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By J. Brock (FINN)

A five-person delegation from Brasil has come to the Falklands on a familiarisation visit. Clarita Maiabio, Legislative Advisor to the Brasilian Federal State, Simon, Joanisval Brito Goncalves, Senator and member of the Joint Committee on Intelligence Oversight, Gustavo Bernard, Political Advisor for Senator Ana Amelia, Celia de Morais, Political Advisor for Senator Luis Henrique and Andrew Ford, 1st Secretary (Political) at the British Embassy in Brasilia have visited Pebble Island, the KEMH, the Education Department, Legislative Assembly and the Chamber of Commerce during their week-long stay. On Wednesday afternoon they attended a press conference at the Malvina House Hotel Conference Room.

The delegation was invited to the Falklands by Legislative Assembly. They expressed the opinion that the Falklands as observed were quite different than the Malvinas they heard about in Brasil and were impressed with the unique culture of the Falklands, saying it was a British Culture and not a South American one. Though some Patagonian farming practices remain, the feel of the place is British.

Expressing an interest in tourism and trade, the delegation expressed the view that Brasil and the Falklands could work together to develop industries and commerce.

Expansion of these ideas begin with one visit, said Joanisval Brito Goncalves. He went on to describe the Falklands as a Pearl in the South Atlantic.

He went on to say that it was important to work within the private sector to develop industries jointly with his country. He was also keen for student exchanges saying that British culture is closer to Brasil than the UK is.

Describing Argentine constraint of trade as unthinkable, unobtainable and insupportable Sr Goncalves indicated that there were ways around sanctions.

Clarita Maiabio said that the delegation would give an honest report back to the Brasilian Government and she added that the group was impressed with all they saw. Gustavo Bernard said the problem had to be tackled a day at a time  a problem at a time.

On the wish list is a direct flight from the Falklands to Sao Paulo and help with the hydrocarbons industry. It was their opinion that trade could take place with the Falklands and Argentina because Brasil was a large country and wouldnt be pushed around.

The conference ended with a discussion about what would happen when An Argentine delegation visited their counterparts in Brasil, much as they did after the Panama visit. A criticism of the Argentine press followed and a caveat that the Brasilian press was the freest in the world. Any visit would be reported correctly. They also said that representations would be made at the ministerial level and they sighted several examples of how their trade with Argentina was unclogged at the ministerial level.

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