A Japanese mission is visiting the city of Manaus, capital of the state of Amazonas in the North of Brazil, to observe its industrial center and examine investment opportunities in the region.
The visit by the mission is the result of an agreement signed by President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi when Lula was in Japan in May.
The Japanese mission is led by Hiroshi Tsukamoto, the president of the Japan External Trade Organization, and consists of 34 business leaders and 8 foreign trade experts.
They are interested in autoparts, electro-electronics and agribusiness. The Japanese will also be looking at Clean Development Mechanism projects.
On the other side, Brazil is interested in the Japanese tourist. According to the Brazilian Institute of Tourism (Embratur), approximately 40 thousand Japanese tourists visit Brazil every year.
Embratur’s President, Eduardo Sanovicz, said he believes this number could be even greater, and this is the reason why Embratur has opened an office in Tokyo, to promote tourism in Brazil and in the Mercosur.
According to Sanovicz, few Japanese tourists visit Brazil. In 2003, there were 39 thousand, and in 2004, 43 thousand, a 10% increase.
With the Tokyo office, Embratur aims at raising this number to 100 thousand in three years. "Which represents a little more than 1% of the total number of tourists that visit Brazil," he said.
Sanovicz explained that when Japanese tourists go to Brazil, they also visit neighbor countries, such as Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Chile, since it is already a long trip for them. That is why Embratur will work "in a coordinated and cooperative way to attract Asian people to Brazil and neighboring countries."