Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva arrived today in the Portuguese city of Porto, where he participated in the 8th Brazil-Portugal Summit. At the meeting of government leaders, Lula and the Prime Minister of Portugal, José Sócrates, discussed the expansion of trade between the two countries.
Bilateral trade has grown in recent years, reaching a record level of US$ 1.15 billion in 2004, 43% more than in 2003. Portuguese exports to Brazil amounted to US$ 190 million in 2004, a 33% increase in relation to 2004, while Brazilian exports to Portugal totaled US$ 961.7 million.
Approximately 60 Brazilian entrepreneurs are accompanying president Lula in search of new opportunities. They and their Portuguese counterparts participated in the seminar, Opportunities for New Business and Investments between Brazil and Portugal.
The agenda for the summit meeting includes other topics, such as negotiations for an interregional agreement between the Mercosur and the European Union, reform of the United Nations, and international campaigns against hunger and poverty.
Lula and José Sócrates signed agreements and protocols in the areas of defense, climate change, technical cooperation in public administration, protection of classified information, animal and plant sanitary surveillance, and film rights.
President Lula will travel this Thursday, October 13, from Portugal to Spain, where he will participate in the 15th Iberoamerican Summit in the city of Salamanca. He also plans to sign an agreement with the historical University of Salamanca for the development of programs in its Center for Brazilian Studies.
A heavy security scheme was set up in the center of Salamanca to receive the authorities who will be arriving to participate in the summit Friday, October 14 and Saturday, October 15.
The secretary-general of the United Nations (UN), Kofi Annan, the president of the European Commission, José Manuel Durão Barroso, and the Iberoamerican secretary-general, Enrique Iglesias, confirmed their presence at the meeting, which is expected to gather over 20 State and government leaders.
The meetings and debates of the summit will be covered by journalists representing over 350 organs of communication from 34 countries. For the first time, the Entrepreneurial and Civil Forum will be held during the meeting, including debates on ideas and the chief problems facing the community.
Entrepreneurs from the Iberoamerican countries will also meet to discuss investments in infrastructure and services in their countries.