Brazil president to visit RI to boost ties

Brazil president to visit RI to boost ties

Lilian Budianto , The Jakarta Post , Jakarta | Thu, 07/10/2008 10:14 AM | World

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva will arrive in Jakarta on Friday evening, in a visit designed to boost ties between the two countries.

“The main purpose of the visit is to strengthen the relationship between Brazil and Indonesia. This year we are celebrating 55 years of our relationship with Indonesia,” Brazilian Ambassador to Indonesia Edmundo Sussumu Fujita told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday.

Lula will arrive from Vietnam and fly back to Brazil on Saturday evening. He recently attended the Group of Eight (G8) summit meeting in Japan.

During his 24-hour stay in Jakarta, Lula is scheduled to hold bilateral talks with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on Saturday.

According to Fujita, two cooperation agreements will be signed during the visit, one on education and the other on ethanol.

“The education cooperation will include the exchange of researchers, publications and joint studies. It is more an academic cooperation. The cooperation on ethanol will facilitate the exchange of science and technology. They are not commercial agreements,” Fujita said.

Brazil is one of the largest producers of ethanol from sugar cane, which Fujita said was the most environmentally friendly energy source.

Relations between Brazil and Indonesia have progressed steadily since they were established in 1953 and have undergone a significant change in the past 10 years, marked by increasing bilateral trade and cooperation in international forums.

Bilateral trade jumped to US$1.47 billion in 2007, a big increase from $576 million in 2003. In 2006 it stood at $1.14 billion. In the first two months of this year, the bilateral trade volume had already reached $353 million, a 61 percent increase from $219 million during the same period last year.

During his visit, Lula will be accompanied by his foreign affairs minister, trade and industry minister and state secretary, as well as businesspeople.

Lula is scheduled to address a business seminar on Saturday.

The Indonesian Foreign Ministry’s director for South America and Caribbean affairs, R. Prayono Atiyanto, said the two leaders would discuss economic matters and environmental issues.

“Besides economic issues, the two will also discuss environmental and climate change issues,” Prayono said.

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