The Vice-President of the Federal Republic of Brazil, H. E. Michel Temer, and his Nigerian counterpart, H. E. Arch. Mohammed Namadi Sambo, GCON met in Brasilia, on 26 November, 2013, as co-chairs of the Inaugural Session of the Brazil-Nigeria Mechanism for Strategic Dialogue.
2. In declaring the Session open, the Vice-Presidents noted with satisfaction that the bilateral relationship between Brazil and Nigeria has been very cordial, open and forthright since its official establishment in 1961.
3. In the course of the Inaugural Session, they further noted that the bilateral agenda between the two countries, as developing nations, is anchored primarily on issues of economic and social development.
4. They also observed that the robust relations between their countries were based on centuries-old strong cultural ties. In that regard, they acknowledged the valuable cultural contributions of the Nigerian people to the formation of the Brazilian nationality.
5. It was highlighted that the dialogue between Brazil and Nigeria had been fundamental to the creation, in 2006, of the Africa-South America Forum, which held its last Summit in February, 2013, in the capital city of Equatorial Guinea, Malabo.
6. The Vice-Presidents noted that, over the years, the bilateral relations were enhanced by high-level contact. In that connection, they recalled the visits of President Lula to Nigeria in 2005 and 2006, and the visit of President Umaru Musa Yar-Adua to Brazil in 2009. They also highlighted the visit by President Goodluck Jonathan to Brazil in June 2012, to participate in the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), during which he held useful bilateral talks with President Dilma Rousseff.
7. They underscored the importance of the State Visit of President Dilma Rousseff to Nigeria in February 2013, which contributed to the strengthening of bilateral relations between the two countries, and identified the 'Memorandum of Understanding for the Establishment of the Mechanism for Strategic Dialogue', signed on that occasion, as an essential instrument for expanding and deepening their bilateral cooperation.
8. The Vice-Presidents congratulated each other for the active participation of Ministers and high-level government officials from both countries in the meeting, noting that it demonstrated the dynamism and diversity of the bilateral agenda.
9. The Vice-Presidents expressed deep satisfaction at the organization of a Seminar in Abuja in August 2013 with the objective of showcasing in Nigeria, the latest development in Brazilian agricultural sector over the last decade. They welcomed the useful contacts made between authorities and researchers of the rice production sectors of both countries.
10. They also recalled the visit of the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of Nigeria, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, to Brazil in April 2013, during which he held meetings with Embrapa, the Ministry of Social Development, the Ministry of Agrarian Development, and the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Food Supply of Brazil.
11. The Vice-Presidents highlighted the bilateral trade, which reached more than USD 9 billion in 2012. In that context, they recalled that Nigeria is the main commercial partner of Brazil in Africa, while Brazil is the main commercial partner of Nigeria in Latin America.
12. The Vice-Presidents underlined the importance of the Inauguration of the Mechanism for Strategic Dialogue which coincided with the Commercial and Investment Forum that took place in Rio de Janeiro, for the promotion of Brazil-Nigeria business opportunities.
13. They expressed satisfaction with the governmental and business mission led by the Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Development, Industry, and Foreign Trade (MDIC), Mr. Ricardo Schaefer, to Nigeria, in October 2013, which resulted in the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Trade and Investment Promotion between the two countries. The MoU provided for the creation of a Joint Working Group for the Promotion and Facilitation of Trade and Investment, where issues regarding trade, investment, official financing and professional education will be discussed.
14. They also recalled with satisfaction the mission carried out by Mr. Luiz Eduardo Melin, Director of International Affairs of the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES), to Nigeria in September 2013 which was undertaken with a view to strengthening the financial relationship between the two countries. It created an avenue for promoting cooperation between BNDES and other important Nigerian Financial Institutions.
15. The Vice-Presidents underscored the importance of establishing direct air link between the two countries and acknowledged that Brazilian and Nigerian airline companies have advanced in their negotiations.
16. The importance of energy for the development and industrialization efforts in both countries was highlighted by both Vice-Presidents. In that context, they mentioned the Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the field of energy, signed in 2009, establishing a Working Group in order to promote bilateral cooperation in the areas of petroleum, gas, electricity, energy efficiency, and biofuels.
17. The Memorandum signed in 2012 between Eletrobras and the Nigerian Ministry of Trade and Investment was also recalled by the two Vice-Presidents as well as the Brazilian company's mission to Nigeria in October, 2013.
18. The Vice-Presidents highlighted that the cooperation in the defense field between Brazil and Nigeria has deepened substantially. Despite these major achievements, there is further room for expansion. The Defence Sector offers different possibilities, especially in the areas of training of military personnel, defense industry development, and combating sea piracy, and cooperation for the security of the South Atlantic. They further underscored the need for closer cooperation between the two military forces, development of military infrastructure, and assistance for ship building and naval projects. They agreed that the first meeting of the Defense Working Group will be held in March 2014, in Brazil, at Ministerial level. In this regard, the Minister of Defense of Brazil invited his Nigerian counterpart to visit Brazil on that occasion.
19. On historical and cultural affinities between Brazil and Nigeria, the Vice-Presidents observed that approximately 50% of the Brazilian population regard themselves as being of African descent. They also pointed out that there are common interests in various areas, such as music, theater, plastic arts, and literature. In this context, the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the Area of Cultural Rights, Combat against Discrimination, the Promotion of Racial Equality and Related Activities in 2010 was underlined.
20. The two leaders emphasized the importance of deepening the dialogue in the area of Legal and Consular matters. They recalled the signing of the Agreement on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters in 2005 and directed its immediate implementation.
21. The Vice-Presidents expressed their satisfaction with the successful outcome of the Inaugural Session of the Mechanism for Strategic Dialogue and commended the creation of Working Groups in the following identified areas: Agriculture; Food Security and Rural Development; Consular and Legal Issues; Defense; Mining; Energy; Trade and Investment; Culture and Infrastructure.
22. Finally, the Vice-Presidents agreed that the 2nd Session of the Mechanism for Strategic Dialogue will be held in Abuja, on a date to be agreed upon by both parties through diplomatic channels.
Done at Brasilia on 26th November, 2013.