Brazil and EU upbeat on trade deal
09 February 2012
Meeting this week in Brasília, Brazil's Minister of External Relations Antonio Patriota and European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton said they were confident a Brazil-EU trade agreement could be reached this year.
"We have the expectation, on both sides, that in 2012 we will be able to make advances and, ideally, conclude the bi-regional agreement," said Patriota. Ashton predicted there would be progress "in the next few months".
The two ministers discussed the preparations for the Brazil-EU trade summit taking place in Brazil later this year.
Brazil's total trade with the EU bloc is greater than with any single country including China and the United States: in 2011 it totalled $99.3bn – an increase of more than 20% from 2010. Investment originating from EU member states currently represents almost half of all foreign investment in Brazil, while Brazil is the sixth biggest investor in the EU.
It was Ashton’s first visit to Brazil since assuming her EU role in 2009. She was previously a British Labour Party minister.
Source: Ministry of External Relations and Agência Brasil