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SVG holds visa waiver discussions with Uruguay

SVG holds visa waiver discussions with Uruguay


This country has entered into discussions with Uruguay to facilitate a Visa Waiver Agreement between the two countries.{{more}}

Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves said at a press briefing on Monday that the discussions were held between himself, Foreign Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines Dr Douglas Slater and Luis Almagro, while on their visit to Cuba for that country’s ceremonies to mark the 60th anniversary of the events that led to the beginning of the Cuban Revolution on July 26, 1953.

Gonsalves said that discussions were held for there to be a waiver on all types of passports and not just diplomatic ones.

“Part of the policy of the government is to have visa waiver agreements with as many countries as is reasonable in all circumstances,” the Prime Minister explained.

For example, Gonsalves said, the Cabinet had just approved visa waiver restrictions for Brazil and Mexico, following a series of discussions.

He said that these were the two most populous countries within Latin America and that this country needed to attract tourists from those markets too.

Similarly, Gonsalves explained that Uruguay was a fairly well off country within Latin America, with a GDP of about US$17,000 per capita.

“And of course, as we train more persons, those are places they can go and visit and explore opportunities,” the Prime Minister said.

Of course, having a visa waiver did not guarantee one a work permit, he said, but as a small country, it was important that states like St Vincent and the Grenadines be part of the global landscape.

And some people may ask what about Brazilians and Mexicans coming here, he asked.

But Gonsalves responded saying that the chances of them coming here to look for work was unlikely.

However, if they wanted work, they would have to apply for a work permit as well, he explained.

“So, there is no real downside for countries like this for us to have visa waiver arrangements, as in the way we have it with Ethiopia,” Gonsalves said. (DD)