With Juan Manuel Santos scheduled to leave for Brazil on his first official visit as Colombian president Tuesday, Colombian Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin said in a press release that the Andean nation views Brazil as a “strategic partner” in the region.
“This is a visit to a strategic partner, a partner very important for Colombia, with which we want first-hand contact and a close relationship in order the increase the flow, not only on a level of political dialogue, but also on a commercial level, on the level of investment. We believe that Brazil, for its strategic regional importance, is a great partner for Colombia,” the statement reads.
Business, trade and investment will top Santos’ agenda during his two-day visit to Brazil. As well as meeting with President Lula da Silva, Santos will also meet with Brazilian presidential candidates and businessmen.
Colombian Trade Minister Sergio Diaz Granados said that Colombia will seek greater trade with Brazil and will promote Brazilian investment in Colombia. Trade between the two South American nations amounts to $2.6 billion a year.
The Colombian military expressed hope that the two presidents will discuss border security. Armed forces commander Edgar Cely told Caracol Radio that an improved military cooperation between the countries could make it more difficult for illegal armed groups to walk in and out of Colombia.
Colombia and Brazil have a friendly relationship, with Lula offering to mediate the diplomatic crisis that unfolded between Colombia and Venezuela in July.