward to the resumption of negotiations between CARICOM and MERCOSUR soon, in pursuit of a free trade agreement.

    The Ambassador also noted that Brazil’s participation in the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) was under “careful consideration” by his government. He alluded to President Inacio Lula da Silva’s address to CARICOM Heads of Government in February 2005 as important to “the continuous strengthening of the bonds that link Brazil and the Caribbean countries.” Of particular reference to the newly emerging relationship between the two, were the recent opening of an embassy in Belmopan, Belize and the imminent appointment of a resident Ambassador to The Bahamas.

    Ambassador Correa Meyer, whose diplomatic career spans over two decades working across continents including Asia and Africa, is a qualified economist. He holds a Doctorate in Economics from the Andres Bello Catholic University, Venezuela, a Masters of Arts in Economics from the University of Chicago and a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the State University of Rio de Janeiro.