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Brazil hails Bangladesh interest in PTA

Published : 07 Apr 2024 10:58 PM

Brazilian Foreign Minister Mauro Vieira on Sunday welcomed Bangladesh’s interest in reaching a MERCOSUR-Bangladesh Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA).

At the bilateral meeting with Foreign Minister Hasan Mahmud, the two sides concurred that this endeavour would enhance business opportunities and foster private sector engagements between Bangladesh, Brazil and other MERCOSUR state parties, significantly contributing to the promotion of South-South cooperation.

The two foreign ministers expressed their resolve to work toward the commencement of the process for negotiating a MERCOSUR-Bangladesh PTA at the earliest opportunity.

MERCOSUR, or the Southern Common Market, is an economic and political bloc originally comprising Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay. Bolivia, previously an associate member, gained full membership in 2023.

The meeting between Mauro Vieira and Hasan Mahmud was held at state guesthouse Jamuna and the two ninisters welcomed the signing of the basic Agreement on Technical Cooperation between Bangladesh and Brazil.

This is the first-ever foreign minister-level visit from Brazil.

The ninisters held “productive discussions” on Bangladesh-Brazil bilateral relations, international and regional initiatives, and multilateral cooperation.

They agreed on the importance of increasing cooperation and exchanges in the fields of agriculture, livestock, science, technology and innovation, education, climate change and energy transition, and technical cooperation, among others, according to a joint statement.

The ministers warmly welcomed the conclusion of negotiations of the MoU on Sports Cooperation to be signed at an appropriate moment by the sports ministries of the two countries.

The proposed MoU represents a significant milestone that mirrors the enduring bond between the peoples which has been cherished for generations.

Foreign Minister Hasan recalled the growing interest of countries from the Global South to join BRICS, including Bangladesh.

The Brazilian Foreign Minister affirmed that Bangladesh, as an emerging voice of Global South, could offer substantial contributions to BRICS on a number of issues.

The Brazilian Foreign Minister arrived in Dhaka on Sunday morning to discuss bilateral issues

 and strengthen trade and investment ties with Bangladesh.

Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen received Mauro Vieira at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka upon his arrival.

The Foreign Minister of South America’s most influential country will meet Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday. 

He visited Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at Dhanmondi 32 on Sunday afternoon and paid tribute to Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman before his meeting with Hasan Mahmud.

State Minister for Commerce Ahsanul Islam Titu also met the Brazilian Foreign Minister at his place of residence.

Hasan Mahmud hosted an iftar and dinner in honour of his Brazilian counterpart on Sunday evening.

After his meeting with PM Hasina tomorrow, Mauro Vieira will visit Square Pharmaceuticals facilities and Beximco Industrial Park in Gazipur.

On Monday afternoon, the Brazilian Foreign Minister is scheduled to deliver a lecture on Brazil’s priority areas at G20 as the current chair. The event will be held at Foreign Service Academy at 3 pm.

The Brazilian Foreign Minister together with a business delegation will meet business leaders in Dhaka.

Country’s apex trade body, FBCCI, will host an iftar and dinner in honour of the Brazilian Foreign Minister and business delegation members on Monday evening.

Foreign Minister Hasan described the visit of the Foreign Minister of Brazil as very significant.

The government of Brazil earlier congratulated Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on her recent election victory.

Brazil expressed its willingness to continue deepening relations with Bangladesh, in favour of the development of both countries, the promotion of South-South cooperation, and the fight against poverty, hunger, and climate crisis.

Brazil-Bangladesh diplomatic relations, established in 1972, have strengthened in recent years.

In 2023, President Lula and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina met on the sidelines of the BRICS Summit in South Africa.

Last year, bilateral trade between Bangladesh and Brazil reached the US$2.3 billion mark.

The Brazilian Foreign Minister is scheduled to leave Dhaka at 11:55 pm on Monday.

Additional Foreign Secretary (Bilateral) Dr Nazrul Islam will be there at the Dhaka airport to see him off.