The first Major Binational Business Round between Venezuela and Brazil will be held in Venezuela the first week of December, with the presence of president Hugo Chávez and Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

The president of the Bank of External Commerce, Víctor Alvarez explained that an attendance of over 500 exporting and importing companies from both countries is expected. “With this effort, we expect to raise trade between both countries to 2 billion U$ in 2004, and to stabilize this commercial exchange at 2.5 billion U$ in 2005”.

He added that for this purpose, Bancoex will offer several incentives, such as technical and financial assistance, including preferential loans; and free training and advise, in support of the business sector. “The purpose of these forums to be held nationwide, is to promote business rounds as a novel mechanism of commercial integration, promoted by the Bolivarian Government in the context the ALBA (Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas), as an alternative policy of fair trade, in opposition to the FTAA’s free market thesis.”, said Alvarez.

It is important to point out that these business rounds will have an advanced technological platform (software) that will enable businessmen to register the profile of the products they either offer or require, spot and monitor their potential business counterparts, and arrange their business agenda.

Alvarez, pointed out that Venezuela and Brazil have complementary goals, and that they can unite efforts to accomplish the goals of both countries. The combination of political and economic interests, that is, the encounter of both the First Brazilian-Venezuelan Major Business Round and a Binational High Level Commission, to look over topics in the binational agenda, could prepare the ground for a very active 2005 for both nations in many areas.

Both nations are interested in supporting and promoting the business and commercial sectors, under the perspective of Latin American integration. Brazil has been working for a year in the development of a program for the competitive substitution of imports with its neighboring countries. And Venezuela, under the commitment of making regional integration effective, is also carrying out efforts to consolidate its ties with the nations in the region.

Published in Quantum N.38