|Popular puppets: Street Carnival in Olinda, Pernambuco, is one of the most popular in Brazil. Giant puppets depict traditional Carnival characters and current Brazilian and international celebrities. — Photo www.aboutbrasil.com
(VNS) On the occasion of Brazil's Independence Day today, Viet Nam News presents an article by Brazilian ambassador to Viet Nam, Vitoria Alice Cleaver.
This year, the celebration of the Brazilian Indepen-dence Day, September 7, in Ha Noi had a different format than the traditional receptions that are normally held in one of the city's hotels. This year the Brazilian embassy organised a musical concert by duo Bastos and Borges, who performed Brazilian classic and popular works on flute and piano, at the Hanoi Opera House.
An enthusiastic audience of not only the diplomatic community and Government officials, but also ordinary Hanoians enjoyed the opportunity to listen to the vibrant and rich Brazilian music.
The concert held in such an important week, one in which the independence of not only Brazil (Sep 7th), but also Viet Nam (Sep 2nd) is celebrated, aimed to mark the growing friendship between the two countries, bringing the best of Brazilian music to the Vietnamese Capital. Promoting Brazilian culture in Viet Nam - as well as Vietnamese culture in Brazil - is a way of shortening the geographical distance and building a bridge of understanding and mutual knowledge between our two countries.
Bringing the two countries together and nurturing the ties of friendship that unite the two peoples has produced practical results as well.
Bilateral trade has grown exponentially in the past few years – from US$47 million in 2003 to a projected $2 billion in 2013. The strengthening of the internal markets, through the successful policies of social inclusion and poverty reduction implemented in both countries also played an important role in the development of this robust and balanced trade flow. In 2012, Brazil exported $822 million to Viet Nam and imported $817 million from Viet Nam, an almost equal exchange.
It is our understanding, however, that there is potential for growth in commercial exchanges, not only in products already in the bilateral portfolio, but also in industries still to be explored.
Bearing that in mind, last March the Brazilian Government sent a mission of experts from the Brazilian Trade Promotion Agency (APEX) to hold meetings with representatives of several Vietnamese industry and trade associations. As a result of that mission a group of cotton producers from Brazil visited Viet Nam in June to seek opportunities for business, and other entrepreneurial missions are planned for the near future.
In order to solve problems standing in the way of further growth in trade, Brazil has also sent a technical mission, with experts from the ministries of Fisheries and Agriculture, to inspect the production of Pangasius fish in Viet Nam. Vietnamese inspectors from NAFIQAD will soon go to Brazil to verify health and safety procedures in livestock handling and meat processing for export.
Both countries continue to support each other in multilateral fora. Recently, the Mayor of Rio de Janeiro was elected as President of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group with decisive support from the People's Committee of HCM City.
For its turn, Brazil is supporting Viet Nam's pledge to a sit on the United Nations Human Rights Council and both countries are considering mutual candidacies for non-permanent seats in the United Nations Security Council.
Also, Viet Nam has been a long standing supporter of a reformed Security Council that would include Brazil as a permanent member. Such support is highly valued by the Brazilian Government, as the reform of the Security Council has been a primary objective of our Foreign Policy in recent times.
New doors open every day. Brazil has recently signed the Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation with ASEAN. This would not have been possible without Viet Nam's support. Brazil intends to work within the framework of ASEAN in order to enhance co-operation with South East Asian Countries.
Brazil maintains a Portuguese language lecturering position at the University of Ha Noi, with the programme currently teaching over 100 students. Working with our partners of the IBSA Forum (India and South Africa) plus the FAO we are helping to finance a project for enhancement of rice seed quality in the central city of Da Nang.
The Embassy of Brazil in Ha Noi will keep working to deepen this mutually beneficial relationship. Our aim is to foster political co-ordination in multilateral fora and identify opportunities for business between the two countries. Cultural activities such as this week's concert will certainly play a role in reinforcing the friendship ties uniting Brazil and Viet Nam aiming at intense cooperation in the future. — VNS