Alberto Fernández is committed to deepening the relationship with Brazil despite his differences with Jair Bolsonaro

The ideological differences that separate one president from another are indisputable. But Alberto Fernández knows that Brazil must be one of his mainstays in South America and his most relevant commercial partner. That Jair Bolsonaro, on the other side of the border, relativizes Climate Change or has economic ideas diametrically opposed to his, does not prevent the Argentine president from thinking or acting so that this bilateral relationship can be improved and deepened.

From this perspective, this Wednesday, during the commemoration of the 36th anniversary of that meeting in Foz de Iguazú on November 30, 1985 between Raúl Alfonsín and José Sarney that determined the establishment of Friendship Day between both nations, the President stated: “We work every day so that this union grows for mutual benefit, with the conviction that it is not only possible but absolutely necessary.”

And I add: “Our countries have a beautiful and profitable past that nurtures and consolidates our friendship, but they have an even better future for which we must work. “.

Fernández participated in the meeting that Ambassador Daniel Scioli held at the Argentine embassy in Brasilia with more than 300 guests through a video. He sent a special greeting to Sarney, who was not in person either because his wife has health problems, and stated: “Brazil is much more than a sister country, it is our present and our future that is intertwined with that of Brazilians. We always believed in the need to deepen political and economic integration with our brothers from all over Latin America. Our peoples feel like brothers. We promote a solidary regionalism in political and economic and also social matters because we know that facing difficulties together makes us much stronger”.

He then recalled the importance of Sarney and former President Raúl Alfonsín for the creation of Mercosur. “Thank you for the legacy, you were the true architects of a historical understanding between our countries,” said the Argentine president, who also called on Brazilians to “redouble efforts, work together, side by side”, with the aim of “building the answers our people need and deserve ”.

Finally, he highlighted the importance of Mercosur as a regional bloc. “Brazilians and Argentines have each other in good times and we have each other in bad times. Together we have built a true milestone for Latin America that is Mercosur. Today we are a zone of peace that dialogues and cooperates in order to jointly build a path to development. My most affectionate greetings to the brother Brazilian people. Let’s celebrate and strengthen our friendship. Long live Brazil and Long live Argentina ”, he concluded.

Ambassador Scioli with Gustavo Beliz and Jorge Neme after visiting the Cathedral of Brasilia.

Argentina exported 12 billion dollars to Brazil between January and October. Argentine exports rose 50% compared to 2020 and the trade surplus was 92.4 million dollars. This growth is the one that will be tried to underpin.

Scioli, for his part, in his speech before numerous representatives of Brazilian politics, diplomats, businessmen and special guests, said: “I am personally convinced that united we are going to recover faster in the social, economic and productive aspects of the negative impact that has had the pandemic, to build, in the words of Pope Francis, ‘a new future of work that promotes the common good’. Together we have the largest agri-food complex in the world. Together we are an energy powerhouse. The great challenge is to integrate and develop ourselves more and more “.

In addition, he added: “I want to especially thank Itamaraty and the businessmen with whom we have overcome various obstacles. My special recognition, too, the support of the Brazilian government for the Argentine negotiations with the International Monetary Fund, as well as the gesture of Brazil, who in the name of Mercosur and in its own name expressed the categorical defense of the sovereign rights of Argentina on the Malvinas Question ”.

In the morning, Gustavo Beliz, Secretary of Strategic Affairs, and Jorge Neme, Deputy Chief of Cabinet, had arrived in Brasilia to prepare the ground for the Mercosur Summit to be held between December 16 and 17 and they held important meetings with Brazilian officials to strengthen the bond between the two countries.

Beliz and Neme arrived in the Brazilian capital and, together with Ambassador Scioli, were received by the parish priest of the Cathedral. And then they had meetings in the Planalto Palace, headquarters of the Chancellery, with the Secretary for Strategic Affairs, Admiral Flavio Viana Rocha, Bolsonaro’s right hand, who in January was visiting Buenos Aires. Viana Rocha wove good relations with Scioli first, which were later repeated with other Argentine government officials.

In his social networks, Scioli said: “With Viana Rocha we address the scientific and strategic agenda such as multipurpose reactors, Antarctic scientific cooperation, issues related to biotechnology and artificial intelligence, future issues and cooperation to bring to our countries ahead”.

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Daniel Scioli, Gustavo Beliz and Jorge Neme with Flavio Viana Rocha in Planalto

Between Argentina and Brazil they want to start a gas pipeline that allows joining Vaca Muerta, in the province of Neuquén, with Porto Alegre, which would allow our country to increase gas exports. The Argentine Secretary of Energy, Darío Martínez, announced last week the construction of the Néstor Kirchner Gas Pipeline from Vaca Muerta to Buenos Aires and an expansion of 400 million dollars in the budget to finance the first stage. From Uruguayana to Porto Alegre they will look for how the financing will be. This topic was also discussed with Viana Rocha.

Beliz spoke with Viana Rocha about the opportunity to jointly integrate global production chains for the production of vaccines and medicines based on the biotechnological and pharmaceutical matrices of both countries, those that were recognized by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).

The Argentine Secretary also conveyed interest in advancing in a greater integration of the satellite production and orbit programs, as well as in cooperation regarding their applications based on existing agreements.

Beliz and Rocha also advanced in the project of a Binational Meeting of Artificial Intelligence to coordinate actions in matters of public-private development, starting with the next call for specialized centers in both countries.

Scioli, for some months, has also managed that Alberto Fernández may have a face-to-face meeting with Bolsonaro, since so far there have only been contacts by videoconference and a fleeting crossing at the G20 Leaders Summit in Rome where they only posed for a formal photo. This is very likely to occur at this month’s Mercosur Summit.

Beliz with Guedes, Minister of Economy of Brazil

The second meeting was with the Minister of Economy, Paulo Guedes, who maintains a position of greater openness of Mercosur that Argentina resists. Between December 16 and 17, the transfer of the pro-tempore presidency of the regional bloc will take place. Brazil will cede ownership of the common market to Paraguay for six months and the final details of that transfer are being adjusted.

Accompanied by Scioli with Guedes, the dynamics of Argentine negotiations with the IMF were discussed. Guedes conveyed Brazil’s support for an early conclusion of the negotiation with the multilateral organization. Beliz and Guedes agreed on the importance of deepening a regional integration agenda from the strengthening of the financial organizations of which Argentina and Brazil are part.

In that act of the middle of the month it will be discussed again if within Mercosur the common external tariffs (CET) will be modified, which already had a 10% reduction on October 8 and the possibility of establishing agreements individually and not jointly as they have been done up to now.

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The meeting of Argentine officials with Bento Albuquerque

Another of Bolsonaro’s officials who received the Argentine envoys is the Minister of Energy and Mines, Bento Albuquerque. According to Scioli, the official told the Argentine delegation that “accessing the natural gas from Vaca Muerta is an absolute priority for Brazil.”

In addition to Beliz and Neme (formerly Secretary of International Economic Relations in the Argentine Foreign Ministry), the governor of Chaco was also in Brasilia today, Jorge Capitanich. He arrived accompanied by a delegation of businessmen from his province in order to close agreements with Brazilian chambers for investments.

During the reception at the embassy in the celebration of Friendship Day between Argentina and Brazil, with more than 300 guests, there was a recorded message from former president José Sarney, who was presented with the René Favaloro medal, the delivery of a distinction for Felipe Collor de Mello, former president of Brazil between 1990 and 1992, and a video of Raúl Alfonsín’s son Ricardo, who is currently the ambassador to Spain, was also shown.


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