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Brazil’s Lula and UK’s Blair See Eye to Eye on Farm Subsidies

Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is scheduled to have a working meeting with British Prime Minister Tony Blair, during the President’s State visit to the United Kingdom, which will end Thursday, March 9.

According to the UK Ambassador in Brazil, Peter Colecott, one of the main issues to be discussed is the current round of negotiations at the World Trade Organization (WTO), expected to be concluded this year.

Negotiations are not advancing because of the European Union’s resistance to open its agricultural market to developing nations, and to eliminate the subsidies their governments give to local producers. This practice affects negatively products prices in the international market.

"Blair wants an outcome that helps, in special, the less developed nations. In this sense, Lula and Blair have common interests", said the Ambassador.

He affirmed that Blair agrees on having a meeting of leaders to push negotiations forward, as Lula proposed. Details of this meeting should also be discussed in London, along with subjects such as world poverty and climate changes.

"Politically, Lula and Blair are members of the Progressive Governance Movement, which implies similar and complementary values and views," concluded Colecott.

Both governments will sign, during Lula’s trip, cooperation agreements in the areas of education, hunger combating, science and technology, health, sustainable development promotion, climate change, and artistic production.

A committee will be created to stimulate bilateral trading, which currently amounts to US$ 4 billion per year. And during a meeting with executives from large UK enterprises, discussions will be on "perspectives and difficulties, and what should be developed in Brazil to attract more investments," said Colecott.

Agência Brasil

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