BRASILIA – Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy arrived in Brazil on Sunday on an official visit during which he will meet with President Michel Temer and pursue a markedly economic agenda that will also take him to Sao Paulo.
The Spanish air force jet carrying Rajoy landed shortly before 3 pm at the Brasilia airport, where the premier was received by Spain’s envoy to Brazil, Manuel de la Camara, and Brazil’s ambassador to Madrid, Antonio Simoes.
Rajoy’s visit to Brazil is the first by the head of a European government since Temer took over the presidency last May.
The Spanish leader’s official agenda will begin on Monday with his meeting with Temer, but on Sunday he will receive information on the first-round presidential vote in France and, being a huge soccer fan, he will watch the Spanish “El Clasico” soccer matchup between Real Madrid and Barcelona on television.
Rajoy will meet with Temer in Planalto Palace, where the pair will preside over the signing of several agreements and will later appear before reporters.
To be discussed at the meeting are bilateral relations, the political and economic situations of the two nations, the current Latin American scenario – including the crisis in Venezuela – and other international issues.
The premier will take advantage of the occasion to reaffirm Spain’s full commitment to the association accord being negotiated between the European Union and Mercosur, the regional bloc comprised of Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay.
On Monday, after lunching with the Brazilian president, Rajoy will travel to Sao Paulo, where he will attend the inauguration ceremony for the Telebras-Islalink undersea telecommunications cable and will help bring the 1st Spain-Brazil Forum to a close.
On Tuesday, he will meet with Sao Paulo Gov. Geraldo Alckmin and with representatives of the Spanish community in Sao Paulo state before attending a meeting between businessmen from both countries. He will travel on to Uruguay later in the day.
Bilateral trade rose to 5.2 billion euros ($5.7 billion) in 2016 between Brazil and Spain, with the South American giant being Spain’s second-largest customer in Latin America.
Moreover, Brazil is the third-largest destination for Spanish investment, behind the US and the UK.