RIO DE JANEIRO – The presidents of Brazil and Colombia – Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Alvaro Uribe – met on Wednesday and discussed the possibility of adopting local currencies in place of the dollar in bilateral commercial transactions, authorities said.
“The Brazilian president proposed the possibility of establishing with Colombia an identical mechanism to the one that Brazil already has with Argentina and is studying with Uruguay, which is bilateral trade in national currencies,” the Brazilian president’s international relations adviser, Marco Aurelio Garcia, told reporters.
“Uribe said he would inform his finance minister so that he can get in touch as quickly as possible with (Brazilian Finance) Minister Guido Mantega to discuss that matter,” Garcia said.
Lula and Uribe held a short meeting in Rio, where the latter arrived on Tuesday night to participate in the fourth World Economic Summit for Latin America.
According to the summary of the 11th meeting between the two heads of state presented by Garcia, the two leaders mainly discussed issues that will be dealt with at the Summit of the Americas, which will begin on Friday in Trinidad and Tobago.
Regarding bilateral matters, the two men discussed ways to increase trade between the two countries, including adopting the peso and the real in place of the U.S. dollar, business and trade missions and possibly creating a Brazilian credit line to finance business in Colombia.
Despite expectations that Uribe would take advantage of the meeting to broach matters like security along the two nations’ mutual border and the threats posed by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FAC, guerrilla group, Garcia said that that matter was not discussed. EFE