Brazilian Minister of Foreign Relations, Celso Amorim, reports that Brazil will soon be exporting mangoes to Japan. The breakthrough came after 27 years of negotiations during which Japan always prohibited Brazilian mangoes because of plant sanitation concerns.
Amorim says that Brazil will also soon be exporting meat and heart of palm, which were on the lunch menu for prime minister Junichiro Koizumi’s state visit last week. According to Amorim, the Japanese are also interested in importing Brazilian sugarcane-based ethanol fuel.
“There is a new excitement in Brazil-Japan relations. We are all aware that there is a natural tendency for the relationship to be strengthened,” said Amorim, adding that over the last 30 years Japan stopped investing in Brazil because of economic difficulties in both countries.
“We need to get our business communities involved in this process,” said Amorim, as he announced that President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva will visit Japan soon and intends to have a large business delegation accompany him.
During the bilateral conversations, Lula told Koizumi of the importance of a social security agreement and the need for Brazilian public schools for the large community of Brazilians living in Japan.
The two leaders also agreed on a commitment to reaching a satisfactory conclusion to the Doha Round talks and moving ahead on environmental protection.