The Minister of Tourism, Economic Development, Investment & Energy, The Honourable Asot Michael before leaving Monaco and Nice back to London, held a series of other meetings including a visit with the Honourable Rudy Salles, Member of Parliament of the Republic of France for the past 26 years, and Deputy Mayor of Nice with the portfolio of President of the Tourism, International Relations and Sport Committee of the Métropole – Nice Côte D’Azur Region.
Minister Michael held discussions with Mr. Salles in regards to Carnival, as Nice has the oldest (140 yrs old) and second largest Carnival in the world after Rio De Janiero. Mr Salles made a firm commitment to assist Antigua & Barbuda in the growth and development of its own carnival. He has offered invitations to the Minister and the Honourable E.P. Chet Greene, Minister with responsibility for Carnival, Culture and National Festivals and his team to return to Nice to experience their Carnival, held in the second week of February. Mr. Salles offered to support the development of Carnival by providing technical assistance and expertise to the Antigua team in various aspects of carnival development including sending a team from France to Antigua.
The Minister had further discussions on tourism development, marketing and diversification of the tourism industry, which is so critical to the economies of both Nice Cote d’Azur and Antigua & Barbuda. The South of France region is one of the most successful and prominent tourism regions in Europe and remains a premier destination renowned worldwide. Mr Salles has offered to share knowledge and tangible support to the Minister to assist with Antigua’s tourism industry.
Minister Michael discussed with Mr. Salles the opportunity to have student exchange programs as well, wherein students from Antigua and Barbuda may be able to pursue studies in France including the French language. Both Government officials also agreed to a twin city social, economic and cultural arrangement to be signed by Prime Minister Gaston Browne and the Mayor of Nice.
Minister Michael also had the occasion to meet with two multi national private banks, one of which the EFG Bank, is a main sponsor of our own Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta. At a lunch held for Minister Michael, he took the opportunity to invite the Banks to open offices in the Antigua & Barbuda jurisdiction. He was also able to give insights into and to promote the Citizenship By Investment Program, which was well received and both gave an undertaking to promote the Program to their high net worth clients.
Minister Michael was also hosted at the prestigious Monaco Yacht Club on the evening of Friday 26th, September for dinner, during which he held discussions with several private investors from Monaco and Nice on various investment opportunities in Antigua & Barbuda to include hotel and real estate development.