Curitiba received the visit of Ambassadors from the Asia-Oceania group last Thursday, March 29th. Their agenda began with a breakfast event at the local trade association (ACP), and we were there to reception the delegation. The visit was coordinated by Mr. Brett Hacket, the Ambassador of Australia in Brazil, followed by the Ambassadors of Korea, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand and Thailand. Each one of their speeches was carefully listened to and the intentions and opportunities of bilateral cooperation between Brazil and each one of these countries are listed below, from the perspective of the foreign Ambassadors.
It is evident that Brazil is becoming a center point for international relations in Latin America, but it is impressive how foreign delegations come with exclusive intentions of selling products and services to Brazil. This is only natural, of course, but from a strategic point of view for the internationalization of markets, it is not sustainable (if this is the correct and convenient word to mention). Not all manufactured products will have opportunities in the Brazilian market (or foreign markets as a whole). Countries have internal industrial capacity themselves. From a broad perspective, countries should not only consider selling products or services, but instead, transfering manufacturing facilities or business units as part of constructing economic complementary strategies for the globalization of international markets.
Australia, Ambassador Brett Hacket:
Mr. Brett Hacket started his speech by stating that “The World has discovered Brazil.” In terms of opportunities for bilateral cooperation between Australia and Brazil, Mr. Hacket outlined Infrastructure, manufacturing and agriculture as key sectors. In technology, research and innovation, he believes that the center of bilateral relations must be education. The Australian government has made available one thousand places within their higher education institutions for the program Science without Borders, and this number is foreseen to double within the next couple of months.
Republic of Korea, Ambassador Kyong-Yong KIM:
The Minister of Foreign Relations, Mr. Kyong-Yong KIM spoke about the FTAs (Free Trade Agreements) that his country has in the region, as an advantage for business between Brazil and his country, also undergoing negotiation for FTA with Japan and China. The main areas of interest are science and technical, and industrial cooperation. The Minister also mentioned that Brazil is very important in the context of landrace for agriculture.
Philippines, Ambassador Eva G. Betita:
Brazil and the Philippines hold a combined 300 million consumer market for manufacturing trade exchange. Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) is offered in the Philippines. Vale, a Brazilian company in the mining industry is present in the country for copper and gold extraction. International Terminal Container Services, a company from the Philippines is present in the port of Recife, Brazil. The Ambassador also mentioned how Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) is an experience that has led to governance improvement in her country. She also expressed how the Philippines has shown growing interest in the Brazilian market and made many visits, but the country is still waiting for the return from the Brazilian side.
Indonesia, Ambassador Sudaryomo Hartosudarno:
According to Mr Hartosudarno, Brazil and Indonesia already have significant relations in the tourism sector, because of the inflow of Brazilian tourists in the region, in special visiting Bali. He also outlined the Indonesian industry on Oil Palm and musical instruments as relevant activities from bilateral cooperation.
Malaysia, Ambassador Sudha Devi Vasudevan:
Mrs. Vasudevan mentioned the internal reforms in Malaysia and the cultural similarities between her country and Brazil. She mentioned as relevant sectors for cooperation manufacturing of parts for industry of oil and gas, ICT and multimedia, pharmaceuticals, construction material, palm oil, tourism and education services. Also, Malaysia has FTAs with Japan, Australia, New Zealand and China.
New Zealand, Ambassador Jeffrey Mcalister:
Investments and services are more important for bilateral cooperation between Brazil and New Zealand. The main sectors are agriculture, livestock, dairy, forests, gastronomy and equipment. There is a high flow of Brazilian students to New Zealand, but they wish to put more of these students in high education institutes and not just only for language studies as it is today. For this, NZ is also preparing for the Science without Borders program. Currently, NZ and Brazil are negotiating a revision on their flight schedule, trying to establish a direct flight between both countries. Mr. Mcalister also showed his concerns on the growing of protectionism in Brazil and mentioned that a FTA has been proposed between New Zealand and Australia, and Mercosul.
Thailand, Ambassador Tharit Charungvat:
Thailand is an exporter for rice, rubber, sugar and tapioca, among other products. Relevant sectors is tourism and the airport of Bangkok means possible experience exchange. Thailand has twelve expositions in order to put buyers and sellers together in one place, and has a very attractive currency exchange rate for the Brazilian currency Real.