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ECONOMY | 03-05-2023 08:16

Lula says he’s started talks with BRICS bank to help Argentina

Lula offers strong support for Alberto Fernández after four-hour meeting in Brasília, confirming talks on financing for Brazilian exports and declaring that International Monetary Fund needs to "remove its knife from Argentina's neck."

Brazil President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva on Tuesday said he’s actively working to help Argentina overcome its financial crisis after meetings with its president, Alberto Fernández, in Brasilia.

The two met for about four hours at the Brazilian presidential palace to discuss Argentina’s high inflation and how to address the challenges facing Brazilian businesses struggling to sustain exports to the neighbouring country.

“I will make any and all sacrifices so that we can help Argentina in this difficult time,” Lula said, standing alongside Fernández.

The Brazilian president added that he asked Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping while in Beijing last month to also support Fernández.

One approach, he said, would be to finance exports and make loans trough Shanghai-based New Development Bank, a multilateral development bank established by the BRICS countries, which, along with Brazil and China, include Russia, India and South Africa. Former Brazil president Dilma Rousseff is the bank’s chief executive. 

Lula said it will be necessary to change some internal rules, but he is talking to Rousseff. Taking aim at the the International Monetary Fund — which has a US$44-billion loan agreement with Argentina — Lula said he is working “to remove its knife from Argentina’s neck.”

Fernandez said Brazilian Finance Minister Fernando Haddad will travel to Buenos Aires next week to discuss an agreement on financing for Brazilian exporters.

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by Simone Iglesias, Bloomberg

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