(Reuters) – Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said on Saturday that the free trade treaty agreed by the European Union and South American bloc Mercosur should trigger a domino effect, encouraging other countries to also negotiate with Brazil.

The EU and Mercosur concluded two decades of talks on Friday, committing to more open markets in the face of a rising tide of protectionism.

“Surely other countries will be interested in negotiating with us, Japan included,” Bolsonaro told journalists on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Osaka, adding he expected a “domino effect”.

Asked about his encounter with U.S. President Donald Trump, Bolsonaro said they discussed ways to expand commercial ties, concerns about the Venezuela crisis, and the upcoming elections in Argentina. “There is a possibility that he (Trump) will visit Argentina next month,” Bolsonaro added.

He noted the importance of China as Brazil’s largest trade partner, saying he planned to “undo any misunderstanding” caused during his election campaign, when he criticized Chinese domination of key economic sectors in Brazil.

Bolsonaro also said he could visit the Asian country in the second half of 2019, possibly in October. “Maybe in the same trip we stop by Saudi Arabia,” he said.

Later on Saturday, Brazilian newspapers reported that Bolsonaro canceled his bilateral meeting this Saturday with Xi Jinping at G20 due to a delay in the agenda of the Chinese President.

Reporting by Gabriela Mello and Pedro Fonseca in SAO PAULO; Editing by Daniel WallisOur Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

AIRWAY 1

Countries that have never had a direct flight, Australia and Brazil will be able to debut a route in the first quarter of 2020 between the cities of Melbourne and Sao Paulo. The information was revealed by Brazilian officials and the Australian ambassador to Brazil, Timothy Kane, after the end of the visa requirement for Australian tourists visiting the country of South America.

According to Kane, the state of Victoria would have the interest and financial resources to propose a direct flight between the cities of Melbourne and Sao Paulo, the financial capitals of both countries. “This flight will be another tool to expand our air connection, as well as facilitate connection with other countries, such as New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and China. From Shanghai and Beijing, the Chinese will be able to reach Brazil with just one connection, “said Gilson Neto, president of Embratur, a state-owned company that encourages tourism in the country – according to him, Brazil received only 60,000 of the 150 million Chinese tourists in 2018.

Australia has sent just over 40,000 tourists to Brazil last year, an increase of 24% compared to 2017. Currently, one of the most accessible routes to Oceania is through Santiago de Chile where LATAM has a direct flight to Melbourne held five times a week with a Boeing 787, plus a daily frequency to Auckland, New Zealand. Qantas flies four times a week from Sydney to the Chilean capital – the plane used on the route is the Boeing 747-400.

Since Chile and the Australian city started to be linked by direct flight, passenger movement has grown significantly – in 2018 there were 135,000 Australian tourists in Chile.

Possible candidates

Although the two representatives did not reveal possible details of the flight, it is more likely that it will also be operated by LATAM and Qantas, partners in the Oneworld alliance. The direct distance between Sao Paulo and Melbourne is just over 13,000 km, which can in theory be covered by aircraft of both airlines. Qantas could use the Boeing 787 (14,000 km range in the -9 version) and LATAM would have the Airbus A350-900 as the most indicated aircraft, with a range of about 15,000 kilometers.

Qantas even stated in 2017 that it had an interest in flying to another cities in the Americas like Rio de Janeiro in the next decade, but with aircraft capable of covering the route. Today the airline flies only to Houston and Dallas from Sydney, and Los Angeles, San Francisco and Vancouver, from Melbourne, but wishes to have a direct flight to New York, for example.

If the frequency is actually created, it will be the longest direct flight from Brazil, about 15 hours long. Currently, the longest route operated in Sao Paulo is made by Emirates Airline that connects Dubai to the Brazilian city with the Airbus A380.

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Brazilian retail management software company Linx SA said it is preparing a follow on share offering in Brazil and the United States, according to a securities filing on Wednesday.

Linx, Latin America’s largest software company in retail management, plans to raise money by selling new shares and a also secondary portion of existing shares, the company said in a filing.

Reporting by Anthony Boadle; Editing by Tom BrownOur Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Heineken NV will invest 550 million reais ($139 million) to renovate four of its plants in Brazil, the company said in a statement.

Heineken will renovate plants in the cities of Araraquara, Itu and Jacarei, and a microbrewery in Campos de Jordao, all in Brazil’s most populated state, Sao Paulo. The company will also open a new distribution center in the state.

Newspaper Folha de S. Paulo reported the investment earlier on Thursday.

Reporting by Alberto Alerigi; Writing by Tatiana Bautzer; Editing by Susan ThomasOur Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazil’s economic contraction in the first quarter was no surprise to the government, Economy Minister Paulo Guedes said on Thursday, adding that he is confident of recovery but only if fiscal and economic reforms are implemented.

“We were already anticipating a rather stagnant economy in the first quarter, but we are confident that the recovery is coming,” he told reporters in Brasilia. “We need reforms for growth to resume.”

Brazil’s gross domestic product (GDP) shrank 0.2% from the prior quarter, statistics agency IBGE said on Thursday, the first contraction since 2016 and in line with the median estimate in a Reuters poll.

Reporting by Marcela Ayres; Writing by Jamie McGeever; Editing by Chizu NomiyamaOur Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro said on Thursday he is inclined to veto a provision in legislation recently passed by Congress ordering airlines to allow passengers to check in one piece of luggage of up to 23 kilograms (50 lb) free of charge on domestic flights.

The provision was expected to push up air travel prices. Bolsonaro was speaking during a weekly social media live appearance.

Reporting by Anthony Boadle; Editing by Sandra MalerOur Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazil’s trade surplus widened in May to $6.42 billion, the Economy Ministry said on Monday, its biggest so far this year and driven by a 5.6% rise in exports from the month before.

Exports totaled $21.39 billion while imports totaled $14.97 billion, with the surplus in May bringing the year-to-date surplus up to $22.81 billion.

The biggest increase in exports compared with the same month last year was in manufactured products, which rose by 29.5%, and semi-manufactured goods, which were up 15.4%, the Economy Ministry said.

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazil’s central bank will focus on an agenda of ‘micro’ measures and initiatives rather than macroeconomic policies to get credit and lending flowing, the head of the bank said on Monday.

Reinforcing a stance he has taken since assuming office at the end of February, central bank chief Roberto Campos Neto told an audience in Sao Paulo that simplifying regulation and making it easier for firms to access financial markets and raise capital were critical to boosting investment and growth.

Even though the benchmark Selic interest rate is at a record low 6.50%, “funds are not flowing” through the economy as they should, he noted.

Reporting by Lais Martins in Sao Paulo; Writing by Jamie McGeever; Editing by Paul SimaoOur Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.