Above: Brazil Minister of External Relations Antonio de Aguiar Patriota and Bahamas Minister of Financial Services Ryan Pinder (Photo: MFS Bahamas)
By the Caribbean Journal staff
The Bahamas and Brazil convened high-level trade talks this week aimed at improving commercial cooperation and international trade between the two countries.
Bahamas Financial Services Minister Ryan Pinder led a Bahamian delegation to Brazil for talks with Chancellor Antonio de Aguiar Patriota, Brazil’s Minister of External Relations, who also has responsibility for international trade matters.
Brazil reportedly indicated its support for the Bahamas’ accession to the World Trade Organization, which Pinder this summer told Caribbean Journal could be achieved by the end of 2014.
The Bahamas is the only country in the Western Hemisphere that is not a member of the WTO.
During the discussions, Pinder pointed to the trade benefits available in Grand Bahama, and Freeport’s nature as a Free Trade Zone, along with the country’s potential as a gateway to Europe and CARIFORUM countries.
The Bahamas also anticipates hosting a Brazilian delegation to talk about commercial matters in the near future, the Ministry said.
Pinder continued the dialogue with members of the Brazilian private sector, as part of a wider mission taking him to Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.
The Ministry of Financial Services said Pinder is looking to strengthen the Bahamas’ position as an international financial centre.
He was joined on the trip by Acting Director of Trade Industry in the Ministry of Financial Services, Viana Gardiner, and Head of the Economic Division in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Chet Neymour.