Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff is due to pay an official visit to Nigeria this weekend, the Nigerian presidency confirmed on Friday.
President Rousseff, who is due to arrive in the capital city of Abuja on Saturday on a two-day visit, is embarking on the trip at the instance of President Goodluck Jonathan, who extended an invitation to her to visit Nigeria at a bilateral meeting between the two Presidents during the UN Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, last year.
PANA reports that the Brazilian President is expected to come with a large delegation of Brazilian business people who will explore, with their Nigerian counterparts, how to boost Brazil's investment in Nigeria and raise the volume of trade between the two nations.
In extending the invitation, President Jonathan said Nigeria would welcome increased Brazilian support and cooperation for the development of mechanised agriculture, power generation and other sectors in which Brazilians are globally acknowledged experts.
President Rousseff, in accepting the invitation, said she would come with Brazilian investors and businessmen with expertise in many fields to give them an opportunity to meet their Nigerian counterparts with a view to establishing profitable joint ventures.
She assured President Jonathan that Brazil, currently the world’s sixth largest economy, would be glad to deploy the skills and expertise which its people have acquired in many fields, including engineering, construction, technology, public infrastructure, hydro-power generation and large scale mechanised agriculture for economic growth and development in Nigeria.
PANA quotes the Nigerian-Brazilian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NBCCI) as saying the total figure of bilateral trade between Nigeria and Brazil for 2011 stood at US$9.6 billion, with the trade balance tilting heavily in favour of Nigeria.
Nigeria's total import from Brazil during that year was US$1.2 billion while its export to Brazil, mainly crude oil, was US$8.4 billion.
According to NBCCI, Nigeria is the second largest trade partner of Brazil in sub-Saharan Africa and 11th in the world. Also, Brazil is the third largest importer of Nigerian crude oil after USA and India.
Nigeria, Africa's most populous nation, and Brazil, the most populous nation in South America, have enjoyed friendly relations for years on the basis of culture and trade. Many Afro-Brazilians trace their ancestral origins to Nigeria.