Brazil’s Minister of Foreign Relations, Celso Amorim, who arrived in Bolivia yesterday, May 21, said that the purpose of his trip is to make clear the Brazilian government’s interest in long-term cooperation with the Bolivians.
Amorim emphasized that he is not negotiating on behalf of Petrobras and that Brazil is on the lookout for good business deals that are good for both sides.
Today, May 22, the minister has meetings scheduled with the president of Bolivia, Evo Morales, and the ministers of Foreign Relations, Social Security, Government, Planning, Defense, and Rural Development.
The meetings are intended to give continuity to the agreements worked out in Vienna, Austria, at the 4th Latin American-Caribbean-European Union Summit.
Animosity surfaced between the two countries at the Summit as a consequence of the Bolivian president’s declarations about Petrobras, which he said was acting illegally in his country.
The Bolivian decision to nationalize natural gas reserves and assets and its impact on the continent is one of the items on the agenda.
The Brazilian chancellor is also expected to discuss the situation of Brazilian soybean producers in Bolivia. They are afraid of losing their land as part of the agrarian reform announced by the Bolivian government.
According to the National Association of Oilseed Producers (ANAPO), which has its headquarters in the Bolivian city of Santa Cruz de La Sierra, Brazilians account for 40% of the Bolivian soybean crop, which represents 14% of Bolivia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).