Strengthening ties with Brazil
BRAZIL’S AMBASSADOR to Barbados, Luiz Gilberto Seixas De Andrade would like to see this island placing more interest on learning to speak Portuguese.
The Ambassador acknowledged this as he paid a courtesy call recently on Minister of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, Ronald Jones, at his office at the Elsie Payne Complex.
“We do need to develop these language exchange programmes,” said Ambassador De Andrade, noting that Brazil was considering a project with the University of the West Indies (UWI) to have a Centre for Brazilian Studies.
Stating that they were looking for a building to house the Centre here in Barbados, he said: “It will be accessible since we have flights out of Brazil; they can bring people here and I think to have this Portuguese programme in place would be very useful for business.”
Ambassador De Andrade also told the Minister that he was prepared to learn about the projects of priority to Barbados, and of the many ways in which there could be cooperation in the area of science and technology.
Minister Jones, in responding, said Barbados was committed to working with Brazil in the area of language development and, in particular, assisting with that country’s English language development. However, he pointed out that research and innovation were also areas of interest and praised Brazil’s substantial leaps in science, technology and innovation, over the past two decades.
“Brazil is not only developing its educational structure and system but also technological developments are occurring as well as research, as [Brazil is] … one of the world’s leaders in bio-fuel technology. There are some things that surely we can learn from,” observed the Education Minister adding that Barbadian students participating in university research in Brazil, particularly at the Masters and Doctoral levels, was something to be explored, particularly in relation to renewable energy.
Jones noted that Barbados would wish to focus on specific areas of research such as agriculture, agro-processing and other areas with a science orientation. He further added that there was a research culture in Barbados but it was not as developed as in Brazil and therefore possibilities existed for enterprising young Barbadians to be assimilated into the research culture.
The two officials also discussed aspects of trade with both agreeing there was a need to work together to realise benefits that could accrue from South-South trading and cooperation. (BGIS)