Amazonia Will Open Its Depths To Urals People
22.09.2009 — Analysis
The Sverdlovsk Oblast might supplement the list of its Latin American partners. The Governor of the Brazilian state Amazonas Eduardo Braga visited Ekaterinburg on 20-21 September 2009. His visit is a logical step on the way of development of Russian-Brazilian relations. Having met in Ekaterinburg in June 2009 Presidents Dmitri Medvedev and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva came to an agreement on the development of cooperation on regional level. It is worth mentioning that Brazil is 66th in the list of the Sverdlovsk Oblast's trade partners. The trade turnover in 2008 amounted to 6.1 million US dollars. The friendship with Amazonas, the largest Brazilian state, might change these figures somewhat. Governor Braga talked about the immediate prospects for the cooperation in an interview with RusBusinessNews.
- Mr. Braga, what caused this interest to the Sverdlovsk Oblast?
- Inácio Lula da Silva, the President of Brazil has visited Ekaterinburg several times. He was well impressed by the industrial and technological development of the region, especially in the sphere of metallurgy.
- How do you assess the investment attractiveness of the Sverdlovsk Oblast?
- I reckon there are great prospects for the development of our cooperation in the sphere of tourism. The state of Amazonas has a zone of free trade which may become the "open gateway" to the South American market. We must not forget about the natural riches of Amazonas. Many of these have been explored but the production has not started yet. This is where the applicable technologies of Russian and in particular - Sverdlovsk companies may help us.
Of course, this visit was designed more for a long term future. As the cooperation between Russia and Brazil develops the state of Amazon and the Sverdlovsk Oblast will also be on convergent paths.
- This has been a familiarisation visit, what is next? Should we expect a delegation exchange?
- These trips will definitely happen, both ways. Brazil and Russia are growing markets. Both Brazil and Russia, and Amazonas and the Sverdlovsk Oblast are undertaking new marketing efforts for the broadening of their connections. This is why cooperation, exchange, and interaction will be continued. On the whole our countries are cooperating quite closely. I think that the relationship between Russia and Brazil are developing successfully, especially in the technology sector.
- Within the framework of meetings held in Ekaterinburg it was stressed several times that the state of Amazonas and the Sverdlovsk Oblast are rather alike. Is your personal perception in agreement with this observation?
- It is true, Amazonas is very much like the Sverdlovsk Oblast. It also is a large territory (the area of Amazonas is about 1.5 million square kilometres, the area of the Sverdlovsk Oblast - 194.8 thousand square kilometres), each of the region's population is about 4 million people. Both Amazonas and the Sverdlovsk Oblast have immense mineral wealth and a well developed industry.
- Mr. Braga, this is your first time in Russia, what surprised you the most?
- I was amazed by people's security, their faith in a good future, their hopes and desires to develop the cooperation with Brazil and other foreign countries. Within this visit we met with various leaders and officials in Ekaterinburg and Moscow. In Saint Petersburg we are going to take part in a conference on the development of tourism where I will be presenting the state of Amazonas. Everywhere we feel a great empathy between people and between peoples of Russia and Brazil.
Interview prepared by Valentina Mazharova
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