FAISALABAD - Ambassador of Brazil to Pakistan Alfredo Leoni on Wednesday called for the consolidation of bilateral ties between Pakistan and his country.

“We need to benefit from each other’s experiences for making progress in the fields of agriculture, education and health,” asserted the Brazilian envoy in his address at a meeting of the University of Agriculture Faisalabad. Leoni told UAF deans and directors and Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan, who presided over the meeting at the Syndicate Hall, that there was a vast scope of cooperation in various fields in Pakistan. “We can improve our trade,” he said while adding that it was important that Brazilian and Pakistani business communities know each other better.

The envoy further said that Brazil had done a lot of work to increase its production of sugarcane and that Pakistan could also benefit from it. Brazilian economy is the 6th biggest in the world.

It has a territory of 8.5 million-square kilometre and a population of 190 million. The Latin American state has a GDP of $2.3 trillion. About his country’s support to Pakistan during the last year’s heavy rainfall and ensuing floods, Leoni said Brazil made a contribution of $1.5 million for the flood victims. “The contribution was unprecedented in the history of our bilateral relations and shows how much Brazil cares for the people of Pakistan and believes in international solidarity,” asserted the envoy.

He said they had set up a language centre in Islamabad to offer Brazilian Portuguese langue courses so that people could face no communication gap whilst in Brazil. He also said that last year, ten PhD scholarships were given to Pakistani students.

Speaking at the meeting, Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan appreciated Brazil for introducing new varieties of wheat and sugarcane. He said these could be grown in Pakistan to increase the produce. Khan also called for strengthening exchange programmes, keeping in view capacity building and uplifting of the agricultural sectors of either side.

The vice-chancellor also floated a suggestion for establishing a Portuguese language centre in Faisalabad. He also sought help from Brazil for setting up modern slaughterhouses in Pakistan.

Talking about the university, Khan said the UAF was the best agricultural university of the country according to the Higher Education Commission. He said that citation of the university had risen to 3,248 in 2011, while it was 2045 in 2010. The university had, he added, introduced 15 new degree programmes in a span of four years to produce manpower in various areas.

Later, Brazilian envoy also visited various post-harvest labs, CABB and greenhouses in the varsity.