Brazil is aiming to flourish the Lebanese markets by committing to Mercosur- Lebanon free trade agreement to fruition, which potentially can create jobs for Lebanon and the Lebanese. It will certainly help Lebanon’s economic market after the almost deadly crash the economy has been dealing with for the past months.
Mercosur, officially Southern Common Market, is a South American trade bloc established by the Treaty of Asunción in 1991. Its main purpose is importing, exporting, and balancing trade between South American countries and their allies.
The new ambassador of Brazil in Beirut, expected to take office in April, is aiming to create jobs for the Lebanese as he believes that Lebanon is a “modest market for Brazil” and that the market size and output volume is where the skills of Lebanese are sure to be needed.
The Brazilian ambassador-to-be, Diplomat Hermano Telles Ribeiro, said to the Brazil-Arab News Agency: “The disparity in scale is so big that we need to offer a unique treatment, one that’s more favorable to the exports from Lebanon as well, because jobs mean stability, more stability in the country.”
According to the Worldometer elaboration of the latest United Nations data, the population of Lebanese people in Brazil reached 6,836,681 as of Saturday, February 15th, 2020. In return, Ribeiro noted that the population of Brazilians in Lebanon is also one of the biggest in the country.
“The Brazilian population in Lebanon is one of the biggest in the country, in the 17,000 to 18,000 range. This is an ascending curve, and we must be ready to serve this community,” Ribeiro stated.
Lebanese expats in Brazil are known to be loyal to both Lebanon and Brazil. They have created some of the biggest business companies in Brazil, like Clube Monte Libano in Rio De Janeiro, and Banco Safra S.A., which is Brazil’s sixth-largest commercial bank.
Lebanese diaspora has also helped in enriching the Brazilian culture with Lebanese traditions and cuisine. Brazilians love Lebanese food so much that they now believe some of our most famous dishes are actually their own.
According to a Lebanese who was living in Brazil, “Lebanese food is so well known to the point that Brazilians living in the countryside believe that they actually are Brazilian food! Food such as the kibbeh, sfeeha, raw kibbeh, labneh, hummus, and wara2 3enab.”
The diplomat Rebeiro is also seeking to partner with local entrepreneurs and invest in the Lebanese markets that affect the community where the Lebanese and Brazilians live in within Lebanon. His plan is to embark on projects that implement relations and strengthen the ties between both countries.
Rebeiro confirmed that he would like to continue the projects of the former ambassador of Brazil in Beirut. Paulo Cordeiro served as Brazil’s ambassador to Lebanon and died in a car crash last year, along with his wife Vera Lúcia Ribeiro Estrela de Andrade Pinto.
According to ANBA, the new ambassador would like to begin his journey by initially meeting with Lebanese politicians and religious groups “to learn about the country’s scenario and discuss the Brazilian experience.”