The President of Austria, Heinz Fischer, was received Monday, September 19, by Brazil’s President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in the Planalto Palace, in BrasÀlia, the Brazilian capital city. This is the first official visit to South America by an Austrian head of State.
Fischer came accompanied by entrepreneurs and investors. According to the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Relations, Brazil is responsible for 40% of Austria’s trade with Latin America at present.
Following the meeting, the two presidents took part in a ceremony at which two memoranda of understanding were signed. One of the protocols provides for a technical cooperation partnership in the areas of renewable energy and environment and rural and educational development.
The two countries pledge to foster the exchange of technicians and specialists to conduct studies, training programs, and seminars. The document also foresees cooperation to execute projects in Portuguese-speaking African countries, with the transfer of Brazilian and Austrian professionals and equipment and the concession of scholarships.
The other document deals with cooperation between the two countries’ diplomatic training institutes, involving the exchange of teachers, specialists, and researchers, as well as courses and seminars in Brasília and Vienna. The document will be in effect for three years and can be renewed.
Lula afterwards offered a luncheon in honor of the Austrian president in the Ministry of Foreign Relations.