Brazil: Hillary Clinton talks up business ties

Apr 16, 2012, 11:02 PM

BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited the Brazilian capital a week after Brazil’s president visited the United States, highlighting the growing business ties between the countries.

Speaking to Brazil’s National Confederation of Industry on Monday, Clinton said a growing number of Brazilians are investing in the United States and visiting as tourists.

Last year, trade between the two reached $75 billion, with Brazilian investment in the U.S. growing to $15.5 billion a year. Brazilian visitors alone spent $7 billion last year, an increase of 150 percent over 2009, Clinton said. To facilitate Brazilian tourism in the United States, the U.S. plans to open two new consulates in Brazil, she said.

Clinton briefly mentioned meeting with Graca Foster, the CEO of Brazilian oil company Petrobras to discuss the future exploration of oil reserves off the Brazilian coastline.

The two countries are planning extensive exchange programs in technology and education meant to bolster mutual ties and fuel job growth and innovation on both sides, Clinton said.

“This is such a critical partnership in so many dimensions,” she said. “Its economic dimension is growing increasingly important.”

Clinton also said the two countries should redouble efforts to conclude a double taxation treaty, explore a bilateral investment treaty, and consider a free trade agreement.

“We can do so much more,” she said. “The opportunity and potential for greater investment, trade, growth and jobs is only now being tapped.”

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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Brazil: Hillary Clinton talks up business ties