Carlos De Abreu – Consul General Of Brazil

Author: D.R. Lennox
“The city is ready. This will benefit Rio for years to come. Many generations will talk about this. It will become part of the history, not only for Rio but Brazil.”
Carlos de Abreu is the Consul General of Brazil, and currently calls Sydney home. But in 2009, Mr. de Abreu was posted in Washington (as Brazil’s Deputy Chief of Mission) when it was announced that his hometown of Rio would host the 2016 summer Olympics. And he couldn’t have been happier or prouder; both as a Brazilian and a Carioca.

“I was very happy, in a way surprised. It was the first time a city in Latin America would host an Olympic Games,” he says, recalling that Rio out-bid Chicago, Madrid and Tokyo. “I was happy, surprised. It’s a huge, huge challenge.”

A challenge Mr. de Abreu believes Rio is ready to meet. “I was in Rio last December, and it is amazing the transformation of the city in the past eight years. It created havoc during the construction, for those who live there, but now that they’ve seen the outcome they are delighted,” he says. “The city is ready. This will benefit Rio for years tocome. Many generations will talk about this. It will become part of the history, not only for Rio butBrazil.”

Sadly for Mr. de Abreu, he won’t be attending the Games in his home town. “I go back to Brazil every two years but don’t forget, if I use my holidays to go home to Brazil I won’t get to see more of Australia. I cannot travel during work, so I take my holidays as an opportunity to get to know the country and the region,” he explains.

But Mr. de Abreu believes that the Cariocas – those born and bred in Rio (“I was born in Copacabana, but everybody was born in Copacabana in
those days.”) – will make it an unforgettable experience for everyone. “The Cariocas create a special atmosphere, it’s a magical thing.”

That work which will keep Mr. de Abreu in Sydney is furthering diplomatic relations between Australia and Brazil, a relationship which celebrated
70 years in 2015. “It’s a new relationship. I would say our
relations have always been
cordial and friendly but I would also say, in these last years, this relationship has been going through a turning point,” he explains, one as a consequence of increased tourism between the two countries, as well as students: there are some 20,000 Brazilian students currently studying in Australia.

“It’s also amazing the interest of companies. Our companies are investing more, in both directions. We have more than 100 Australian companies doing business in Brazil; we have about 20 Brazilian companies, many of which are large multinational
corporations, doing business in Australia,” he says.

“I think the next 70 years [of
the relationship] will be one of substance, and I think it will be one of the most positive chapters of international history in this other; it will be good for economic growth and social inclusion.”

But it’s not all work and no play for the Consul-General. Mr. de Abreu, who is is halfway through his posting in Australia, as he, his wife and daughter are all “very happy” living in Sydney. “We plan to travel a little bit more, and
hope to see more interesting parts of Australia but it’s such a large country with so many interesting places. It’s an amazing part of the world.”

As a Brazilian, Mr. de Abreu has an affinity with the water
though admits he was never much of a surfer but more of a
beach soccer player. “During the summer [in Sydney], we
will go to the beach. In other seasons we may take the car and drive around. Sydney, it’s never ending,” he says. And there’s always somewhere to go or something to do. “The Brazilian community here in Sydney is very large, I would say about 40,000, and you’re always invited to go somewhere – the northern beaches, the Blue Mountains. The Consular Corps here is also very active; we’re always enjoying
social events. We’re just like a big family, always inviting each other to our homes and functions.”

But when Mr. de Abreu is missing Brazil he will take the car and go to a Brazilian restaurant; listing Braza (in Darling Harbour) and Char & Co. (Double Bay), amongts many others, as the better proponents of Brazilian cuisine, particularly for the meat lovers. For Brazilian food in general, the Bronte Belo cafe in Bronte, is always popular. “It’s amazing how
many Australians are starting to enjoy our way of barbecuing,” he says.

Another shared interest between the two largest economies of the southern hemisphere that will no
doubt keep the relationship going strong for another 70 years.

Photo by Mateus Cemal,
supplied by the Consulate
General of Brazil

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