, Armenia
Jan 2 2012

Economic relations between Brazil and Armenia are incipient -
Interview with Ambassador (photo)

January 02, 2012 | 13:27

Armenian presents an interview with Brazil's Ambassador
to Armenia H.E. Marcela M. Nicodemos.

How do you assess current level of relations between Armenia and Brazil?

The current level of Brazilian-Armenian relations is very good. In the
past and current year several important events took place, which
represented a major boost to the bilateral relations. First, I have to
mention the opening, in December, 2010, of the Armenian Embassy in
Brasilia. Also, the visit of Minister Edward Nalbandian to Brasilia,
in January of this year, to participate in the inauguration ceremonies
of President Dilma Rousseff. Besides, also in the past few years, the
two countries started the implementation of a technical cooperation
program. So far, it has concentrated mainly in the civil defense area.
The Brazilian experts are sharing with specialists from the Ministry
of Emergency Situations their experience in the field, through
capacity building courses, three of which took place here in Yerevan,
and two in Brasilia. Technical cooperation in the agricultural field
is already in the pipeline.

But there is still a lot more to be done and both countries are
working on that. From the Brazilian side, we hope to be able to
reciprocate the several high level Armenian visits to Brazil. Minister
Nalbandian invited the Brazilian Minister of External Relations to
visit Armenia and we hope the visit can take place in 2012.

What are the prospects of development of economic relations between
our countries? In what fields of economy can Armenian-Brazilian
relations develop?

In fact, the economic relations between Brazil and Armenia are
incipient. This is one of the fields in which more effort is needed
from both sides. Our bilateral trade is far from what it could be. I
think the first thing that needs to be done to address this issue is
to create awareness among business people from each country of the
potentialities and the comparative advantages of the other. This
effort is being made on a daily basis, but it takes time to see the

There are other ways to expedite this process, though. One of them is
to promote and organize business missions to the other country, in
order to allow business people to get to know in loco the other's
market, needs, strengths and opportunities. Another thing that can be
done, but that requires already existing business contacts and a
regular trade flow between the two countries, is the establishment of
bilateral chambers of commerce, with the goal of promoting trade and
investment both ways.

I think that all these initiatives can be encouraged by governmental
authorities, especially in the context of high level visits, even
though ultimately trade and economic relations depend on the business
people themselves.

How do you like to spend the holidays? What Brazilian Christmas or New
Year tradition can you name?

For me, the Holiday Season, that is Christmas and New Year, is to be
spent with the family. Therefore, every year, my husband and I make
every effort to travel and join our two sons, who live in the United
States. I would love to be able to gather my sons, my husband, my
mother, my siblings and their sons and daughters, so that we all could
be together for Christmas and New Year. Unfortunately, this is not
possible right now, because we live in Armenia, our sons live in the
US and the rest of my family lives in Brazil.

We have our Christmas tree, we prepare our Christmas supper, exchange
gifts, and have a great time together. For New Year, once we are in
the United States, we like to enjoy the snow and go skiing. It is a
joyous time, especially because we are together.

I think that Christmas in Brazil is pretty much like Christmas in most
Western countries. Except for the fact that we never have a `white
Christmas' in Brazil. This time of the year the weather is hot and
very good to go to the many beaches we have.

But for New Year we have a special and very beautiful tradition,
mainly if you are in the city of Rio de Janeiro. Shortly before
midnight all the people, dressed in white, gather in the Copacabana
Beach. They bring with them white flowers and food. Sharply at
midnight, everybody gets into the sea and offer the flowers and the
food to Yemanjah, which is the God of The Seas. With it, they expect
that Yemanjah will protect them in the New Year. This is a tradition
that dates back to the time of African slaves in Brazil. But now, at
the same time, a fireworks show starts, coming from the sea to the top
of the high rise buildings along the coast line. I think it's worth
watching it at least once in a life time.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress