The Brazilian government had announced the appointment of Curitiba-born 62-year-old diplomat Paulino Franco de Carlvalho Neto as the country’s ambassador to Egypt.
Speaking to the ANBA after it was made public, Neto noted that he was preparing himself for his new role by engaging in multiple discussions and reading about Brazil-Egypt relations and the recent realities of their mutual bilateral engagements.
“As an ambassador, I intend to increase bilateral trade, and for that, we already have a fundamental instrument, the Mercosur-Egypt free trade agreement,” Neto said.
He went further to state the “possibility for Brazilian companies to settle in Egypt, making use of the free zones, especially the Suez Canal, taking advantage of Egypt’s trade agreements with other countries in the region and the European Union, and eventually Brazilian companies could benefit from that.”
Brazil is a reliable trade partner for Egypt, with both countries trading on iron ore, maize, beef, and sugar.
In 2022, Brazil’s exportation reached new levels with $2.8 billion worth of goods, making Egypt the third-highest buyer of Brazil-made goods and services.
The bilateral trade relations between the two countries have grown over the years, dating back over 90 years.
Commenting on the relations between the two countries, Neto said that by 2024, both countries will celebrate a century of enduring diplomatic relations. He believed that given such a rare opportunity, there was a need for the authorities of both countries to officially visit each other. He considered the initiative to mark a century of time between the two countries remarkable and needed to be celebrated.
He expressed his interest in boosting tourism between the two countries in order to strengthen their relations.
“If you look at the social networks and conversations, Egypt is trending; Brazilians want to visit it. We have the prospect of a nonstop flight between Guarulhos International Airport and Cairo International Airport, which is expected to start this year. With that, we will have a greater flow of Brazilians going to Cairo, which means the embassy needs to be well-prepared for consular assistance,” he said. For Brazilians, a visa for Egypt can be obtained on arrival,” Neto said.
Neto also acknowledged the strategic place of Egypt in Arab relations, its population, and the attention Egypt generates as the cradle of civilization.
Neto’s long years in the corridors of government include his two ambassadorial appointments: the first was his 4-year stint in Angola between 2016 and 2020, and now he is the newly appointed Brazil’s ambassador to Cairo.
He has also held positions in the foreign affairs ministry, including as Secretary of Multilateral Political Affairs of the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Neto was responsible for negotiations on behalf of Brazil during COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.
Neto is expected in Cairo earlier than August 1, the day he will resume office as the ambassador of Brazil to Cairo.