Brazil keen on increasing trade with Zimbabwe Foreign Affairs and International Trade acting chief director for Multilateral Affairs Mike Chigiji (right) chats with Brazilian Secretary for Africa and the Middle East in the Ministry of External Relations Ambassador Carlos Duarte during the first round of political consultations between Zimbabwe and Brazil in Harare yesterday. — Picture: Memory Mangombe.

Farirai Machivenyika-Senior Reporter

BRAZIL is keen on expanding its relations with Zimbabwe to the fields of education and health following successes recorded in the agriculture sector, its Secretary for Africa and Middle East in the Ministry of External Relations of the Federative Republic of Brazil, Ambassador Carlos Duarte has said.

He said this during the opening of the inaugural session of political consultations between Brazil and Zimbabwe in Harare yesterday.

Yesterday’s meeting was part of his country’s re-engagement with Africa that resulted in President Luiz Inácio Rula da Silva being invited to address the African Union last month.

Zimbabwe benefitted from Brazil’s More Food for Africa Programme meant to improve self-food sufficiency among small-holder farmers.

“I am very pleased in the case of Zimbabwe to recall the progress we have achieved in the two technical cooperation projects that we have been involved with this country, both in the area of agriculture, as you have pointed out, and I am also happy to notice that Zimbabwe has already sent its comments on the final text of a third envisaged project regarding exports of flowers and ornamental plants, which can be one of the few projects in which Brazil will be receiving assistance from a developing country.

“I am certain that the Brazilian side will soon be in a position to present the final version of the project for signature. I also express the wish that our bilateral cooperation be amplified and extended to other domains. Brazil is ready to consider new requests of technical cooperation projects in areas of interest in Zimbabwe. “We are also ready to start developing cooperation in the area of health and education, areas that are very important for developing countries in general”.

Amb Duarte expressed his gratitude on the interest shown by several Zimbabwean companies in contact with the Embassy of Brazil in Harare in developing relations with their Brazilian counterparts, both for the supply of Brazilian products and for the establishment of partnerships. 

“I am confident that our economic and commercial relations have a good potential to develop, and the Ministry of External Relations of Brazil is ready to assist in the efforts to materialise trade and investment opportunities.

“I am also confident that our products have the quality, the price, and the availability to meet the needs of Zimbabwe. In particular, I would like to express satisfaction with the recently initiated contacts between companies of the two countries which will open the doors for Brazil to become an important partner of Zimbabwe in the modernisation and expansion of the Zimbabwe railway sector,” Amb Duarte said. 

He added a Brazilian business delegation will participate at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair at the end of April, and a trade mission will also visit in June. 

He also said Brazil and Zimbabwe share similar views on several international issues, in particular the reform of the multilateral organisations, while they also face common challenges and priorities in many areas, especially in relation to the challenges posed by development and climate change. 

In her remarks read by the Ministry’s Chief Director for Political Affairs, Mr Michael Chigiji, Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Ambassador Rofina Chikava thanked Brazil for its condemnation of the illegal sanctions imposed on the country by the West.

“Let me also take this opportunity to extend my sincere gratitude to the Government and People of the Federative Republic of Brazil for the steadfast and unwavering support we have received up to this juncture when the country is still subject to illegal and unjustified sanctions as punishment for our land reform programme which benefitted over 300 000 previously landless people in our country. 

“In that context, Brazil is assisting us by providing support to our agriculture sector through technical support projects thereby contributing to food security in the country,” she said.

Ambassador Chikava added that by engaging in dialogue and collaborating on common challenges, Zimbabwe and Brazil can work together to achieve shared goals and contribute to a more peaceful, prosperous, and sustainable world.

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