Brazil: Government may expand embassy in China

6 November 2007

Sao Paulo, Brazil, 6 Nov – The Brazilian government is analyzing the possibility of extending its embassy in Beijing in order to boost relations with China, the press secretary of the Brazilian Foreign Relations Ministry told Macauhub Monday.

Fábio Rocha Frederico said that “there is a possibility,” that the Brazilian embassy in Beijing would be extended, although he noted there “is still no final position,” on the issue.

“We want to deepen our relations with non-traditional partners, such as Africa and Asia. Chancellor Celso Amorim had already said that he wants 2008 to be a year dedicated to “Asia in Brazil,” the press secretary said.

The statement from the foreign relations ministry was made after a request from the Brazil-China Business Council (CEBC), a body that brings together companies such as Vale do Rio Doce, Embraer and Odebrecht amongst its Brazilian associates. The group made the request directly to the Brazilian chancellor at the World Economic Forum, held in September in Dalian, China.

The executive-secretary of the CEBC, Rodrigo Maciel, said in an interview with Macauhub that the Brazilian embassy in Beijing “currently has a reduced workforce, which affects daily activities and consequently messes up the progress of relations between Brazil and China.”

One of the CEBC’s suggestions is the quicker issuing of entry visas into Brazil, “which have been a target of constant complaints from (Chinese) businesspeople.”

The foreign ministry representative said that the visa issue was based on reciprocity: in relation to Chinese citizens, Brazil follows the same policy adopted by Beijing for requests made by Brazilians.

Rocha Frederico, however, said that there were no problems in relation to issuing visas. “We have deadlines, but we are flexible. There are no difficulties,” he said. (macauhub)