Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos arrived in Brazil on Tuesday, and will meet with his Brazilian counterpart Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Wednesday.
Santos is in Brazil primarily to strengthen trade ties between the two South American nations. According to official figures, Colombia and Brazil trade is worth $2.7 billion and growing as the economies in the region recover from the world economic crisis in 2009.
The Colombian president is also expected to discuss border security, as the countries’ shared border mostly consists of dense Amazon jungle, which according to Colombian intelligence is often used by leftwing guerrillas and drug traffickers to escape Colombian security forces.
“The decade that begun this year is the decade of Latin America. The whole world is focusing its attention on Latin America, because it has what the world is looking for. Because of this we must strengthen the integration. Because of this, countries like Brazil and Colombia need to strengthen their trade, economic and democratic ties. This is why we come,” Santos said after his arrival in the capital Brasilia.
Colombia and Brazil have a friendly relationship, with Lula offering to mediate the diplomatic crisis that unfolded between Colombia and Venezuela in July.