Brazilian President to Bring WTO Impasse to Meeting with Blair

The agenda of Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s state visit to the United Kingdom from Monday, March 6, to Thursday, March 9, includes a work meeting with British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

According to the UK’s ambassador to Brazil, Peter Colecott, one of the main themes that will be discussed at the meeting is the current negotiating round in the World Trade Organization (WTO).

The round, which is supposed to be concluded this year, is at a standstill, thanks to the European Union’s refusal to open its agricultural markets to the developing countries and to eliminate the subsidies granted to farmers by European governments. This practice distorts the prices of agricultural products on the international market.

"Blair wants a comprehensive solution that is particularly beneficial to the less developed countries. In this sense, Lula and Blair have common interests," the ambassador declared, Thursday, March 2, during a press conference.

He informed that the Prime Minister is in favor of holding a meeting among leaders to give a push to the WTO negotiations, as President Lula has proposed. The details of such a meeting are expected to be discussed in London, together with issues like global poverty and climatic change.

"From a political standpoint, Lula and Blair are both members of the Progressive Governance Movement. This implies similar and complementary values and perspectives," Colecott emphasized.

The Brazilian and British governments will sign cooperation agreements in the areas of education, the war on poverty, science and technology, health, promotion of sustainable development, climate change, and artistic production.

They will also establish a committee to stimulate their countries’ bilateral trade, which amounts to US$ 4 billion. And at a meeting with executives of large UK corporations, there will be a discussion of "prospects and difficulties, what Brazil should do to attract more investments," the ambassador revealed.

Agência Brasil

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