BRASILIA – Brazilian President Michel Temer welcomed Colombian counterpart Juan Manuel Santos with full honors on Tuesday ahead of talks on bilateral trade, defense and environmental cooperation and the impact of the intense migratory influx from Venezuela.
Santos, who arrived in Brasilia on Monday night, participated early on Tuesday in a seminar gathering together businessmen from both countries, before heading to the presidential palace.
After hearing their respective national anthems, the two presidents went inside for a meeting where they were joined by senior officials from both governments.
Bilateral trade grew 25 percent to $3.9 billion in 2017, which represents a surplus for Brazil of approximately $1 billion.
On the regional level, Temer and Santos will discuss the deepening of the relationship between Mercosur (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay) and the Pacific Alliance (Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru), as well as Venezuela’s political, economic and social crisis, which has pushed both nations to take humanitarian measures.
It is estimated that more than 500,000 Venezuelans have entered Colombia over the past two years, while as many as 40,000 have crossed the Brazilian border, according to official figures.