The Lehendakari proposes that the Basque community in Brazil act as a “lobby group” to improve the image of the Basque country in the world
Lopez backed the idea of creating a "Citizens network" based on a centralised office
Basques residents in Brazil were the focus of this meeting with the Lehendakari, Patxi Lopez, held in Sao Paulo. The Lehendakari conveyed to the Basque community living in Brazil the wish of the Basque Government to strengthen their role in "improving the image of the Basque Country in the world". Lopez declared, "We want to take use your in-depth knowledge of the country in which you have taken up residence in order to act as ambassadors of the Basque Country".
The Lehendakari, Patxi Lopez, had a long meeting with representatives of the Basque community in Brazil, in Sao Paulo. The Lehendakari gave the Basque community in Brazil the task of improving the image of the Basque Country in the world so that Basque companies can pursue their projects on foreign markets. "We want to make use your in-depth knowledge of the country in which you have taken up residence in order to act as ambassadors of the Basque Country". Lopez announced that in order to achieve this end, an office is to be set up in order to centralise all the work done by this "citizens network" abroad. "Our intention is for this lobby group to be a point of reference and support for all of you", he pointed out.
The meeting was held at a hotel in the centre of Sao Paulo and was attended by a number of Basques who have lived for several decades in Brazil. In addition to the Lehendakari, the meeting was attended by the head of Foreign Action, Guillermo Etxenike and the Industry Minister, Bernabe Unda. During his talk, the Lehendakari reviewed the historical reasons why many Basques emigrated to South America in their search for a better life and why, several decades later, the Basque Government decided to carry out this business mission. "You, the Basque community in Brazil, are the right people to do this job. Your efforts to maintain our traditions, to extend our culture, your pride in being Basque, are one of our greatest assets." The Lehendakari reiterated that their work creates the "image of the Basque Country in Brazil, the best letter of introduction that this mission could ever have".
The Lehendakari went on to say that the strategy of Foreign Action to create a "Basque lobby in the world, consisting of representatives from the research community, business, culture, the arts, solidarity and international organisations", whose mission it would be to act "in the defence of the interests of the Basque Country", can be seen against the background of the Government's aim to open the doors of Europe to Brazilian companies through the Basque Country. "He added that to achieve this aim, "we are going to set up a network of Basque citizens in the world and an office to centralise their information, experiences, knowledge and collaborations".