Ambassador Luis Henrique Sobreira Lopes of Brazil in Seoul said, “I am very pleased to welcome all of you to my house for this Brazil Barbecue Day. This event gives us the opportunity to share one of the finest Brazilian traditions: the “churrasco”, as we call it in Portuguese.”
Ambassador Sobreira Lopes made the remarks at a reception he hosted at his residence in Seongbuk-dong Seoul on June 26, 2019, which was attended by many ambassadors and society figures in Seoul from all walks of life, especially from the business community which was substantially represented by beef and other meat importers.
Then he said: “This is a tradition that started in the 18th century with the ‘gauchos,’ the cowboys we share with our neighbors in the Southern cone of South America, and spread from there to the rest of the country. For Brazilians, barbecue means much more than just food. All over the nation, it became a synonym for fraternal celebration.” (See excerpts from the speech of the ambassador toward the end of this report.)
An estimated total of over 50 Korean and international guests attended the party. Among them were Ambassadors Alfredo Carlos Bascou of Argentina, Luis Fernando Iribarne Restuccia of Urugway, and Irineo Raul Silvero Silvagni of Paraguay. Among the Korean guests in attendance were many distinguished representatives of the Korean business and media, especially from the meat industry in Korea.
A large variety of barbeque was on display at the backyard of the Embassy.
Brazil is a very important country to Korea. Brazil has the fifth largest land territory in the world, over 5.5 square meters of land space or 37 times that of the Korean peninsula and 85 times that of the South Korea.
According to the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Brazil has a total population of 210 million people with a Gross National Product ranking 9th in the world (according to 2018 statics). Literally, Brazil represents the South American continent.
Brazil is also a representative industrial country in South America. She has all sorts o rich natural resources and has 22% of the total arable land space of the entire world?plus a very young population, averaging 32 years old.
Against the backdrop of multi-cultural features and open-minded people, Brazil is a county ready for a big leap forward as an economic giant.
Under the government President Jair Bolsonaro, various economic growth plans and reforms are known to be being carried out for the benefit of the people, including pension improvement plans.
Also, Brazil is planning to become one of the standing members of the United Nations Security Council and is known to be increasing her participation in the cooperation for the benefit of development countries.
Korea established diplomatic relations with Brazil in 1959 and since then has been increasing cooperation and interchanges with the country in various areas, including political, economic, social, cultural and various other areas.
The two countries have had exchange of visits between the Heads of Government of the two countries for the promotion of the Common Prosperity Partnership cooperation of the 21st century.
Trade negotiations are progressing between the two countries and when the two countries reach a mutually beneficial agreement, it is expected to drastically increase the human and material exchanges between the two countries.
Excerpts from the speech of Ambassador Sobreira Lopes:
I am very pleased to welcome all of you to my house for this Brazil Barbecue Day. This event gives us the opportunity to share one of the finest Brazilian traditions: the “churrasco”, as we call it in Portuguese. This is a tradition that started in the 18th century with the “gauchos”, the cowboys we share with our neighbors in the Southern cone of South America, and spread from there to the rest of the country. For Brazilians, barbecue means much more than just food. All over the nation, it became a synonym for fraternal celebration.
It is in this spirit that we invited you here. We celebrate the ever evolving process of trust building between Brazil and Korea. As we achieve the important milestone of 60 years of diplomatic relations and friendship, this is true in all aspects of our relations.
Last year, South Korean sanitary authorities, after 12 years of consideration, added their seal of approval to those of the substantial number of countries that already recognized the Brazilian pork as a trustworthy high quality product. This is a great achievement for both our countries. Brazilian pork is not only delicious, - it is also very competitive, due to state of the art advances in our production chain. I hope all the importers present here keep that in mind.
In fact, this achievement is part of an ever evolving mutual trust building process. Trust in the quality and sanity of Brazilian meat and meat products. Mutual trust in the capacity of our technical authorities to carry out their obligations with due exemption and competence. Trust in the benefits that both producers and consumers can enjoy as a result of the actions we take.
In this context, I wish to take this occasion to underline that Brazilian beef also enjoys widespread recognition as a product of excellent quality. The OIE (International Organization of Animal Health) has recognized the sanity of the Brazilian beef, and consumers around the world have been enjoying its quality for some time. I think that, in this trust building process, Brazil and Korea should increase their joint efforts in order to allow the Korean consumers to have the same opportunity and to give our guests this added pleasure in future events of this kind.
It is also important to stress that, however competitive and trustworthy, Brazilian meat producers will never replace Korean producers in this market. They wish to supplement the domestic production, occupying a niche of the market interesting for them.
As you are aware, Brazil, together with Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay, our partners in MERCOSUR, are firmly engaged in negotiations towards the conclusion of a Free Trade Agreement with Korea. I have no doubt that this is also part of a trust building process and will very soon have positive effects for the agribusiness sectors of our countries.
I have talked too much. Our idea today is to bring a piece of Brazil to Korea. Make sure you try a little bit of everything. In addition to the delicious pork and chicken, a courtesy from our sponsor Seara, you have the opportunity to try national traditions such as pao de queijo, our world famous cheese bread; caipirinha, a drink made with Brazilian cachaca, which I am sure you will love; and even a dessert made from acai, a Brazilian fruit and so called superfood from the Amazon region, as well as some other traditional homemade delicacies.
Once again, thank you for coming, and I wish you a delicious evening.