x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Brazil eager for more trade and foreign projects with the UAE

New Brazilian ambassador to the UAE says visit by Foreign Minister in March has deepened ties.

Joao de Mendonca Lima Neto, the new Brazilian ambassador to the UAE, says links between the two nations have deepened.
Joao de Mendonca Lima Neto, the new Brazilian ambassador to the UAE, says links between the two nations have deepened.

ABU DHABI //The Emirates and Brazil are in talks to increase their ties in trade, green-energy technology, joint projects abroad and cultural exchanges.

The new Brazilian ambassador to the UAE, Joao de Mendonca Lima Neto, said links between the two nations had deepened since a visit to his country by Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, in March.

"A high-level visit to Brazil by Sheikh Abdullah … has established consultative ties between the two nations," Mr Neto said.

"This new consultative mechanism should help us to enhance our dialogue with the UAE as we consider it a key partner in the Middle East."

The UAE is the second-largest importer of Brazilian products in the Arab world, figures released yesterday by the Arab-Brazilian Chamber of Commerce show. In the first quarter of this year, the UAE imported products including sugar, meats, cereals and vegetable oils to the value of Dh3 billion.

"Later this year, we should be organising a joint political consultations commission, which will probably be here in Abu Dhabi," said Mr Neto, who became ambassador to the UAE four months ago.

He said he hoped the two nations would work together on development projects in Africa and Asia.

"In Asia, for example, we established a project with India and South Africa to develop rice seeds in the central Vietnam," Mr Neto said.

"The UAE has many projects abroad in development, aid and investment. Brazil has that too, and I think it would be a good idea to get together and do something."

The two countries are also talking about green technology, Mr Neto revealed."I think research is extremely important as we have lots of common ground that we have to explore before we start in any project," he said.

Mr Neto, who has also been based in Vietnam, China and Japan, wants a special focus on free-flowing cultural exchange between the two countries.

"The most important thing is to enhance our dialogue in every field - not just commercial and investment, but also in the cultural side which is very important," he said.

"When I was in Japan in the '90s, we set up a programme to send Japanese children to football schools in Brazil.

"We would like to do the same thing with the UAE, be it in football or jiu-jitsu, because sport is one of the most effective ways for cultural exchange."

amustafa@thenational.ae