Presidents Macri and Bolsonaro agree to strengthen bilateral cooperation between Argentina and Brazil

The two leaders met in Brasilia two weeks after President Bolsonaro’s inauguration.

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Presidents Mauricio Macri of Argentina and Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil agreed today to strengthen bilateral cooperation to accelerate their trade, energy and technological exchange agendas, and make progress in the modernization of Mercosur and in the fight against corruption, organized crime and drug trafficking, among other common objectives.

“Thank you for receiving us once again in Brasilia and giving us the opportunity to ratify this historic friendship and the strategic relationship that unites Argentina and Brazil,” said President Macri in a joint declaration at the Planalto Palace together with his Brazilian counterpart.

Describing the first meeting between the two leaders at the headquarters of the Brazilian government headquarters as “really very productive”, Macri said it “made clear our willingness to continue working together” to build “a future of peace and prosperity for our countries and our region.”

“The atmosphere this morning was one of joy and hope because we feel there is much more to come,” he said.

“This strategic partnership takes its impetus from the values ​​we share, such as democracy and integration,” he added, reflected “in the interconnectedness of our economies, so that when one country is doing well, it helps the other, and it is important that both economies prosper.”

He pointed out that Brazil is Argentina’s “leading trading partner,” while Argentina is the second largest destination for Brazilian industrial products, adding, “We have large joint developments in space, nuclear, aeronautics and scientific and technological cooperation,” besides other sectors of common interest and development.

With respect to Venezuela, President Macri said: “We share concerns for the Venezuelan people and we reaffirm our condemnation of the dictatorship of Nicolás Maduro. We do not accept this mockery of democracy, nor the attempt at victimization by the perpetrator himself.”

He added that the international community “has already realized that Maduro is a dictator who seeks to perpetuate himself in power through fictitious elections, imprisoning opponents and causing a desperate and agonizing situation for the Venezuelan people.”

He concluded: “We reiterate, once again, that we recognize the National Assembly as the only legitimate institution in Venezuela, democratically elected by the Venezuelan people.”

With respect to other issues on the common agenda, Macri said the two leaders “agreed to continue strengthening our cooperation in judicial, security and intelligence matters,” to “fight drug trafficking, organized crime and money laundering.”

“We also recognize the importance of promoting an agenda that involves transparency and the fight against corruption,” he said.

Discussions on Mercosur concerned the “need to modernize Mercosur and move towards a type of integration that adapts to the challenges of the 21st century, taking advantage of the opportunities that the world offers. This,” the president said, “will guide our pro-tempore presidency of Mercosur and Brazil’s which comes next.”

He said that he conveyed to President Bolsonaro his conviction “that trade is an instrument that drives development”, and for this reason, “it is essential to speed up current external negotiations.” Progress on the negotiations with the European Union has required “huge effort with unprecedented advances,” he added.

“With [President Bolsonaro’s] arrival we have the opportunity to renew Mercosur’s political commitment and take steps towards an agreement that benefits both blocs…, always thinking about the importance of generating employment and freedoms for our people.”

President Macri thanked President Bolsonaro for this first meeting, stating that he was convinced “that our joint work will help us move towards a better future for Argentines and Brazilians.”

For his part, President Bolsonaro highlighted “the collaboration and friendship that we maintain with the peoples and State of Argentina. It is a relationship that we cherish and we will work to keep strengthening it,” he said.

“We support with interest and admiration the efforts of President Macri to boost the Argentine economy and its integration with the world,” he added, saying that President Macri “has also made significant progress in a number of other areas, despite the challenges he encountered when taking over the government of his country.”

“Under his inspiration,” he said, “Argentina has made public administration more efficient and confronted challenges in issues relating to security.”

“There are no taboos in the bilateral relationship. What inspires us is the search for concrete results that are good for the development of our countries and for the well-being of Brazilians and Argentines,” he added.

After the formal honours and ceremony at his arrival at the Planalto Palace this morning, President Macri was received by President Bolsonaro.

The leaders subsequently held a private meeting, which was then opened up to the accompanying delegates from both countries. These included from Argentina: Foreign Affairs Minister, Jorge Faurie; Treasury Minister, Nicolás Dujovne; Production Minister, Dante Sica; Security Minister, Patricia Bullrich; Defense Minister, Oscar Aguad, and Justice Minister, Germán Garavano.

Also participating from the Argentine government were Strategic Affairs Secretary, Fulvio Pompeo; Argentine Ambassador to Brazil, Carlos Magariños; Foreign Economic Relations Secretary, Horacio Reyser; and Foreign Trade Secretary, Marisa Bircher.

Completing the delegation were American Affairs Undersecretary, Leopoldo Sahores; Head of the Strategic Unit for National Security, Paola Di Chiaro; and Adviser to the Strategic Affairs Secretariat, Norberto Pontiroli.

For Brazil, the delegates included Foreign Minister, Ernesto Araújo; Justice Minister, Sergio Moro; Defense Minister, Fernando Azevedo Sulva; Economy Minister, Paulo Guedes; Agriculture Minister, Teresa Da Costa Dias; Mining and Energy Minister, Bento Costa Lima Leita Alburquerque; Science, Technology and Information Minister, Marco Pontes; and Augusto Heleno from the Institutional Security Cabinet.

In addition, General Secretary of Itamaraty, Otavio Brandelli; President of the Foreign Trade Promotion Agency, Mario Vilalba; and Secretary of Strategic Affairs, Maynard Marques de Santa Rosa were also present.


Presidents Macri and Bolsonaro agree to strengthen bilateral cooperation between Argentina and Brazil