Pictured from left to right during a courtesy call on Mauro Vieira, Ambassador of Brazil to the United States, are: Mikhail Bullard, Third Secretary, Bahamas Embassy; Dr Eugene Newry, Bahamas Ambassador to the United States; Brazilian Ambassador Vieira; and Chet Neymour, Deputy Chief of Mission, Bahamas Embassy
WASHINGTON, USA -- “Not aid but cooperation to help us develop the potential that we have.” This encapsulates the philosophy of discussions between Dr Eugene Newry, Bahamas ambassador to the United States, and Mauro Vieira, Brazilian ambassador to the US, during a courtesy call on Tuesday at the Brazilian Embassy in Washington, DC.
The ambassadors were joined by second secretary Raphael Nascimento, on the Brazilian side, and deputy chief of mission Chet Neymour and third secretary Mikhail Bullard on the Bahamian side.
During discussions, Newry suggested that The Bahamas was keenly interested in learning from Brazil’s expertise in the agricultural sector, particularly given the recent developments in creation of an agriculture and marine science institute in Andros and the existence of thousands of acres of arable potential farmland in The Bahamas which were currently underutilized.
The Brazilian ambassador said that Brazil saw technical cooperation as a key tool of foreign policy and that, specifically, there was the space for deeper discussion on agriculture cooperation, which could potentially be facilitated through agricultural research institutions in Brazil.
Newry also suggested the potential opportunities for cooperation in energy exploration and renewable energy production in The Bahamas. The Brazilian ambassador concurred that Brazil had significant expertise it could share in the energy production sector, advising that majority of the energy-mix for Brazil was renewable.
Neymour added that there was a need for deeper discussions on the rationale for The Bahamas’ inclusion on Brazil’s list of ‘low tax jurisdictions’, citing the stellar record The Bahamas has gained in tax transparency with the OECD and in other bilateral arraignments, and that The Bahamas believed in reciprocity in technical cooperation and, therefore, could also explore sharing its considerable expertise gained in the services areas of tourism and financial services.
He further added that there was significant untapped potential for Brazil regarding synergies with Freeport, Grand Bahama, and the unique infrastructural opportunities to facilitate trade and transshipment there.
The Brazilian ambassador indicated that he would ensure the relevant contacts with Brazil’s Federal Revenue Department are made to facilitate financial services discussions and indicated that Brazil would value tourism services technical cooperation, given that The Bahamas’ tourism model and market was more developed than Brazil’s.
The Bahamian side also advised that The Bahamas was hopeful that in the coming year a permanent Bahamian mission would be in place in Brazil and Vieira indicated that his embassy would lend its assistance where possible with the preparations for this effort.
Both ambassadors agreed to enhance communication channels with a view to facilitating reciprocal trade missions to explore opportunities for investment and trade between The Bahamas and Brazil and discussing options for cooperation in agriculture, energy and tourism services development.