Following the official visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva received the Canadian Prime Minister, Paul Martin, yesterday in the Itamaraty Palace, the Foreign Ministry.
Once more the main topic of the meeting was the expansion of trade relations between the two countries. Annual trade between Brazil and Canada currently amounts to around US$ 3 billion.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Relations, Canada imported US$ 2 billion worth of Brazilian products in 2003. Orange juice and brown sugar were among the most significant.
For its part, Canada’s exports to Brazil, most importantly newsprint and potassium chlorate, amount to less than US$ 1 billion.
The Prime Minister of Canada is accompanied by an entourage composed of 55 entrepreneurs from the mining, paper and cellulose, and telecommunications sectors, as well as the Canadian International Trade Minister, James Peterson. Canadian investments in Brazil currently amount to about US$ 5 billion.
It is expected that the official visit will also serve to defuse possible misunderstandings due to the dispute between the Embraer and Bombardier companies.
In 2002, the Canadian government presented a formal complaint to the World Trade Organization (WTO), accusing Brazil of altering its export credit policy for aircraft sales.
The Bombardier company of Canada competes with Embraer in the regional jet market. In the same era, Canada adopted measures in favor of Bombardier, and Brazil submitted a US$ 3.6 billion retaliation request to the WTO.
The Canadian Prime Minister will pay courtesy visits to the presidents of the Chamber of Deputies, João Paulo Cunha, and of the Senate, José Sarney.
Translator: David Silberstein