The Arab and South American countries, being developing nations, have common interests with regard to great themes on the international agenda, among them the distortion that exists in foreign trade and the reform of the United Nations (UN).
This is the opinion of the Brazilian Foreign Office general undersecretary for Political Affairs, Vera Pedrosa, who was in Cairo last week for one more preparatory meeting for the Arab and South American Summit, scheduled for May in Brazilian capital Brasília.
“All developing countries have common interests in this agenda. In this respect, I must say that we have interests similar to those of the Arab countries,” she said.
“Developing countries want, for example, to expand their participation in the international economic decision process. The question of distorted subsidies, difficulties in market access, the domestic support that rich countries provide to their industries, all of these subjects are part of a common agenda for developing countries in the Doha roundtables,” added the ambassador, referring to the current negotiations in the scope of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
According to her, the establishment of a common agenda for cooperation between both regions is the objective of the summit. “Closer ties between both regions in trade, investment and also cultural terms,” she said.
During the preparatory meetings, representatives of the countries involved are seeking points for cooperation that also include the areas of science, technology and education.
“We would like to find points of contact where there may be a concrete and effective cooperation,” declared Vera.
In this respect, she recalled that in 2004, two events turned to the identification of areas where this exchange is possible took place in Brazil.
There was first a seminar about Arab culture in São Paulo, in the southeast of the country, according to the diplomat. It is going to result in the publication of a book.
After that, a seminar about water resources was organized in Fortaleza, capital of the northeastern Brazilian state of Ceará. “All of this represents the establishment of mutual knowledge,” stated Vera.
Translated by Mark Ament
ANBA ”“ Brazil-Arab News Agency
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