BUENOS AIRES – Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Tuesday started his first foreign trip since being elected with a meeting in Buenos Aires with Argentine counterpart Alberto Fernandez.
Brazilian Foreign Minister Mauro Vieira said before the trip that Lula was looking to “rebuild bridges” with the international community after four years of his far-right predecessor Jair Bolsonaro’s populist leadership.
The two leftist leaders were to discuss strategic bilateral “gas integration” and a “common South American currency” for financial and trade flows, the Argentine presidency said in a statement. Lula, 77, arrived at the Casa Rosada presidential palace at 11:00 am, accompanied by his wife Rosangela da Silva. He was greeted by Fernandez and First Lady Fabiola Yanez. Brazil is Argentina’s largest trade partner, according to official figures published last week by the INDEC national statistics institute.Brazil is the top destination for Argentine exports, amounting to 14.3 percent and worth $12.7 billion in 2022.
Close to 20 percent of Argentina’s imports are from Brazil, worth just over $16 billion last year. “Argentina is the most important country in our diplomatic relations.”
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