By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – German Chancellor, Angela Merkel is in Brazil for a two-day visit with some of her cabinet members and has a full agenda with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and her top ministers. The two leaders are expected to discuss climate change, investments and trade agreements between Mercosur and the European Union.
“The [final] agreement between Mercosur and the European Union depends fundamentally on two countries: Brazil, due to its role in Mercosur, and Germany, due to the extraordinary weight the German economy has on the European Union,” said Armando Monteiro, Brazilian Minister for Development, Industry and Foreign Trade (MDIC) to reporters.
Monteiro, along with five other cabinet members and several key industry leaders, met with President Rousseff on Wednesday afternoon (August 19th) to plan their strategies for the bilateral talks to be held on Thursday.
One of the outcomes Brazil is hoping for with the visit is more investments by German companies in the country.
“There is a general understanding that Germany may be interested in our infrastructure concession plans. We have identified some areas such as rail lines and ports, which may interest German investors,” said Monteiro adding that the partnership between the two countries continues strong and there have been continuing signs of Germany’s ‘huge interest’ in the Brazilian market.
Germany is considered by Brazil as a ‘strategic partner’, being the main partner in Europe and the fourth largest for the South American country, behind only China, the U.S. and Argentina. According to MDIC data nearly 1,600 German companies currently operate in Brazil and bilateral trade is over US$20 billion per year.