Foreign Minister Aloysio Nunes Ferreira will visit seven Asian countries, between May 7 and 25, with a view to deepen and reaffirm Brazil’s full engagement with traditional partners which are increasingly becoming important actors in the most dynamic region of the global economy.
The first part of the visit will include four of the ten members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) - Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam. A second phase will cover China (Beijing and Shangai), Japan and South Korea.
On his first day in Singapore (May 7), minister Aloysio Nunes Ferreira met with Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan, with the Minister for Trade and Industry, S. Iswaran, and with the president of the sovereign wealth fund GIC (Government of Singapore Investment Corporation), Lim Chow Kiat.
During the meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ministers Aloysio Nunes Ferreira and Vivian Balakrishnan signed the ‘Agreement for the elimination of double taxation of income and prevention of tax evasion and avoidance’, which will promote a large increase of investment flows between the two countries.
The Brazilian foreign minister also handed over to his counterpart a letter from president Michel Temer addressed to president Halimah Yacob.
During the meeting with Lim Chow Kiat, president of the sovereign wealth fund GIC, minister Aloysio Nunes addressed the domestic reform agenda, the recovery of Brazilian economic indicators and investment opportunities in Brazil, particularly in the area of infrastructure. The president of GIC expressed to the Brazilian foreign minister the fund’s willingness to continue to invest in several sectors of the Brazilian economy. The fund follows a long-term strategy and has invested in Brazil for 20 years, running an office in São Paulo since 2014.
In their meeting, ministers Aloysio Nunes Ferreira and S. Iswaran agreed on diversifying the economic partnerships of their respective countries. On the occasion, they discussed the deepening of bilateral trade relations, the Mercosur-Singapore exploratory dialogue, approved at the last summit meeting of the bloc with a view to reach a free trade agreement, as well as the rapprochement of Mercosur and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations - ASEAN.
Singapore is the fourth-largest direct investor of Asia in Brazil, with a stock of 1.4 billion dollars in 2015. The country has significant investments in Brazil in the areas of airport administration and shipbuilding. In the past years, Brazil has been keeping a trade surplus with Singapore of about 2 billion dollars (2017), with the export of high value added products such as oil platform. Singapore maintains a wide network of trade and investment agreements in the region and beyond. The country is home to the regional offices of several Brazilian companies.