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Czech Republic, Brazil sign economic cooperation agreement

14 April 2008

Czech Republic, Brazil sign economic cooperation agreement

Author: ČTK

Prague — Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg and his Brazilian counterpart Celso Amorim signed a Czech-Brazilian agreement on cooperation in the fields of economy and industry in Prague, during Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s visit to the Czech Republic.

Da Silva arrived on a two-day official visit late on Friday.

This morning he met Czech President Vaclav Klaus at Prague Castle.

Klaus said that he had signed an economic cooperation agreement, similar to that signed today, in Brazil in 1994 when he visited the country in his then capacity as Czech prime minister.

"The Czech Republic is very interested in the maximal possible development of bilateral relations with Brazil," Klaus told journalists.

Da Silva said the agreement means launching new economic cooperation.

Czech business missions can be expected to visit Brazil more frequently, said da Silva, the first ever Brazilian president to visit the Czech Republic.

Brazilian entrepreneurs, too, should seek better knowledge of the Czech Republic, he said.

The only Brazilian president to visit the Czech Republic so far was Fernando Henrique Cardoso, who paid a private visit in October 1994, before being inaugurated as president.

The Czech president has visited Brazil only once since the independent Czech Republic was established in 1993. It was Vaclav Havel who visited the country in September 1996.

Da Silva today wished Czech footballers much luck in the qualification for the 2014 world championships that will be hosted by Brazil.

Smiling, he recalled the football worlds final in Chile in 1962, when the Czechoslovak team lost to Brazil.

It would be good if the Czech Republic and Brazil faced each other in the final. But it would be even better if Brazil ended first and the Czech Republic second, he said.

Apart from meeting Klaus, da Silva has visited selected sights in Prague, such as the Strahov monastery and the Church of Our Lady Victorious with the famous Prague Infant Jesus and a fascimile of the statue of the Virgin Mary of Aparecida, a saint patron of Brazil.

Brazil is the Czech Republic’s largest trade partner in Latin America. Though trade between the two countries is growing trade balance is annually passive for the Czech Republic each. Last year, Czech exports to Brazil reached 4.6 billion crowns while Brazilian exports to the Czech Republic were almost 6 billion crowns.

Czech direct foreign investments in Brazil reached 9.9 million crowns last year. Czech companies exported to Brazil, for instance, equipment for power stations and cement factories while agricultural commodities prevailed in Brazilian exports.

Brazil is the world’s largest producer of coffee and sugar cane.

($1=15.800 crowns)

 source: ČTK