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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
04PARAMARIBO184 2004-02-27 19:24:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Paramaribo
Cable title:  

BRAZILIAN PRESIDENT TO VISIT SURINAME: TRADE,

Tags:   PREL ECON EAGR ETRD NS 
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1. ACCORDING TO THE FEBRUARY 24 EDITION OF THE LOCAL DAILY
"DE WARE TIJD," SURINAMESE MINISTER OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY
MICHAEL JONG TJIEN FA ANNOUNCED DURING LOCAL CARNIVAL
CELEBRATIONS ON FEBRUARY 20 A VISIT BY BRAZILIAN PRESIDENT
LUS INCIO LULA DA SILVA TO SURINAME AT THE END OF
MARCH/EARLY APRIL. SOURCES AT THE MINISTRIES OF FOREIGN
AFFAIRS AND TRADE AND INDUSTRY TOLD THE EMBASSY THAT
SURINAME'S MAIN GOAL IS TO SECURE A TRADE AGREEMENT WITH
BRAZIL, WHICH WOULD GRANT IT GREATER ACCESS TO THE BRAZILIAN
MARKET FOR RICE, WOOD, AND OTHER PRODUCTS. THIS AGREEMENT
IS ESPECIALLY NEEDED TO SHORE UP THE COUNTRY'S TROUBLED RICE
INDUSTRY. A TEMPORARY MEASURE THAT ALLOWED SURINAME TO
EXPORT RICE TO BRAZIL AT A REDUCED TARIFF RATE OF 4 PERCENT
INSTEAD OF THE 11 PERCENT TARIFF LEVIED ON NON-MERCOSUR
COUNTRIES EXPIRED IN DECEMBER 2003. (SEE REFTEL FOR A FULL
DISCUSSION OF SURINAME-BRAZIL RELATIONS.)



2. SURINAME WOULD ALSO LIKE TO CONTINUE DIALOGUE ON THE
INTEGRATION OF REGIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE IN SOUTH AMERICA
(IRISA) PROJECT, A TRANSPORTATION AND COMMUNICATION PROJECT
THAT WOULD LINK NORTHERN BRAZIL WITH THE GUIANAS. THE
PROJECT, WHICH HAS BEEN UNDER DISCUSSION FOR YEARS, HAS SEEN
LITTLE PROGRESS TO DATE.



3. IN A FOLLOW-UP CONVERSATION WITH THE AMBASSADOR, RICARDO
LUIZ VIANA DE CARVALHO, THE RESIDENT BRAZILIAN AMBASSADOR,
ADDED THAT IT IS EXPECTED TWO AGREEMENTS NEGOTIATED WITH
SURINAME, ONE INVOLVING AN EXTRADITION TREATY AND ANOTHER
INVOLVING THE REGISTRATION OF BRAZILIAN NATIONALS, WILL BE
SIGNED DURING THE PRESIDENTIAL VISIT. THE LATTER ACCORD
WOULD GIVE THE ESTIMATED 40,000 BRAZILIANS HERE LEGAL BUT
NOT PERMANENT RESIDENCE STATUS.



4. COMMENT. FOR ISOLATED SURINAME, A VISIT BY BRAZILIAN
PRESIDENT LULA IS A CELEBRATED EVENT SINCE VISITS BY HEADS
OF STATE ARE FEW AND FAR BETWEEN. THE LULA VISIT PROVIDES
THE VENETIAAN ADMINISTRATION WITH AN OPPORTUNITY TO SECURE A
TRADE AGREEMENT THAT GUARANTEES SURINAME GREATER ACCESS TO
THE BRAZILIAN MARKET AHEAD OF THE UPCOMING 2005 ELECTIONS.
A TRADE AGREEMENT WITH A POWERHOUSE LIKE BRAZIL WOULD BE
TANGIBLE PROOF THAT THE RULING NEW FRONT COALITION IS
ACTIVELY FORWARDING SURINAME'S ECONOMIC/COMMERCIAL
INTERESTS. MORE BROADLY SPEAKING, A TRADE AGREEMENT, AN
EXTRADITION TREATY, AND THE GRANTING OF LEGAL STATUS TO
BRAZILIANS HERE WOULD BE MILESTONES FOR SURINAME-BRAZIL
RELATIONS AS THEY WOULD SIGNAL GREATER COOPERATION BETWEEN
THE TWO COUNTRIES ON CRITICAL POLICY ISSUES (TRADE, LAW
ENFORCEMENT, AND IMMIGRATION). END COMMENT.



5. MINIMIZE CONSIDERED.

BARNES

NNNN
2004PARAMA00184 - Classification: UNCLASSIFIED



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