President Barack Obama waves to the people gathered on the street outside the Ciudad de Deus (City of God) favela Community Center in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday, March 20, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
News Americas, Brasilia, Brazil, Mon. Mar. 21, 2011: President Obama used his first trip to Brazil this weekend to vow to treat the US’ “engagement with Brazil on economic issues as seriously as we do with nations like China and India.”
The President made the remark on Saturday, March 19th as he addressed a CEO Business Summit at the Tryp Convention Brasil 21 Center in Brasilia.
“This dialogue will help us do that by promoting economic cooperation, streamlining regulations, and enhancing international cooperation not only at the G20 but elsewhere,” he said.
Obama also announced that he and President Dilma Rousseff completed an agreement for a new Economic and Financial Dialogue and plan to partner with Brazil on the issue of energy.
“By some estimates, the oil you recently discovered off the shores of Brazil could amount to twice the reserves we have in the United States. We want to work with you. We want to help with technology and support to develop these oil reserves safely, and when you’re ready to start selling, we want to be one of your best customers,” said the President. “At a time when we’ve been reminded how easily instability in other parts of the world can affect the price of oil, the United States could not be happier with the potential for a new, stable source of energy.”
He also stressed that the two countries must cooperate on education and in increasing student exchanges between the two nations.
“As friends and neighbors who have lived the same story, we are eager to be a part of your future, and fulfill our American Dream together,” added Obama.
Yesterday the first family visited Ciudad de Deus Favela and the Christ the Redeemer Statue. He will move on to Chile and Ecuador before returning to the U.S. on March 23rd. He also spoke to several Brazilians in Rio at the Teatro Municipal. There he called for both nations to work together to “defend our citizens’ security,” stop narco-trafficking and achieve a world without nuclear weapons.
He also urged that the two countries “that have been greatly enriched by our African heritage, it’s absolutely vital that we are working with the continent of Africa to help lift it up.”