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Brazil's agriculture minister urges Korea to open farming markets

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Staff Writer | September 12, 2016
Brazil and Korea should widen their respective market for each other's top export items to vitalize economic cooperation, a top Brazilian government official said in Seoul.
Blairo Maggi
Food trade   Korea has been refusing to open the markets
Blairo Maggi, Brazil's minister of agriculture, livestock and food supply, said the two countries can benefit from their respective major industries.

Brazil is one of the world's largest exporters of agricultural and livestock products, including sugar, coffee, orange juice, soybeans, beef, chicken and maize.

Korea leads in international sales of electronic goods, cars and other manufactured goods.

"Their respective key industries are complementary and can benefit each country, and that's why opening markets will be important for both sides," Maggi said through an interpreter during an interview with The Korea Times in Yeoksam-dong, southern Seoul, Wednesday.

Accompanied by other officials, he visited Korea as a part of an Asia trip to promote Brazil's agricultural and livestock and offer business opportunities in his country. The other destinations included China, Hong Kong and Vietnam.

During his two-day stay from Tuesday, he met Lee Jun-won, Korea's vice minister of agriculture, food and rural affairs, to discuss sales of Brazilian pork, mangoes and beef.

The negotiation concerning pork and mangoes are in their final stages, and wrapping up all relevant procedures will be a pre-condition to begin discussions on beef imports, according to Maggi.

Brazil is the world's second- and fourth-largest producer of beef and pork, respectively. But Korea has been refusing to open the markets, citing sanitary reasons.