Impressed by Bangladesh's growth and large-scale infrastructure development, Brazil now wants to engage broadly in agribusiness, trade, micro-finance and infrastructure, says chief executive officer (CEO) of Brazilian state-owned bank Caixa Economica Federal (CEF).

"We want to enhance the relationship between Brazil and Bangladesh. I think the relationship can be much larger and much higher," Pedro Guimaraes told UNB in an interview.

He said like Bangladesh, Brazil is also growing and there is a huge scope of investment and to have greater engagement in agribusiness.

During his first visit to Bangladesh, the Brazilian economist and his team members visited Old Dhaka, Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI), Bangladesh Agriculture Research Institute (BARI), Central Bank of Bangladesh, Ministry of Finance, Microcredit Regulatory Authority, Headquarters of Grammen Bank and BRAC and had interacted with the officials apart from meetings with microcredit borrowers.

The Caixa CEO said he is highly impressed to see how the microcredit system is working in Bangladesh and his country is willing to take the lessons from Bangladesh's experience as they want to serve the relatively poor people in his country by developing such a financial scheme. "I think microfinance is growing faster here."

He said they are going to have an agreement in agribusiness between Brazil and Bangladesh which is at the final stage. "I think that the relationship between Brazil and Bangladesh should increase."

Responding to a question, the economist said Bangladesh has been growing very fast and every place he went saw there are construction activities. "So, there's an opportunity to invest in Bangladesh."

Brazilian Ambassador to Bangladesh Joao Tabajara De Oliveira Junior said Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has positively changed his country and invited Pedro to do everything that needs to be done for the benefits of the people and further growth for the country.

Brazil is now giving much focus on social banking ensuring people's access to microcredit or microfinance not just concentrating on rich people only.

"He (Pedro) wants to learn from Bangladesh's experiences in microcredit. He wants to do something like this in Brazil," said the Brazilian Ambassador.

CEO Pedro plans a big financial product for the poor people, something that has not been done in the last decade.

"And this is his priority. He thinks microcredit is something that they need to do urgently," said the Brazilian Ambassador, adding that they can afford such a programme being a state bank.

The envoy said Caixa CEO wants to develop partnership with Bangladesh and wants to have the knowledge that Bangladesh has in this area.

Pedro talked about collaboration with Brac and Grameen Bank and met borrowers in the villages to know how it (micro-credit) works in Bangladesh and also tried to know the stories of beneficiaries.

The Brazilian envoy said the CEO will send the second team by the end of this March to further discuss the areas of cooperation after having adequate knowledge on technicalities.

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