Lula boarded a plane to Colombia to talk with Petro about the Venezuelan elections

Lula boarded a plane to Colombia to talk with Petro about the Venezuelan elections

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. (Photo by Nelson Almeida/AFP)

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva traveled to Colombia on Tuesday, where he and his counterpart Gustavo Petro will discuss the bilateral and regional agenda, attend a business forum and open the Bogotá International Book Fair.

Petro is scheduled to receive Lula on Wednesday at Casa de Nariño. Among the regional issues that will be on the table is the ongoing electoral process in Venezuela, against which Brazil and Colombia have expressed “concern” about obstacles to voter registration. Candidates opposing Nicolas Maduro.

He added that “the regional situation is an issue that must be addressed,” and that the election process scheduled for July 28 in Venezuela “is of interest to both countries,” which insist on strengthening dialogue that ensures “transparency” in the elections. Director of South America at the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, João Quiroz.

According to official Brazilian sources, the bilateral meeting will focus on issues of cooperation in the areas of borders, the fight against hunger, agriculture, sustainable development, bioenergy, the fight against climate change and gender equality, among other things.

Likewise, an ambitious road infrastructure plan proposed by Brazil to South American countries, which aims to build an extensive road network and is approved by major regional financial organizations, will be discussed.

Lula and Petro will also analyze trade alternatives, both bilaterally and regionally, which include pushing towards the integration of production chains in South America.

Today, Brazil is Colombia's third largest trading partner, after the United States and China.

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According to official data, total bilateral trade in 2023 reached $6.1 billion, with the balance tipped in favor of Brazil, which exported products worth $3.8 billion.

The two governments intend to expand this exchange, which will be discussed at the forum that will bring together 300 businessmen from the two countries and which Lula will conclude on Wednesday.

Lula's trip served as a pretext for the opening of the 36th International Book Fair in Bogotá, one of the most important cultural events in Colombia, and in this edition dedicated to Brazil.

The Brazilian President will attend the opening of the exhibition accompanied by Petro, where he will also be accompanied by Culture Minister Marguerite Menezes, who will remain in the Colombian capital until Saturday and is part of the delegation along with five other members of the group. treasury.

With information from EFE

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