Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva announced on Monday that Vietnam has shown interest in establishing a trade deal with the Mercosur bloc, consisting of Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay. Lula, who is currently chairing the Mercosur group, aims to foster closer relations between Mercosur members and Asian countries. He highlighted the potential for increased trade with Vietnam and welcomed Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh in Brasilia.
This development occurs as Mercosur seeks to finalize a long-awaited trade agreement with the European Union, which Lula hopes to conclude by the end of the year. Talks have been ongoing for two decades but have faced delays due to environmental concerns. Additionally, Mercosur is engaged in trade discussions with Canada, South Korea, and Singapore. Lula has previously hinted at potential trade agreements with China, Indonesia, Vietnam, as well as countries in Central America and the Caribbean.
President Lula expressed his intention to enhance cooperation between Brazil and Vietnam in various sectors, including agriculture, education, and defense. Both governments signed agreements covering these areas during their meeting. The agriculture agreement is expected to increase Vietnam's market access to Brazilian products.
A memorandum of understanding on defense represents the initial step toward a potential future agreement that could facilitate Brazilian defense product exports to Vietnam, including aircraft. Vietnamese Prime Minister Minh Chinh visited Brazilian plane maker Embraer's headquarters in Sao Paulo state during his visit.
President Lula thanked Vietnam for its support for Brazil's aspiration to become a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council and accepted an invitation to visit Hanoi next year. He emphasized the shared commitment of both nations to peace, multilateralism, sustainable development, and addressing global challenges like hunger and poverty. Both countries aim for greater representation in international governance.