LUIZINHO’S INTERNATIONAL ENGAGEMENTS
Goa has served as the confluence of many civilisations. Just like the many races and cultures which descended on this tiny state across centuries of invasions and conquests, Goans too have travelled to different parts of the world in search of livelihood, for business or leisure. Luizinho Faleiro is frank to admit that travel is his perennial passion. The desire to meet people from the global spectrum, with their varied cultures and lifestyles, interests him tremendously. For him travel and meeting people has had a tremendous impact on his knowledge, attitudes and vision. During his travels, Luizinho is eager to meet fellow Goans and know, how they have prospered across the globe.
Bonding with Expats: On his various journeys, Luizinho Faleiro has addressed a gathering of Goans at Toronto University, a meeting organised by the International Goan Organisation. Likewise, he addressed Goan Associations in London, New York, New Jersey, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Luizinho had a reception hosted or him by the Goan Overseas Association, comprising his Navelim expatriates, who hosted the first International Goans Convention in Toronto. He was also invited to a similar Convention in London. At all these conventions, Luizinho’s message to expats flows from his palpable commitment to Goa. ‘You have done well overseas, but now you must come back to your roots and invest in the land of your birth in terms of your knowledge, experience and money.’
ACOPS, Lisbon: In terms of formal engagements, Luizinho Faleiro represented India at the AdvisoryCommittee meeting, on Protection of the Sea (ACOPS) at Lisbon, in 1993, which was aimed at implementation of the Agenda 21 of the Earth Summit as a follow-up to Rio Summit. Speaking on the topic “Environmental Pressure of Tourism in Goa,” he acknowledged that tourism activities had the potential to endanger our natural heritage due to greed and mindlessness and cautioned against overuse or misuse of our environment. He called for considering the interests of local fishermen while undertaking development along the sensitive coastal areas. Luizinho batted for reviving orchard development for coconut cultivation and cautioned against the rapidly increasing tourism activities. He brought in the concept of intergenerational equity and trumped environment over development, saying the former comes first. Sustainable development in his words, “means meeting the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.”
International Labour Organisation Conference, Geneva: In 1995, Luizinho Faleiro was selected the leader of the Indian Delegation to the United Nations at the International Labour Organisation Conference in Geneva, when he was Labour Minister, Government of Goa. Originally designated as Deputy Leader of the Indian delegation, he was elevated as Leader of the delegation as Purno Sangma, then Union Labour Minister, could not attend the conference. Here, Luizinho had to fight off international hostility, where the issue of Child Labour took on political undertones, instead of tackling the issue per se. Luizinho called for triggering economic growth along with political will to resolve the issue, while admitting that the problem had deep socio-economic roots. Emphasis on more legislation and prosecution would not exactly be the right approach, Luizinho argued. He also cautioned against uncontrolled FDI, since it tends to go into those areas where infrastructure is readily available. Instead Luizinho suggested a strategy which is today realised in India –that FDI should be invited for building infrastructure itself. He also called for careful prioritisation of the direction of investment flows instead of leaving it to market forces, while speaking at the ILO conference, in Geneva.
Goan Industrial Delegation, Portugal: Luizinho also led the Goan Industrial Delegation to Portugal, in 1995, to reciprocate the Portuguese trade delegation’s visit to Goa and to renew the friendship based on mutual interests of both countries. Luizinho was there to identify opportunities of mutual cooperation and technical and financial collaboration with Portugal. He spoke about Goa’s domestic plans and the vast prospects of trade through the all weather Mormugao Port initially developed by the Portuguese. Goa could act as the gateway to the rest of India, given Portugal’s long association with Goa. He outlined horticulture, pisciculture, floriculture, and industry exchanges between the two, by taking on board individual entrepreneurs, companies and chambers of commerce.
UNDP-UNIDO Collaborations: To develop an industrial base for Goa and train local youth in skills, cooperation of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)-UNIDO was sought to set up the Tool Room Training Centre in Goa which would impart state of the art technology training centre, much before Skill Training gained prominence in Indian educational and industrial discourse. Luizinho also tried to get an incubator through the UNDP.
ILO Regional Conferences: As Labour Minister Luizinho was instrumental in bringing together South Asian countries on the issue of Labour and Labour Welfare. He was responsible for hosting many ILO Regional Conferences bringing together India, Pakistan Bangladesh and other neighbours. Similarly, an international meeting was organised on child labour, labour standards and personnel, and welfare related themes.
World Association of Small and Medium Enterprises: At a meeting hosted by World Association of Small and Medium Enterprises, an Indian organisation recognised by UNIDO, UNDP, ILO and other organisations, Luizinho outlined a road map for development in Goa — drafting and adopting the right policies, creating a well trained, well oriented labour force and creating technical training facilities in Goa with the help of indigenous technocrats and teachers.
World Association of Small and Medium Enterprises: At a meeting hosted by World Association of Small and Medium Enterprises, an Indian organisation recognised by UNIDO, UNDP, ILO and other organisations, Luizinho outlined a road map for development in Goa — drafting and adopting the right policies, creating a well trained, well oriented labour force and creating technical training facilities in Goa with the help of indigenous technocrats and teachers
Travels: Luizinho traversed almost all the continents, and observed the technical education and industrial training methods in USA, France, Canada, Germany, Switzerland, Scandinavian countries and more recently in China, which has seen a tremendous industrial, software and telecommunications boom, to bring some of the learning to Goa, to its industry and to youth. He strongly believes that Goa is a good place to do business due to the intelligent, eager and honest nature of Goan people and has vast potential to prosper and improve the quality of life of its people, given the right kind of leadership, policies and more than that political will.