In this handout image released by Venezuela's Miraflores Press Office, Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez, right, is embraced by Saint Vincent and the Grenadines' Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves upon Chavez's arrival to the Caribbean Island Friday, Feb. 16, 2007. Kingstown will set up an embassy in Caracas next year. (AP Photo/Miraflores Press Office,HO)

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent – This country will set up an embassy in Venezuela next year.

Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves told Parliament on Tuesday of the benefits that Kingstown is expected to receive from having an envoy stationed in Caracas

“Mr. Speaker, Venezuela is a very important partner for the government in trade and economic matters and we will be in 2012 doing more serious work with Venezuela particularly on the trading dimension of the Petro Caribe agreement, where we intend to sell agricultural produce,” he said.

“In fact, a series of items have already been identified and the prices. We are awaiting the quantities required for galvanise sheets and also windows and doors and we also looking at the trade in services – tourism — and even to sell, through the Community College, the service of the teaching of English language,” Gonsalves said.

“… In these matters, we need somebody on the ground in Caracas,” he told lawmakers.

Gonsalves said that the financial arrangements from the Petro Caribe initiative will pay for an embassy in Venezuela and that the Spanish-speaking South American nation has consented to provide office space for a period of time

“We are working, at the time, on the modalities. Hopefully, we can get this embassy established by the first half of next year,” said Gonsalves, whose Unity Labour Party enjoy warm relations with Venezuela’s firebrand president, Hugo Chavez

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