From 19 to 20 August Federal Foreign Minister Steinmeier took part in intergovernmental consultations in Brasília together with the Federal Chancellor and other government representatives. Afterwards, on 21 August, he visited São Paulo, a hub of business and culture.
The intergovernmental consultations held in Brazil’s capital Brasília from 19 to 20 August were the first of their kind between Germany and Brazil – and moreover, the first between Germany and a country in Latin America. They were a sign that the bug‑standing and broad‑based relations between Germany and Brazil should be intensified still further in future.
The agenda of the meeting between Foreign Minister Frank‑Walter Steinmeier and his opposite number Mauro Vieira focused on cooperation within the United Nations, regional issues and global challenges, as well as bilateral relations.
The bilateral talks chiefly centred on closer cooperation in the areas of business and science, technology and innovation as well as developments in connection with the environment and global climate protection. The latter played a particularly prominent role in view of the climate change conference COP 21 due to take place in Paris in late 2015. In Brasília a joint declaration on climate change was adopted, among other things.
Germany and Brazil would like to see faster progress on negotiations on an EU‑MERCOSUR free‑trade agreement. The next German‑Brazilian intergovernmental consultations are scheduled to take place in Berlin in 2017.
In an interview with the Brazilian daily newspaper “Folha de S. Paulo”, Steinmeier emphasised that relations were founded on a basis of mutual trust and shared values:
Brazil is and remains our most important partner in Latin America, notwithstanding the current domestic challenges Brazil is facing. A strengthened German‑Brazilian partnership is in the interests of both our countries, at local and global level.
Foreign Minister Steinmeier last visited Brazil in February 2015, when preparations for the consultations took place.
Promotion of German as a foreign language
Together with Brazil’s Education Minister Janine Ribeiro, Foreign Minister Frank‑Walter Steinmeier signed a joint declaration of intent on promoting German as a foreign language in Brazilian schools. Establishing an exchange among diplomats was another topic of the consultations in Brazil.
Back in February an agreement was reached on a German‑Brazilian working holiday programme, which the two foreign ministers signed on the margins of their meeting. It is aimed at young people between the ages of 18 and 30, the idea being to enable them to spend some time working in the other country. Foreign Minister Steinmeier described the agreement as “a real step forward”.
Further talks in São Paulo
Following the intergovernmental consultations in Brasília, Foreign Minister Steinmeier travelled to the major centre of business and culture São Paulo. Several hundred German companies have offices in the city. Talks with the city’s Governor, Geraldo Alckmin, consequently focused on economic cooperation and German investment in the hub São Paulo. Another topic was cultural partnership.
During his visit Foreign Minister Steinmeier also met leading representatives of German and Brazilian business and culture professionals. The trip concluded with a heartfelt reunion with Brazil’s former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.