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KARACHI: A Webinar was held by Karachi Council on Foreign Relations (KCFR), wherein Olyntho Vieira, the Ambassador of Brazil in Pakistan was the plenary speaker, chaired by Ikram Sehgal and moderated by Huma Baqai.

The Ambassador found that present time was much more challenging than the past romantic times of diplomacy for interaction with other states. He said though Brasilia and Islamabad are 14,000 kms apart but the two countries enjoyed excellent relationship. He added that exporters and interested businessmen will have to cross this distance to expand their businesses into Brazil.

The Ambassador briefly narrated the history of Brazil from 15th Century when Portugal colonised this area which remained so for about four centuries when the King of Portugal shifted his Empire’s seat from Lisbon to Rio de Janeiro and returned to Lisbon after Napoleonic wars leaving his son behind who declared independence in 1822 and after another 75 years Brazil was established as a Republic.

From the demographic point of view the population was mainly from Portuguese origin and slavered Africans; however, during the last two centuries with immigration from Europe and Asia, Brazil has become a country with multi ethnic origins. He informed that Brazil was the first Latin American country to establish diplomatic relations with Pakistan.

Over the last two decades one head of the state has travelled to Brazil and twice Foreign Ministers from Brazil have travelled to Pakistan.

He informed the members of KCFR that they now witness a lot of progress in technical cooperation between the two countries and they have signed MoUs in many fields. “We also have formed a Commission for eradication of hunger and poverty,” he said, adding that Brazil has much advanced in agriculture technology where the two countries have lot of scope for benefiting from each other.

“Our Armed Forces too send students to each other institutions and exchange observers during major exercises,” he said.

Coming back to the trade, between the two countries he informed that it was around $700 million out of which 90 percent was in favour of Brazil.

The envoy added that exporters and importers shall be facilitated to increase the trade but they will have to make an eye to eye contact and to establish their contacts in Brazil for this purpose. He said that Brazilian Embassy will welcome and provide opportunities to the Businessman for this purpose.

Responding to a question he said that football was a great predilection for Brazilian and he knew that interest in this game was coming up fast in Pakistan especially in the ‘Liyari’ area of Karachi and all facilitations in this field too shall be provided to develop football further in Pakistan.

Chairman Ikram Sehgal thanked the Brazilian Ambassador for his very interesting and well-articulated presentation. He hoped that the relations between the two countries shall further enhance in future. He said that Brazil could avail CPEC routes for its trade relations especially in Soybean trade with Western China and Central Asian states.—PR

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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