June 29, 2019 / 3:33 PM / in 22 days

Bolsonaro says EU-Mercosur deal should trigger 'domino effect' boosting Brazil trade

Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro attends the handover ceremony for Government Secretary Jorge Antonio de Oliveira Francisco at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil June 24, 2019. REUTERS/Adriano Machado

(Reuters) - Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said on Saturday that the free trade treaty agreed by the European Union and South American bloc Mercosur should trigger a domino effect, encouraging other countries to also negotiate with Brazil.

The EU and Mercosur concluded two decades of talks on Friday, committing to more open markets in the face of a rising tide of protectionism.

“Surely other countries will be interested in negotiating with us, Japan included,” Bolsonaro told journalists on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Osaka, adding he expected a “domino effect”.

Asked about his encounter with U.S. President Donald Trump, Bolsonaro said they discussed ways to expand commercial ties, concerns about the Venezuela crisis, and the upcoming elections in Argentina. “There is a possibility that he (Trump) will visit Argentina next month,” Bolsonaro added.

He noted the importance of China as Brazil’s largest trade partner, saying he planned to “undo any misunderstanding” caused during his election campaign, when he criticized Chinese domination of key economic sectors in Brazil.

Bolsonaro also said he could visit the Asian country in the second half of 2019, possibly in October. “Maybe in the same trip we stop by Saudi Arabia,” he said.

Later on Saturday, Brazilian newspapers reported that Bolsonaro canceled his bilateral meeting this Saturday with Xi Jinping at G20 due to a delay in the agenda of the Chinese President.

Reporting by Gabriela Mello and Pedro Fonseca in SAO PAULO; Editing by Daniel Wallis

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