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SA and Brazil set to discuss balanced trade

October 8th, 2009
President Jacob Zuma

President Jacob Zuma

A fair and balanced trade between South Africa and Brazil is set to dominate President Jacob Zuma’s agenda during his state visit to the South American country. Zuma arrived in Brazil last night on a two day tour, the first official visit of a South African President to Brazil since former President Nelson Mandela in 1998.

Brazil, which will play host country to the 2016 Olympic Games, has much more to offer than its football prowess. Its natural resources make it one of the world’s top exporters. Mining, agriculture and the automotive industry are some of the main sectors, making it an attractive destination for SA. But, trade between the two countries has always favoured Brazil.

Former ambassador to Brazil and now Zuma’s adviser, Lindiwe Zulu says SA banks have a potential to tap into the Brazilian market. She also points out that the local wine industry and a whole range of other products have huge markets that can be sold in Brazil.

Common agenda

SA and Brazil are two 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. International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, who is also accompanying Zuma on the Brazil mission, says SA will also cooperate with Brazil on multilateral flora in line with trilateral relations through the India, Brazil and SA alliance and the G20.

The Minister also says the two countries see eye to eye on issues of the reform of the United Security Council and the Breetton Woods Institution. Sharing information on the sporting front will not escape the visit either. Brazil will host the 2014 FIFA Soccer World Cup, four years after South Africa had its turn, and thus SA’s experience will come in handy.

The visit could be beneficial for both countries. Zuma hopes to persuade Brazil to open up its market to SA products and in turn, SA is seen as the gateway to the continent for more Brazilian exports.

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