President Moon Jae-in spoke on the phone with President of the Federative Republic of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro for 20 minutes from 9:00 p.m. today. The two Presidents discussed issues of mutual interest, including the election of the Director-General of the World Trade Organization.
President Moon said, “I find it fortunate that the recent COVID-19 situation in Brazil is stabilizing to some extent and that your economy also seems to be on track for recovery.” He went on to say, “Brazil is the country where Korea has its largest presence in Central and South America, and I look forward to our two countries expanding bilateral cooperation, not only in COVID-19 responses but also in various fields such as trade, infrastructure, science, technology and healthcare.”
President Bolsonaro said that he had visited Korea before becoming President and that he has always respected and regarded it as an exemplary country. The President added that he is grateful for the Korean Government’s support with COVID-19 diagnostic kits. In addition, President Bolsonaro congratulated President Moon on Korea’s recent National Foundation Day.
President Moon said, “I am well aware that Brazil, home of the most-recent WTO Director-General, has made significant contributions to the development of the WTO.” Requesting support in the process to elect a new Director-General, the President continued, “Korea’s candidate, Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee, is the most qualified person to achieve our two countries’ shared goals of expanding free trade, advancing the WTO and restoring the multilateral trade system.”
President Bolsonaro said that he fully recognizes the capability of Korea’s candidate.
President Moon said, “Our two countries are members of the International Vaccine Institute headquartered in Seoul and are actively participating in Covax, the global vaccine supply mechanism. I am looking forward to close bilateral cooperation on the equitable development and distribution of vaccines.” He went on to say, “I hope that an MOU on healthcare cooperation will strengthen mutually beneficial collaboration between Korea and Brazil, a country that has abundant biological and genetic resources and advanced science and technology.”
President Bolsonaro replied that his country is ready to cooperate in all the aforementioned areas. He expressed his hope that the two countries grow even closer through various types of cooperation, including joint research programs in the field of biodiversity.
Noting last year’s 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations being established between the two countries, the two leaders agreed to expand bilateral trade to mark the beginning of another 60 years and resume negotiations on the Korea-MERCOSUR trade agreement as soon as possible.