|Celebration: Duo Jerzy Milewsky and Aleida Schweitzer will perform in a concert tonight following a reception for Brazilian National Day. — Photo Courtesy of Brazilian Embassy
The celebration of our Na-tional Day in 2014 is a special one as we also celebrate 25 years of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Brazil and Viet Nam. In 1994 the Brazilian Embassy was inaugurated in Ha Noi, followed in 2000 by the inauguration of the Vietnamese Embassy in Brasilia. Since then bilateral relations have expanded and the ties of friendship and co-operation intensified.
Bilateral trade turnover reached US$2.33 billion in 2013, an increase of 42 per cent compared to 2012, thereby maintaining Brazil's position as Viet Nam's major trade partner in Latin America. New channels are also being explored to lift trade relations even higher by eliminating trade barriers. Indeed, 2014 marks the arrival of Brazil's first investment in the area of leather: the company "JBS".
At the political level, both countries' international views coincide in several areas. As emerging developing countries, both Brazil and Viet Nam prioritise fighting poverty and creating better life conditions for their peoples. We also have strong confidence in the benefits of regional integration as the key to national development.
Brazil highly values Viet Nam's important role in strengthening ASEAN. And we both advocate the strengthening of the multilateral system, which needs to be updated to properly deal with the challenges of the 21st century.
We are also glad to witness an increasing number of Brazilian visitors in Viet Nam who are attracted by the natural beauty, the warmth of the people, and the wide array of choices and places to visit. The number of Vietnamese tourists in Brazil is also increasing, and there is a huge potential to be explored in this area in the future. This is important not only for creating jobs and income opportunities, but also for fostering common knowledge among our peoples.
To mark the 25th anniversary of our relations, a well-known Brazilian Samba Group – "Sururu na Roda" participated this year at the Hue Festival. And tonight we are offering a concert performed by the "Duo Milewsky", which will interpret classics of Brazilian music in arrangements for violin and piano.
Indeed, we have several reasons to celebrate what has been achieved in the past two decades and half. And relations between Brazil and Viet Nam are now ready for further development. There are favourable opportunities for further strengthening the bilateral agenda to new areas of co-operation, such as education, culture, music, tourism, investments, cinema, agriculture, science and technology and energy, among others. This is the wish of the Brazilian Government and people. After the World Cup, football is most likely the only area in which we would not be in a proper position to co-operate now.
I could not finish these words without thanking the Vietnamese people for all their kindness during my tenure at the Brazilian Embassy in Ha Noi. I was honored to complete my long Diplomatic Career of 45 years in the Brazilian Foreign Service in this beautiful and friendly country, the fond memories of which I will be bringing with me back to Brazil. — VNS