In this context, Argentina and Brazil will relaunch the binational program in science, technology and innovation and sign a memorandum of understanding on scientific cooperation in ocean sciences.
In the afternoon, Filmus and Barbosa de Oliveira Santos will hold a meeting at the Science and Technology Pole, during which they will discuss the priority issues of cooperation between Argentina and Brazil, and set the date for the next meeting of the Joint Commission.
The Brazilian-Argentinian binational program in science, technology and innovation, framed in the previous agreements of the 1980s and 2003, aims to deepen an action plan for the next biennium, which strengthens the bases of cooperation in priority areas in terms of of science, technology and innovation between the two countries, they said.
Meanwhile, on the eve of his arrival in Buenos Aires, Lula Da Silva signed a joint article with Alberto Fernández with different axes for regional integration, highlighting the relevance of Mercosur.
The visit to Argentina is Lula’s first international trip since taking office, performing a Brazilian rite of favoring the region’s biggest trading partner, after four years of strained relations under the government of Jair Bolsonaro.
In the text, the two presidents emphasize the need for a good relationship between Argentina and Brazil in order to take advantage of regional integration.
In the midst of the crisis that the Mercosur bloc is going through – which has not advanced for four years -, the two presidents categorically defended the system and the need for joint agreements.
Together with our partners, we want Mercosur to provide a platform for our effective integration into the world, through the joint negotiation of balanced trade agreements that meet our strategic development objectives.“wrote the presidents.
Uruguay recently announced its intention to negotiate an independent trade agreement with China and the Pacific Alliance, a bloc made up of Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru, a move that goes against the rules of Mercosur. The initiative opened a crisis between the Argentinian and Uruguayan governments, which Lula intends to help appease.
Criticism of Uruguay’s position
The Brazilian government does not look favorably on the Uruguayan initiative either, but is looking for an amicable solution. In an interview with the Folha de S. Paulo newspaper also published on Sunday, Brazilian Foreign Minister Mauro Vieira made it clear that an independent deal by Uruguay would “destroy” the bloc, but stressed that negotiations are possible.
“If you negotiate abroad, you destroy the tariff (common external, CET). It must be examined, because Mercosur is no longer the same as it was when it was created. You must see the needs of each and the asymmetries that exist,” said.
The article by the two presidents also put forward the idea of creating a common currency in the region for commercial transactions. The proposal, mentioned in an article written last year by Fernando Haddad and Gabriel Galípolo, respectively finance minister and executive secretary of the ministry, was mentioned by Lula during his electoral campaign.
“We have decided to move forward with discussions on a common South American currency that can be used for both financial and commercial flows, reducing operating costs and our external vulnerability,” the text reads.