BRASILIA, May 6 (Xinhua) -- Brazilian Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota and his Cuban counterpart Bruno Rodriguez announced here Monday that they are in talks to sign an agreement for some 6,000 Cuban doctors to work in Brazil.
The initiative, originally proposed during Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff's visit to Havana in January 2012, has the support of the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO).
"We are preparing to receive a larger number of doctors here, in view of the deficit of medical professionals in Brazil," said Patriota, "it is a cooperation that has great potential and to which we attribute strategic value."
Patriota said at a press conference after meeting Rodriguez that Brazil has yet to decide how it is going to grant work visas to doctors from Cuba, renowned for its advanced healthcare system, high-tech pharmaceuticals industry and medical services.
"Brazil is studying the possibility of receiving doctors through talks that include the Pan-American Health Organization, and we are thinking of about 6,000 or a little more," said Patriota.
The Cuban envoy said that modernizing the Cuban economy has opened the possibility of expanding the ties between the two countries, including in the areas of trade, investment and tourism, which offer business opportunities for Brazil's private sector.
"Cuba is highly interested in finding out about Brazil's experience in its economic development, in credits, small and medium-size companies, in the development of fiscal and tax systems," said Rodriguez, noting Brazil is Cuba's second-biggest trade partner.
Brazil and Cuba already cooperate closely in such fields as biofuels, construction, transportation, food security and healthcare, and also develop joint initiatives to aid third countries, such as Haiti.
According to Brazil's Foreign Ministry, bilateral trade between the two countries grew sevenfold from 2003 to 2012, with Brazilian exports to Cuba increasing 36.9 percent between 2010 and 2012.