US VP announces new stage in ties with Brazil

Updated: 2013-05-30 11:17


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US VP announces new stage in ties with Brazil

US Vice-President Joe Biden (C) accompanied by Donna Hrinak (R), president of Boeing Brazil, and US Ambassador to Brazil Thomas Shannon, speaks during a conference at the Technological park in the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), in Rio de Janeiro May 29, 2013. [Photo/Agencies]

RIO DE JANEIRO - US Vice-President Joe Biden reaffirmed Wednesday that the United States believes the year 2013 will mark the beginning of a new stage in relations with Brazil, saying Brazil is no longer a developing country but a developed one.

In a speech in Rio de Janeiro's port zone, Biden praised Brazil for its social and economic progress over the past few years and said the South American powerhouse can no longer be described as a developing nation.

"You defeated inflation and took 40 million people out of poverty," Biden said in his speech.

He said the United States could collaborate with Brazil in deep-water energy exploration off Brazil's Atlantic coast.

"Brazil is a leader in renewable fuels and energy. We have much experience in extracting energy from deep waters and we are ready to be partners," Biden said.

Earlier, Biden visited the labs of Brazil's oil giant Petrobras and the technology facilities of the Rio de Janeiro Federal University (UFRJ).

At a press conference, the US vice president stressed the need to boost ties between the United States and other nations in the Americas, and asked for Brazil's help to that end.

"We've never had so many capable partners ... But no partner is more significant in this endeavor than Brazil," he said.

Biden said Brazil needs to invest in the United States and the two nations should embrace the opportunity to improve their relationship in some sectors.

He cited as an example the scientific scholarship program that allows Brazilians to study in 46 US states.

Biden praised the Brazilian welfare program, including government subsidies for poor households, adding that the rest of the world sees Brazil with "a little bit of envy".

Biden arrived in Brazil Tuesday on a three-day visit, as part of his swing Latin American tour that has taken him to Colombia and Trinidad and Tobago.

On Friday, Biden will meet with Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff and Vice-President Michel Temer to discuss security and energy issues.