Chile and Brazil agree to forge new academic and cultural ties

The new agreements will advance joint Antarctic research efforts, university-level exchanges, Portuguese and Spanish language learning opportunities, and more.

The recent CELAC-EU conference in Chile has become known for its creation of the Santiago Declaration – a new bi-regional cooperation document that sets shared economic goals for 60 countries in Europe, the Caribbean, and South America.

But the Santiago Declaration is not the only important bi-regional cooperation agreement reached at CELAC-EU. The conference was also a platform to launch three new collaboration efforts between Chile and Brazil that will help boost academic and cultural ties between the two nations.

Over the weekend of the CELAC-EU conference, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff was received by Chile’s President Sebastián Piñera at La Moneda Palace for a meeting to discuss ways to advance ties between Chile and Brazil. The meeting was followed by the signing of three new agreements that will strengthen cultural, educational, and scientific initiatives.

The 2013-2015 Chile-Brazil Cultural Exchange Master Program will set an agenda for the future exchange of arts, literature, crafts and folklore between Chile and Brazil. The Memorandum of Understanding between the Chilean and Brazilian Education Ministries will focus on a variety of education initiatives, including language training courses for elementary school teachers to promote Spanish in Brazil and Portuguese in Chile, academic exchanges, and new learning opportunities.

In addition, the Chile-Brazil Antarctic Cooperation Agreement will promote joint Antarctic scientific research between the two countries. Chile, which currently has four Antarctic bases, also agreed to help Brazil with the reconstruction of their Comandante Ferraz Base, which was destroyed in a fire in February 2012.

In addition to the new agreements, President Piñera told the press that his meeting with President Rousseff included even more opportunities for future partnerships.

“In addition to these three agreements, we have been able to discuss many other areas for collaboration: the bi-oceanic corridors to integrate the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans; clean, renewable and bio energy; science and technology; as well as steps to develop an open relationship of dialogue and cooperation to steer our global actions and projections,” the President said.