By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff starts her official visit to Mexico on Tuesday, May 26th, with the objective of strengthening commercial bilateral relations between the two nations, as Brazil and Mexico together make up more than half of the production, population and territory of Latin America. According to Brazilian officials, the highlight of the agreements will be the Agreement on Investment Cooperation (ACFI) between the two countries.
“One of the great success stories of the moment between the two countries are investments and we will take it one step forward [on those] with the agreements to be signed by President Dilma Rousseff and President [Enrique] Peña Nieto,” said Brazilian Ambassador to Mexico Marcos Leal Raposo Lopes in an interview to the Brazilian government-run press corps. Other agreements include air travel, environment and tourism accords.
“There are several Mexican investments in Brazil. And Brazilian investments in Mexico are also growing,” said Lopes, noting that one of Mexico’s largest foreign private investment projects is that of the petrochemical complex of Etileno XXI in Veracruz, which is a partnership between Brazilian Braskem and Mexico’s Idesa. Brazil’s Gerdau has also invested heavily in its steel plant in the Mexican state of Idalgo.
One of Rousseff’s tasks will be to convince the Mexican government to reduce tariffs on Brazilian products coming into the North American country. According to official figures, trade between Mexico and Brazil went from US$5.7 billion in 2006 to US$9 billion in 2014.
Mexico, however, has the upper hand, with investments of over US$20 million in Brazil per year, while the South American country invests a little over US$2 billion per year in its North American neighbor.
For Lopes, however, the trade balance between the two countries has an enormous growth potential, “It is a good trade [volume] but small for the size of the economies [of the two countries]. This visit will lead to a reduction in barriers and a support of greater trade between the two countries.”