New Argentina President Spells It Out: Brazil Is Priority Number One

Brazil's Lula and Argentina's Cristina Kirchner Argentine elected president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner this Monday, November 19, will be visiting Brazil, her first overseas "official" trip, following on an invitation from President Lula da Silva and confirming that "Brazil is a priority relation for Argentine foreign policy".

Buenos Aires diplomatic sources quoted in the Sunday press said that the message from Mrs. Kirchner is very clear: emphasize bilateral relations with South America's largest economy and leave no doubts as to which is the strategic relation Argentina most values: Brasí­lia, which naturally leaves Caracas aside.

Lula da Silva first extended the invitation on the night he phoned Mrs Kirchner to congratulate her on her victory in the polls and again during the recent Ibero-American summit in Chile.

"Relations with Brazil are very good and the fact Brazil has been chosen as the first country to visit is symbolic," said Foreign Affairs minister Jorge Taiana who has been confirmed in that post in the incoming cabinet December 10.

Although Mrs. Kirchner actually first met last week with Chilean president Michelle Bachelet, – and had a long "woman to woman" talk -, it was in the framework of the Ibero-American summit and she traveled officially as First Lady.

"Brazil is and will be Argentina's priority relation to show the world, maybe even more than during the current administration of President Nestor Kirchner. We must not forget that during the first two years of President Kirchner they weren't (Kirchner and Lula da Silva) always on the same wave band", said an undisclosed member of Taiana's team.

"The reading must be first Brazil and maybe later (Hugo Chavez) Caracas," added the source. Cristina Kirchner will be traveling with Jorge Taiana who underlined that "we're going to review (with Lula) all issues".

Issues include bilateral trade, – close to nine billion US dollars -, establishing a new currencies system for trade, peso and reais instead of the US dollar, inflation which concerns many Brazilian corporations with investments in Argentina plus Mercosur cohesion and how to overcome internal cracks, be them economic or political.

"I believe that in the currencies issue we'll be able to advance at a good pace," said Taiana. However two thorny points remain in the Mercosur agenda to be addressed: Venezuela's incorporation to the trade block which still faces resistance in the Brazilian Senate and the Uruguay-Argentina dispute over the pulp mill which in the last few days seems to have worsened.

"We must avoid this dispute from conflicting with other Mercosur business and the region's image before the world," said a close source to Taiana.

Another interesting point in the tentative agenda to be considered is the "reindustrialization" of Argentina, an issue Cristina talked about with Lula during a previous visit to Brazil before her October 28 electoral victory.

Reindustrialization is a key word of the "productive" country scheme the Kirchners are pushing for which is based on developing local manufacturing and promoting domestic demand under the umbrella of a very favorable exchange rate for exports. Brazil on the other hand applies a strong local currency and high sensitive tariffs policies.

The incoming Argentine Economy minister Martin Lousteau, a brilliant academic with valuable political experience in the province of Buenos Aires has also written several books in line with the Kirchners "productive" project, but criticizing Brazil's policy in the region that allegedly has eliminated jobs in Argentina and re-directed investments to Brazil.

Mercopress

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  • Show Comments (5)

  • João da Silva

    Not Convinced
    [quote]How could a country that had one of the world’s highest standards of living at the beginning
    of the 20th century consistently degrade their economy for 100 years until became just another
    ‘de-industrialized’ 3rd world economy and suffer the shame of defaulting on their debts? [/quote]

    To understand it, you have to read about the “Beef and Wheat Economy” of Argentina during the past 100 years. The problem with them is worse than ours. They do believe in “Caudilismo”. Remember Peron, Eva,Isabelita, Carlos Menem, his wife (I forget her name), depois came Nestor and now Cristina?. When a country thinks that the only way to prosper is to export commodities and not in “Value Added Products”, it will remain for ever an under developed one (or continuously remain emerging). The problem with Argentina was that during the time of their dictatorship, instead of modernizing their industrial parks, they opted to quarrel with everyone, including the Brazilians, English, etc;

    I am very skeptical about their plans to “re-industrialize” their country. But, unfortunately, we seem to be following their foot steps and believing in “Commodity Economy”. But whom am I to say?

    BTW, I don’t trust this Cristina,but would like our “Hermanos” to decide how good she is. As long as she does not boss over the Brasilians.

  • João da Silva

    [quote]written by AES, 2007-11-20 13:51:40
    I ain’t going to ready any either. [/quote]

    Thanks for the solidarity

  • Not Convinced

    Forget Argentina
    They’re failures, Always have been. Superiority complex, and delusions of grandeur.
    How could a country that had one of the world’s highest standards of living at the beginning
    of the 20th century consistently degrade their economy for 100 years until became just another
    ‘de-industrialized’ 3rd world economy and suffer the shame of defaulting on their debts?
    There is something very wrong with the Argentine character to allow this to happen.
    They may have a good leader now, but I’m sure they will screw it up again soon.

    ec

  • AES

    I ain’t going to ready any either.

  • João da Silva

    [quote]The incoming Argentine Economy minister Martin Lousteau, a brilliant academic with valuable political experience in the province of Buenos Aires has also written several books in line with the Kirchners “productive” project, but criticizing Brazil’s policy in the region that allegedly has eliminated jobs in Argentina and re-directed investments to Brazil.[/quote]

    What job does Dona.Christina intend giving to her hubby Nestor?

    Why does Dr.Marty Lousteau criticize BrazilÀ‚´s policy in the region. If he continues with this negative attitude, I ain’t going to read any of his books

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