Brazil Spreads Wings With New Arab Embassy

Brazil’s Minister of Foreign Relations, Celso Amorim, announced February 22, during his visit to Qatar, the opening of a Brazilian embassy in Doha, capital of the country.

Amorim transmitted the information to the chancellor and vice prime minister of Qatar, Hamad Bin Jaber Al-Tani, who indicated the inclination of the Arab country to reopen their embassy in Brasí­lia.


Amorim did not disclose a date, but assured that the inauguration will take place shortly.


The installation of the diplomatic headquarters should help strengthen the trade relationship between the two countries. The Brazilian exports to Qatar are increasing, but still have not reached significant values.


Last year, Brazil had revenues of US$ 41.5 million with sales to the country. The increase was of 35.3% in relation to 2003. The Brazilian imports from Qatar are even smaller and stayed at US$ 13,900 last year.


Even though the country has a small population, of about 700,000 people, Qatar has the second largest reserve of natural gas in the world, estimated in 25.5 trillion cubic meters, losing only to Iran.


The country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is of US$ 23.6 billion and the per capita income, one of the highest in the world, is of US$ 48,000. The country’s economy is based in the oil, gas and gas products industry, which answers to 80% of the export basket.


Qatar is part of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), with which the Mercosur, the Common Market of the South, should start negotiating a free trade agreement in May, during the summit for South American and Arab countries, in Brazil.


On Monday, during a meeting in Saudi Arabia, minister Amorim and the secretary general of the GCC, Abdul Rahman Bin Hamad Al-Attiyad, committed to work so that a framework agreement, which gives start to the negotiations, be signed during the summit.


Oman


The Brazilian chancellor also visited the city of Muscat, capital of Oman, where he met with the prince Sayyd Bin Tareq Bin Teimur Al-Said, representative of the sultan. In the meeting, Amorim delivered to the prince a letter from President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva with an invitation for the sultan to participate in the summit.


They also spoke of the trade agreement between the Mercosur and the GCC, of which Oman is also a member, and the bilateral ties. The prince suggested, according to information from the Itamaraty, that Brazil and Oman formed committees for the development of partnerships in sectors such as tourism, culture, economy and trade.


The reform in the United Nations (UN) Security Council was also a topic in the meetings Amorim had with the prince of Oman and the chancellor of Qatar.


Both meetings were part of the program of Amorim’s journey to nine Arab countries. The journey started on the 17th and ends on the 26th.


Translated by Silvia Lindsey
ANBA ”“ Brazil-Arab News Agency

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