BRASILIA – Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and Brazilian President Michel Temer on Monday praised each other’s economic reforms and said that the way was open for new investments by Spanish firms in the South American giant.
Rajoy began his official visit in Brazil by meeting with Temer at Planalto Palace, the first such meeting by a European leader since the Brazilian president took office in August 2016.
Bilateral relations, the situation in Latin America and the future association accord between the European Union and Mercosur – comprised of Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay – were some of the issues on the agenda for the meeting.
Temer, who emphasied that Rajoy’s visit was Brazil’s first bilateral get-together with a Spanish government leader in nine years, touted the significant investments by Spanish firms in Brazil and said that that commitment had been maintained even during the economic crisis experienced in the European nation.
He said that now he believed that “a new phase, a third great moment ... for Spanish investments in Brazil” is opening up.
Rajoy, meanwhile, said that there is “immense” potential for the relationship between the two nations, adding that he was sure that his trip to Brazil would help take full advantage of that.
He also emphasized that Spain’s business presence in Brazil is very powerful and Spanish firms have demonstrated that their commitment to Brasilia is ongoing, noting also that the Brazilian government has very ambitious plans for its economy.
“For all that, I’m absolutely convinced that there is still a wide margin in which to increase the presence of Spanish firms in Brazil, as well as a increase our bilateral trade,” the Spanish premier added.
Temer, meanwhile, praised the reforms undertaken in Spain under Rajoy’s leadership, adding that they are a “reference point” for what his country needs because he believes that there are many similarities between Spain and Brazil.
Among the reforms Temer specifically mentioned were the labor reform, and he added that Rajoy told him on Monday that Madrid had to confront many difficulties, including strikes, to move forward with those reforms.
“Today, Rajoy is applauded by all Spaniards taking into account the reforms approved over the course of time,” he added.
After their meeting, but before the pair made a joint appearance before reporters, Temer and Rajoy presided at the signing of a series of agreements on infrastructure, transportation, development cooperation, economic and trade cooperation, water resources and cooperation between the two nations’ diplomatic corps.
In addition, on Monday the two leaders also held a meeting with Spanish businessmen with interests in Brazil.
Rajoy is also scheduled on Monday to attend the inaugural ceremony for the Telebras-Islalink undersea telecommunications cable and the closing session of the 1st Spain-Brazil Forum, before traveling on to Sao Paulo.