"It is a legitimate concern." That is the way ambassador José Eduardo Martins FelÀcio, secretary-general for South America in the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Relations (Itamaraty) summed up his view of the Argentinean proposal to impose barriers against Brazilian products that affect that country’s industry.
Trade between the two countries, however, will not be the main topic of the meeting that gets underway today between presidents Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and Nestor Kirchner in the city of Puerto Iguazu, on the Argentinean side of the Triple Frontier.
"It is not the main topic," he affirms, "otherwise, trade would take precedence over everything else." For the secretary, who is in charge of the Brazilian government’s political relations with South America, the trade issue "does not take precedence over culture, over political understandings. The integration effort is more important."
In the context of the agenda of integration between the two countries, Kirchner and Lula are expected to sign around 30 agreements, according to the Planalto Palace.
Among them, ambassador Martins Felício cites an agreement in the area of space policy, two protocols in the area of nuclear energy, and an agreement in the area of defense – for the production of a lightweight military transport.
The agenda also includes an agreement for Portuguese and Spanish language instruction in the two countries.