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Montevideo, April 12th 2024 - 18:15 UTC

 

 

Brazil and France sign key deals during Macron's visit

Wednesday, March 27th 2024 - 19:28 UTC
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Macron was welcomed by Lula. He will spend 3 days in Brazil on his first official trip to the South American country. He is due back later this year for the G20 Summit Macron was welcomed by Lula. He will spend 3 days in Brazil on his first official trip to the South American country. He is due back later this year for the G20 Summit

Presidents Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and Emmanuel Macron launched Tuesday in Belém a € 1 billion investment bioeconomy program for the Brazilian Legal Amazon as well as for the part of the Amazon within French Guiana to raise funds through public and private investments over the next four years, Agencia Brasil reported.

“We are going to end [deforestation by 2030] to prove to the world that we are going to preserve our Amazon and we want to convince the world that the world that has already deforested has to contribute, in a very important way, so that the countries that still have forests keep them standing,” said Lula as he launched the new phase of the Action Plan on the Bioeconomy and the Protection of Tropical Forests signed by both countries.

“I am pleased today to see that President Lula in the federal government is protecting the Amazon. The development of the future of indigenous peoples and biodiversity is not just a question of resistance, it is a cause defended by the federal government itself,” Macron underlined.

According to a joint press release, the five driving points of the program are:

a) Dialog between the French and Brazilian administrations on the challenges of the bioeconomy;

b) Technical and financial partnership between Brazilian public banks, including the Banco da Amazônia (Basa) and the Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social (BNDES), and the French Development Agency, present in Brazil and French Guiana;

c) The appointment of special coordinators for the most innovative French and Brazilian companies in the field of bioeconomics;

d) A new scientific agreement between France and Brazil, operated by the Center for International Cooperation in Agronomic Research for Development (Cirad) and the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa), which will make it possible to develop new research projects on sustainable sectors, including in French Guiana; and

e) The creation of a hub for research, investment, and sharing of key technologies for the bioeconomy, with a focus on forming networks of French and Brazilian universities that can contribute to these themes. This nucleus should strengthen the Franco-Brazilian Center for Amazonian Biodiversity (CFBBA).

In the city of Belém, in addition to the plan on the bioeconomy and the protection of tropical forests, the two heads of state also signed another document related to the environment: The Brazil-France Call for Climate Ambition from Paris to Belém and Beyond.

“[Everyone] is here to seal this commitment that goes beyond generations. Youth, women, the elderly, together we will be able to guarantee the future for the next generations,” Brazil's Minister for Indigenous Peoples, Sonia Guajajara, explained.

The two leaders also launched a coalition to combat greenwashing in the voluntary carbon market, which occurs when brands create a false appearance of sustainability without necessarily putting it into practice. France and Brazil also intend to finalize negotiations on Article 6 of the Paris Agreement by the 2024 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP29) in Baku, Azerbaijan, to establish a regulated, efficient, and transparent carbon market.

Macron arrived Tuesday in Belém, in the state of Pará, in what became his first official trip to Brazil, where he will remain until Thursday. Alongside Lula, he is scheduled to go to Itaguaí, in the state of Rio de Janeiro, as well as to São Paulo, and Brasília.

“A three-day visit is uncommon for a head of state. This is an indication of the significance of the Brazil-France relationship, of the exchange [between both countries], of the deep interest across various sectors,” explained Ambassador Maria Luísa Escorel, Itamaraty's Secretary for Europe and North America.

Macron's visit will also include a tour of Brazilian Navy facilities as the South American country intends to buy five French-built submarines over the next few years. Lula and Macron are also expected to review a partnership to produce military helicopters and nuclear energy for civilian use.

The French leader also intends to make appearances at various business forums, particularly in São Paulo, where Lula shall not be present but Vice President Geraldo Alckmin will.

In 2023, the two countries recorded a trade flow of $8.4 billion, with $2.9 billion in exports and $5.5 billion in imports.

Brazilian exports to France include products such as soybean meal, crude oils, petroleum, cellulose, and iron ore. On the French side, the main products imported by Brazil are engines, machinery, aircraft, and manufactured goods. According to Brazil's Central Bank (BCB), France is the third-largest investor in Brazil. Some 860 French companies are operating in Brazil, creating 500,000 jobs.

Regarding the Free Trade Agreement between the European Union (EU) and Mercosur which Macron has time and again opposed, Escorel explained that “this visit is not about that. Negotiations have been paused due to the European Parliament elections. The focus is on the strategic bilateral relationship between these two countries. The focus is on convergences, not divergences.”

(Source: Agencia Brasil)

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