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Yellen highlights common goals with Brazil on climate, development

2023-05-11T06:52:24Z

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen speaks during a press conference, at the G7 meeting of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors, at Toki Messe in Niigata, Japan, Thursday, May 11, 2023. Shuji Kajiyama/Pool via REUTERS

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen highlighted the fight against climate change and other goals shared by the United States and Brazil, in a meeting with Brazilian Finance Minister Fernando Haddad in Japan on Thursday.

Japan, chairing the Group of Seven advanced economies this year, invited Brazil to take part in this week’s meeting of G7 finance ministers and central bankers, along with India, Indonesia and the African Union. Brazil will lead the Group of 20 major economies next year.

Yellen welcomed Brazil’s participation, saying the U.S. and Brazil, the largest democracies in the Americas, stood united in upholding their democratic values at home and abroad.

“We must all partner together to address the global challenges we face today, and Brazil’s role in those global efforts will be critical in its G20 presidency next year,” she told Haddad, in remarks prepared for delivery at the start of their meeting on the sidelines of the G7 gathering in the Japanese city of Niigata.

The two countries also shared goals on climate change, building high-quality infrastructure, mobilising private capital for development and combating poverty, she said.

“At a time of heightened uncertainty and risks, we must work together to show developing countries that the G20 can provide practical, actionable solutions,” Yellen said.

The meeting comes weeks after the Biden administration said it would contribute $500 million to Brazil’s Amazon Fund, although there have been tensions between the two countries over Western arms shipments to Ukraine.

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva angered some in the West by saying Washington was encouraging the fighting between Ukraine and Russia. He later toned down his comments and condemned Russia for violating Ukraine’s territorial integrity.

Yellen did not address Brazil’s stance on Russia’s invasion in her prepared remarks. She has spoken about a big push by the United States and its allies to go after any sanctions evasion by Russia, and highlighted efforts to build more resilient supply chains together with lower- and middle-income countries.

“As both friends and important trading partners, we seek to deepen our economic relationship,” she said, lauding what she called “Brazil’s significant progress in modernising its financial system.”

Treasury was also working with Brazilian authorities to help them expand public-private partnerships and long-term finance through capital markets, she said.

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