Brazilian Embassy in Pakistan: A pivotal pillar for bridging the gap

Brazil and Pakistan have a history of long, warm and friendly ties. Brazil was the first Latin American country to establish diplomatic relations with Pakistan in 1948 and established its Embassy in 1952. The relations between both the countries can said to have minimum issues and immense potential. Brazil is keen to enhance good relations with Pakistan. Trade, education, defense, tourism and agriculture are the key areas which could promote ties between both the countries. Pakistan and Brazil have moved forward in deepening relations in all fields. Bilateral trade between Pakistan and Brazil has increased over the last four years by 100 percent from $225m in 2013-14 to $449m in 2016-17. Pakistan’s main exports to Brazil are in articles of apparel, home textiles, surgical goods, cotton fabrics and yarn, articles of cutlery and sports goods whereas Pakistan’s main imports are in soybeans, raw cotton, iron and steel, soybean oil and machinery.

The embassy of Brazil in Pakistan is the point of central attraction for enhancing the relations as well as to promote cultural integration. In September 2018, the ambassador of Brazil, Claudio Lins hosted a reception in Islamabad in order to celebrate the 196th anniversary of the Independence of Brazil and the 70th anniversary of the Diplomatic Relations between Brazil and Pakistan. Minister for Education and Professional Training, Shafqat Mahmood was guest of honor for the said event. “Our friendship is as old as it is close, in spite of the geographical distance. We have much in common – two warm, creative, hospitable peoples who love sports and music and who share common values, which include the observance of International Law under the auspices of the United Nations; the promotion of women empowerment; religious tolerance and freedom of expression. In short, Brazil and the Brazilian people would immediately recognise the lessons of the Quaid-e-Azam as lessons we also cherish”, Ambassador of Brazil revealed in his address.

Recently the Embassy of Brazil is re-starting classes of CAPOEIRA at the Brazilian Embassy. On the Official re-launching event at the Embassy Claudio Raja Gabaglia Lins, Ambassador of Brazil said that Capoeira is a Brazilian traditional martial art that combines elements of dance, music, acrobatics, fighting and self-defense. It is a unique martial art in a sense that the objective of the game is not to defeat the opponent but to display the set of skills in a physical dialogue. Capoeira is very famous for fast and complex moves including a wide variety of kicks, spins, doges, fast counter-attacks and highly mobile techniques. In the start of this year Pakistan-Brazil Business Forum (PBBF) has been formed to help enhance economic cooperation between the two countries. The formation has been announced by Brazilian Ambassador Claudio Lins and President FPCCI Ghazanfar Bilour. Speaking at the occasion, co-chairmen of the forum Claudio Lins and Ghazanfar Bilour revealed that PBBF will be an independent body which will focus on enhancing trade through various initiatives including facilitation, information and identifying and lessening the barriers. Ghazanfar Bilour further added that Brazil is the eighth largest economy in the world but our mutual trade is a little more than half a billion dollar which can be increased substantially through mutual efforts. Bilateral trade is tilted towards the friendly country which calls for efforts to make it balanced, he underlined.

Uncomplicated access to raw materials, a diversified labour force and a strategic geographic location has allowed Brazil to enjoy a trade surplus with the world over the years. In 2015, Brazil imported goods worth 171 billion dollars whereas exports amounted to 191 billion dollars. When it comes to goods which been imported in the same year, they comprised of mineral fuels, machinery, electrical machinery and vehicles other than railways whereas Oil seeds and oleaginous fruits, ores, slag and ash and mineral fuels were the top three exports.

From 2006 to 2015, Brazil has been able to enjoy a trade surplus with Pakistan.

In 2015, Brazil’s top imports from Pakistan consisted of articles of apparel and clothing (knitted and not knitted), cotton and other textile articles. Brazil’s exports to Pakistan saw a sharp increase from 163 million dollars in 2014 to 297 million dollars in 2015. This can be attributed to the increase in exports of cotton, animal or vegetable fats and oils, and oil seeds and oleaginous fruits.

While addressing Sialkot exporters during an important meeting at the Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Indust r y (SCCI), back in March 2018, Ambassador of Brazil in Pakistan Claudio Raja Gabaglia Lins has said that the several Brazilian companies are showing a keen interest in Pakistan’s renewable energy development sector, adding that Bra z i l h a s a b i g potential to invest in the renewable energy development sector of Pakistan. He said that Brazil will also help Pakistan overcome the problem of climate change. The Brazilian ambassador assured exporters in Sialkot his full cooperation and support in order to bring Bra z i l ian companies to Pakistan, as there are bright opportunities of starting joint ventures between businessmen of the two friendly countries.

SCCI President on the occasion said that both Pakistan and Brazil should facilitate single country trade exhibitions and encourage frequent exchanges of trade delegations. The Brazilian ambassador also visited several leading industrial units in Sialkot, amidst tight security.

He witnessed the international standard craftsmanship of Sialkot based artisans and said that exporters have a great potential to explore and capture the international trade markets of Brazil by exporting their world-class traditional and non-traditional export products. He also hailed the unique export culture of Sialkot.

Honorary Consul of Brazil Omer Jaffer has recently visited Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Speaking at a meeting during his visit, he said KCCI should be an aid for Pak-Brazil Business Forum in order to create linkages and bring the business communities closer. Jaffer said added that Brazil, being the 8th largest economy in the world and the largest in Latin America with a GDP of around $3 trillion, offers a lot to Pakistan and it was a fine example to learn and emulate.

The trade volume was largely in favour of Brazil, he revealed. urging the business community to take interest in the Brazilian market and explore avenues for enhancing bilateral trade.

Pakistan and brail also wants to enhance their defense relations. Chief of Staff of the Brazilian Armed Forces Admiral Ademir Sobrinho met Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa and Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Abbasi in August this year. In their meetings, the two sides discussed matters relating to bilateral military cooperation, regional security situation and measures to improve bilateral military engagements. The visiting dignitary appreciated Pakistan Army’s professionalism and achievements in war against terrorism.

Published in Melange Intl. Magazine in November 2018.


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