No crisis can prevent Russia and Brazil from taking the lead in global economic growth, according to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. “Russia and Brazil have strategic relations, we are part of the BRIC group,” he told a gathering of Russian and Brazilian businessmen in Rio de Janeiro on Tuesday.
“Our countries are developing according to a similar scenario, both hoping to become the leaders of economic growth. I am convinced that our problems will be solved,” Medvedev was quoted as saying by the Vesti channel.
He described the climate in the two countries’ economic relations as “very warm,” and the potential for deeper contacts as “simply huge.” “A lot depends on our countries today, our cooperation is extremely important for the entire world. Russia is ready to cooperate with Brazil,” Medvedev emphasized.
Among other things, the Russian president believes that Russia and Brazil need to sign a double taxation convention and boost interbank relations.
“The structure of our trade is imperfect, but we are confident that it can be optimized,” he noted. “Brazil is our largest trade partner in South America. Our trade reached $5 billion in 2007, and I think we can bring it to $10 billion over the next few years,” he said.
Hi-tech and energy projects should play a greater role in Russian-Brazil ties, Medvedev stressed: “Our energy cooperation is still modest, but it has huge potential, especially regarding the development of new oil and gas fields in Russia and Brazil.”
The governor of the State of Rio de Janeiro, Sergio Cabral, invited Russian companies to join energy projects in his state, which holds 85 percent of the country’s total oil and gas reserves. The help of Russian companies was needed to develop those reserves, Cabral said. Russian gas giant Gazprom will open an office in Rio de Janeiro at the beginning of next year, according to Medvedev.
Turning to Russia’s domestic economy, he said it was set to face more problems in the near future, but assured that the government would fulfill its obligations. “Significant changes have taken place in all sectors of the Russian economy over the past ten years. Economic growth will remain at 7 percent, though we do expect some difficulties,” he explained. “Since 2001, Russia has had a double surplus: in budget and in balance of payments,” Medvedev added. “We will develop our economy, performing our social obligations and sticking to our priorities,” he concluded.