Brazil Lula’s Biofuel Boosting Tour Takes Him to Spain

    Brazilian president Lula and Spanish counterpart Zapatero

    Brazilian president Lula and Spanish counterpart Zapatero Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva arrived this weekend in Spain where beginning Monday, September 17, he has a heavy schedule of political and economic meetings. He is in search of more investments  from Madrid.

    On Monday Lula and his delegation of top officials from Brazilian government and private companies, will open a trade and investment forum with the cream of Spain's business and financial community.

    The forum is in the framework of the Growth Acceleration Program announced by Lula when he was re-elected last year and is based on massive infrastructure investment to ensure 4% to 5% annual growth of the Brazilian economy.

    "The idea is to generate a second wave of Spanish investments in Brazil", said a top official from the delegation. Spain, which until the early nineties virtually had no investments in Brazil, has become the second foreign investor behind the United States, totaling an estimated US$ 35 billion.

    But the Brazilian president is also interested in political talks with president José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero and cooperation in several areas of Latin America to ensure political stability, with particular emphasis in Bolivia and Ecuador that have become "turbulent" areas for foreign investors particularly in the oil and gas industry.

    The Brazilian president arrived in Madrid from a six day visit to Scandinavian countries, the first ever by a Brazilian leader. Lula has visited Finland, Sweden, Denmark, and Norway, always promoting the use of biofuels. Brazil is the world's biggest ethanol exporter.

    Brazil and Spain are also scheduled to sign several bilateral agreements on energy cooperation, mainly bio-fuels and promotion of scientific activities.

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