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Cablegate: Southern Brazil: Ambassador's Visit Strengthens Ties

VZCZCXRO8952
PP RUEHRG
DE RUEHSO #0437/01 2251722
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 121722Z AUG 08
FM AMCONSUL SAO PAULO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8456
INFO RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 9597
RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES 3231
RUEHAC/AMEMBASSY ASUNCION 3478
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 0772
RUEHMN/AMEMBASSY MONTEVIDEO 2756
RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ 3890
RUEHSG/AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO 2478
RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA 1687
RUEHME/AMEMBASSY MEXICO CITY 0841
RUEHGT/AMEMBASSY GUATEMALA CITY 0110
RUEHRI/AMCONSUL RIO DE JANEIRO 8812
RUEHRG/AMCONSUL RECIFE 4172
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RHMFISS/CDR USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC 3146
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 SAO PAULO 000437

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR WHA/FO, WHA/BSC, WHA/PDA, AND H
STATE PASS USTR FOR KATE DUCKWORTH
NSC FOR TOMASULO
TREASURY FOR JHOEK
USDOC FOR 4332/ITA/MAC/WH/OLAC
USDOC ALSO FOR 3134/USFCS/OIO
SOUTHCOM ALSO FOR POLAD
USAID FOR LAC/AA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL ECIN KCRM KMDR BR

SUBJECT: SOUTHERN BRAZIL: AMBASSADOR'S VISIT STRENGTHENS TIES

SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED- PLEASE PROTECT ACCORDINGLY


SUMMARY

1. (U) Ambassador Clifford Sobel traveled to the city of Curitiba,
capital of the State of Parana, Brazil August 3-4, 2008. During his
visit to Curitiba, Ambassador Sobel visited the American Chamber of
Commerce (AmCham), met with the Governor of Parana, Roberto Requico,
was a featured speaker at the Seventh Annual International
Association of Chiefs of Police Conference, met with Rodrigo da
Rocha Loures, President of FIEP (Federation of Industries of
Parana), and finished with a meeting with the Mayor of Curitiba,
Carlos Alberto (Beto) Richa. Ambassador Sobel's visit to Curitiba
helped Mission Brazil strengthen contacts with important business,
law enforcement and political figures in the State of Parana. End
Summary.

AMERICAN BRAZILIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE- CURITIBA

2. (U) Ambassador Sobel started his visit with a business breakfast
at AmCham Curitiba. With the AmCham in full attendance -- including
representatives of Kraft Foods Brazil, Price Waterhouse, Philip
Morris and the leading Curitiba newspaper Gazeta do Povo -- Amb
Sobel made a brief presentation. He said that it was an exciting
time to live in Brazil, with increasing opportunities for engagement
with the U.S., including, educational opportunities, and
private/public partnerships, such as the CEO Forum and Corporate
Social Responsibility (CSR) programs. Amb. Sobel noted that
President Lula's and President Bush's direct, personal engagement in
all of these areas has markedly strengthening U.S.-Brazil relations.


3. In his remarks, Amb. Sobel cited various measures of the
accelerating bilateral economic relationship between the U.S. and
Brazil:

--Bilateral trade is up 10 percent;

--Brazilians are buying 15 percent of the American Depositary
Receipts (ADRs-shares of foreign companies purchased without
undertaking cross-border transactions) offered in the US;

--There is significant interest in signing both an investment and
tax treaty between the two nations (for the first time in over forty
years), and a signed bilateral aviation agreement that potentially
could benefit Curitiba as it was identified as one of the five
cities to possibly benefit from expanded flights to the US.

4. The Ambassador also highlighted the Brazil-US CEO Forum for much
of the movement in these areas, and highlighted activities of
Mission Brazil's Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program by
encouraging Curitiba area AmCham members to reach out more to the
community. He also pointed out the upcoming visit of USAID
Administrator Henrietta Fore to Sao Paulo as part of our CSR
publicity efforts in Brazil.

PARANA GOVERNOR ROBERTO REQUIAO

5. (SBU) Ambassador Sobel next visited the Governor of the State of
Parana, Roberto Requiao. Their conversation centered on the
successes of the Parana economy in comparison to the rest of Brazil.
Governor Requiao said that the State of Parana tax policies
encouraged growth by moving micro and small businesses into the

SAO PAULO 00000437 002 OF 003


formal economy more quickly. In addition, Curitiba and Parana have
always benefitted from long term planning by the state. Results
have been impressive and business failures are half of what they are
in Brazil overall- according to Requiao. Ambassador Sobel
encouraged Requiao to reach out to the Council of the Americas (COA)
and consider inviting COA President Susan Siegel for a visit to
Curitiba and Parana. (Note: The conversation briefly touched on
the Tri-border area. The Governor dismissed claims of terrorist
presence or terrorists fund-raising in the area. He insisted that
resident business persons of Middle Eastern origin were not involved
in illegal activities and were simply sending money to families back
home in the Middle East. End Note.)

6. (SBU) Remarking on the Ambassador's presentation at the Chiefs
of Police Conference, the Governor stated that Parana has benefitted
from community policing. The addition of mobile units, direct
contact with citizens, and home visits has created a good
relationship between law enforcement officials and the community.
One of the Governor's greatest concerns was policing in squatter
settlements where it is difficult to develop a lasting police
relationship with the area's inhabitants. Requiao further commented
that crack cocaine has now replaced cheap alcohol as the drug of
choice for young people in Parana, creating considerable law
enforcement problems. Upon meeting LEGAT David Brassanini, the
Governor offered to support US law enforcement efforts in Parana in
combating illegal activities such as narcotics and IPR abuses.

ASSOCIATION OF CHIEFS OF POLICE CONFERENCE (IACP)

7. (U) Ambassador Sobel was a featured speaker at the Seventh
Annual IACP convention, an international gathering of over 300
police chiefs. The Ambassador began by announcing that the US
Department of State and Brazil had signed bilateral counter
narcotics agreement to help increase drug enforcement training and
education in Brazil. This landmark agreement will help Brazilian
Federal Police elements in their efforts to combat illegal drugs.
The Ambassador then outlined US Government support for Brazil's
efforts to improve narcotics enforcement and enhance international
cooperation in this area. The Ambassador emphasized that regional
efforts, expanded training, improved use of better equipment and
high technology, and continued exchanges of law enforcement officers
between the US and Brazil would help both countries counter the
scourge of illegal narcotics.

RODRIGO DA ROCHA LOURES, PRESIDENT OF FIEP

8. (SBU) Ambassador Sobel met with Rodrigo da Rocha Loures,
President of the State of Parana Council of Industries. Ambassador
Sobel began the meeting by remarking that everybody talks about the
success of Parana and Curitiba. He asked why the area was so
economically successfully in comparison to other areas of Brazil.
Rocha said that Parana's strength results from several factors: the
region's successful agribusinesses, its large automobile
manufacturing base, its ability to attract entrepreneurs to the
region, and the strategic vision of the local business class and
their capacity for innovation. Rocha also noted that FIEP and
Parana are focusing their future on energy production
(bioelectricity), an improved health care system, agribusiness and
tourism (Foz do Iguacu). FIEP has strategic partners for their
innovation program with MIT, Case Western and Cornell University.
Ambassador Sobel encouraged FIEP to reach out to two organizations:
the Council of the Americas and the Jorge Gerdau Johanpetter-led NBC
group in Brazil. Rocha is interested in connecting FIEP's "Nova
Parana" program with outside sources so he can improve innovation in

SAO PAULO 00000437 003 OF 003


the State of Parana. According to Rocha, Curitiba is in the running
to host a major innovation congress in October 2008. Ambassador
Sobel offered Mission Brazil's assistance in finding speakers for
future innovation projects and offered to help FIEP make contact
with U.S. universities. (Note: Brazilian PMDB Federal Deputy
Rodrigo Rocha Loures, son of FIEP President Rocha Loures, was also
present. Ambassador Sobel inquired about the state of tax offsets
and how the offsets are going to be resolved noting that many US
companies have billions of dollars of promised offsets with the
Brazilian States. Deputy Rocha answered that "fifty percent of the
offsets will be returned and the other half will disappear." End
Note.)

MAYOR OF CURITIBA - CARLOS ALBERTO (BETO) RICHA

9. (SBU) During his visit to FIEP, Ambassador Sobel met Curituba
Mayor Carlos Alberto Richa. Richa commented that he had recently
traveled to San Francisco for a climate change conference sponsored
by the Clinton Foundation. He said that Curitiba was interested in
building a technological park and that thirty Brazilian companies
had already expressed interest in the project. Ambassador Sobel
encouraged Richa to speak with Michele Levy of Microsoft and, as
well, with Motorola and Dell. Ambassador Sobel invited Mayor Richa
to visit him in Brasilia after the October municipal elections.

MEDIA COVERAGE

10. (U) During Ambassador Sobel's visit to Curitiba, he was
interviewed by CBN and Gazeta do Povo at the AmCham and by
Folha-Curitiba, O Estado-Curitiba and CBN during the IACP
conference. CBN and Gazeta do Povo had positive articles on the
Ambassador's visit to the AmCham. They highlighted the Ambassador's
statements that the US is still interested in seeking a diplomatic
solution to Doha and that Curitiba is one of five cities being
considered for direct air routes to the United States. Agencia
Estado erroneously reported that Ambassador Sobel was meeting with
Minister of the Environment Carlos Minc to discuss the recent
release of the Amazon Fund, when in fact he was asking Minc about a
possible meeting between Minc and USAID Fore. Folha-On Line
correctly reported that Ambassador Sobel needed more time to review
the Amazon Fund proposal before commenting. Electronic journal
Tribuna News gave favorable coverage to the Ambassador's visit to
Governor Requiao and emphasized US efforts in support of Parana law
enforcement efforts.

COMMENT

11. (SBU) Ambassador Sobel's visit to Curitiba was highly
productive. He met with the highest political and commercial
contacts in the State of Parana. The Ambassador also described some
of the positive benefits of working with US law enforcement before
one of the largest law enforcement gatherings in South America. He
won the likely political support of both the Mayor of Curitiba and
the Governor of Parana for future academic and law enforcement
exchanges. End Comment.

12. (U) This cable was coordinated with the Embassy in Brasilia and
cleared by Ambassador Sobel.

WHITE

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