Zuma hosts Brazilian President

Friday, July 9, 2010

Pretoria - President Jacob Zuma will later this morning hold bilateral political, economic and trade discussions with his Brazilian counterpart Luiz In cio Lula da Silva.

President Lula is in the country for a state visit as well as to attend the FIFA World Cup. He arrived in the country last night, together with his delegation that included seven ministers.

During the visit Lula and Zuma will sign a declaration launching a South Africa-Brazil strategic partnership, as well as a memorandum of understanding on inter-governmental co-operation.

They will discuss bilateral relations, notably issues relating to the fourth meeting of the SA-Brazil Joint Commission held in May.

According to the Department of International Relations, the two presidents were also expected to agree to strengthen economic relations and to commit to annual political consultations between their countries to ensure due bilateral interface in the post-Lula era.

Lula is to step down in January 2011 after two terms in office and this visit is seen as a farewell.

The visit could be beneficial for both countries. South Africa will use the opportunity to push South Africa's products to be introduced in Brazil. While Brazil will look to draw on South Africa's successful hosting of the 2010 World Cup, this as Brazil will host the games in 2014.

Already both countries are the biggest economies in their regions and share a lot of similarities, among them an extreme gap between the rich and the poor as well as pursuing a common agenda on the international front.

The two countries also see eye to eye on issues of the reform of the United Nations Security Council and the Bretton Woods Institution.

They cooperate on multilateral flora in line with trilateral relations through the India, Brazil and SA (IBSA) alliance and the G20.

Already Brazil is South Africa's largest trading partner in South America. Total trade between the two countries was nearly $1.7-billion in 2009.