Brazil unveils new foreign policy guidelines with focus on trade

GMT 07:09 2016 Thursday ,19 May

Arab Today, arab today Brazil unveils new foreign policy guidelines with focus on trade

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Brasilia - XINHUA

Brazil's new interim government on Wednesday unveiled its foreign policy guidelines, with emphasis placed on trade and investment, with a view to reviving a stalled economy.

Foreign Affairs Minister Jose Serra, who interim President Michel Temer appointed on May 12, presented the guidelines during a handover ceremony in the capital Brasilia with his predecessor Mauro Vieira.

Diplomacy "will again reflect ... the legitimate values of Brazilian society and its economic interests ... no longer the preferences of a political party and its allies abroad," said 74-year-old Serra.

Brazil will seek bilateral trade agreements outside the World Trade Organization (WTO), and "speed up the process of trade negotiations" to open new markets for exports and generate jobs, said Serra.

"There's no doubt that the negotiations of the WTO are the only ones that can correct important systemic distortions, but they don't advance with the swiftness needed," said Serra.

Bilateral trade has boomed around the world, but Brazil has fallen behind, said Serra, adding "we are going to fix this delay and recover lost opportunities."

Serra highlighted close ties with other Southern Common Market (Mercosur) countries, which also gathers Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela.

"Relations with new partners in Asia, especially China, this great economic phenomenon of the 21st century, and India, will be a priority," Serra added.

Since 2009, China has been Brazil's leading trade partner and one of its top foreign investors.

The interim government will also seek to expand exchange with longtime partners such as the United States, the European Union and Japan, which in recent years took a back seat to regional integration and multilateral forums.

"The exchange of goods between Mercosur and the European Union will be the departure point for concluding a trade agreement that promotes greater reciprocal trade and investment, without harming the legitimate interests of various Brazilian productive sectors," said Serra.

With the United States, Brazil will look for "short-term solutions to remove non-tariff barriers and rules that hamper exchange," he added.

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