Look: President of Brazil arrives in the UAE on official visit

Sheikh Mohamed welcomes Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and his wife at Qasr Al Watan in Abu Dhabi

By WAM

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Photos: Wam
Photos: Wam

Published: Sat 15 Apr 2023, 4:13 PM

Last updated: Sat 15 Apr 2023, 10:31 PM

President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan on Saturday received President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of Brazil, who is on an official visit to the UAE, accompanied by his wife the First Lady of Brazil Rosângela Lula da Silva.

The Brazilian President was welcomed by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed at Qasr Al Watan in Abu Dhabi.

Upon arrival, President Lula’s convoy was accompanied by a guard of honour consisting of riders on horseback.

The official reception ceremony included a performance of the national anthem of Brazil, a 21-gun artillery salute, and a flypast by the UAE Air Force aerobatics team “Al Fursan”, trailing smoke in the colours of the Brazilian flag.

President Lula’s visit – his first to an Arab country since beginning his third term in office – underscores the deep, longstanding ties between Brazil and the UAE.

Lula was earlier received by Suhail bin Mohammed Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure.

UAE-Brazil ties

Established 49 years ago, the UAE-Brazil diplomatic ties have since steadily developed, aided by the support of the two leaderships.

Brazil is a priority partner for the UAE, especially under the framework of the country's strategy to advance its relations with Latin American countries.

Similarly, Brazil has been equally keen to strengthen its relationship with the UAE, as stated by several senior officials who expressed their country's keenness to enhance the cooperation between the two countries and boost their trade and cultural exchange. They noted the UAE's role as a vital global trading hub due to its flexible and diverse economy and solid regional and international ties.

Four years after the establishment of diplomatic relations between the UAE and Brazil on May 26, 1974, the Brazilian Embassy was inaugurated in Abu Dhabi in 1978, while the UAE Embassy was inaugurated in Brasilia in 1991 as the country's first embassy in South America. Also, a UAE Consulate was inaugurated in Sao Paolo in March 2017.

Further backing their political ties, the distinguished bilateral ties between the UAE and Brazil, coupled with their efforts to strengthen their overall cooperation, led to the establishment of a joint consultations committee that first met in July 2018.

The committee focuses on discussing developments in the region, as well as regional and international issues of mutual concern.

Furthermore, the two countries have signed a wide range of agreements and Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) in the areas of defence, trade, customs, technology and innovation, and preserving biodiversity.

Economy

The UAE is Brazil's second-largest trading partner in the Middle East, and the total value of their non-oil trade totalled more than US$4 billion in 2022, a growth of 32 per cent as compared to 2021. The UAE is the central trading hub for Brazil to the region's markets due to its advanced transport and supply infrastructure.

In February 2019, the Arab-Brazilian Chamber of Commerce inaugurated its first office in the Middle East in Dubai. This was preceded by a Brazilian government resolution in 2018 granting Emirati citizens an entry visa exemption, which helped boost tourism between the two countries.

Culture

The two countries also aim to strengthen their cultural ties in light of their belief in the importance of encouraging communication between their peoples.

They have also launched national projects that encourage reading. Brazil has implemented a national reading programme, while the UAE dubbed 2016 as the Year of Reading and March of every year as the Month of Reading.

Moreover, Brazil is keen to participate in all the cultural and artistic events held in the UAE. Under this framework, it participated in Expo 2020 Dubai with a special pavilion that cost nearly US$20 million to construct.

Sports

In sports, the cooperation between the two countries was underscored by an MoU signed by the General Authority of Sports and its Brazilian counterpart in 2014. It aimed to prioritise Brazil in 13 types of sports; exchange expertise in sports applications, sports medicine, anti-doping and sports sponsorship; organise sporting events and training for specialists and administrators; encourage sports for people of determination, youth sports, women's sports and sports for the elderly, and promote sports participation among community members.


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