Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is scheduled to arrive Monday with a delegation of sixty businesspeople in Brazil where he will consider with President Lula da Silva investment projects involving at least 10 billion US dollars.
The two leaders will be meeting Tuesday in Sao Paulo and according to the official agenda discussions will centre on a possible agreement between Petrobras and Italy’s ENI to participate in the extraction of the sub-salt oil, with reserves estimated in over 50 billion barrels.
The Italian delegation that also includes Deputy Minister for Economic Development Adolfo Urso is also interested in participating of the bid for the bullet-train which is expected to link Sao Paulo with Rio do Janeiro as well as in infrastructure works for the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games, hosted by Brazil.
Italy has massive investments in Brazilian industry backed by a strong community of descendents from the peninsula.
Earlier this month Brasilia and Rome announced an agreement for the purchase of Italian frigates and a few months ago the Brazilian Army confirmed it was purchasing armoured vehicles from the Italian conglomerate Fiat.
Lula da Silva met with Berlusconi two months ago in Washington and had another encounter in Rome at the end of 2009 to discuss about the Italian extremist Cesare Battisti who remains imprisoned in Brasilia since 2007.
Italy is demanding the extradition of Battisti who was sentenced in absence in Italy to life imprisonment for having killed four people in the seventies during the terrorist outbreak with the Red Brigades.
In 2009 the Brazilian government granted Battisti asylum but the decision was annulled by the Federal Supreme Tribunal.
The final decision now rests on President Lula da Silva.