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Jet deal on agenda amid Brazil visit to Sweden

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Jet deal on agenda amid Brazil visit to Sweden
Brazilian President Dilma Rouseff and Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven. Photo: Maja Suslin/TT
11:27 CEST+02:00
The President of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff, was in Sweden on Monday to discuss her country's purchase of 36 Jas Gripen fighter jets for a price tag which has risen to 39 billion kronor ($4.7 billion).

The Brazilian leader spoke at a business seminar in Stockholm alongside her Swedish counterpart, Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, on Monday morning.

"The Gripen project creates long-lasting ties between our two countries. It will have positive effects in other areas too," Löfven told reporters and representatives from a number of Swedish firms.

Updating a strategic partnership plan between Sweden and Brazil from 2009 and discussing air force defence is also on the agenda during Rouseff's visit to Stockholm.

"There is a market for more Brazilian products in Sweden and vice versa. Today 70,000 people in Brazil work for 200 Swedish companies," said Rousseff.

The Brazilian federal government and Swedish defence company Saab officially signed the contracts a year ago, after another 12 months of negotiations. The total price of the Jas Gripen jets had then gone up by $900 million (around 7.5 billion kronor). 

The higher price prompted Brazilian prosecutors to look into the deal, but SAAB CEO Håkan Buskhe explained at the time that the new cost was due to the customer adding new requirements to the order during the process as well as fluctuating exchange rates.

"The contracts are signed in Swedish kronor, but Brazil is an oil economy where a lot is based on the dollar," said press offficer Sebastian Carlsson in April.

And Rouseff, who was set to travel onwards to Finland later on Monday, said her country would still be able to afford to buy the fleet, comprised of 28 single-seat and eight two-seat Gripen NG which will be delivered between 2019 and 2024.

"Brazil is going through a financial crisis, but we have large dollar reserves and a strong industry and agricultural sector. We're not any other economy," Rouseff told Swedish Radio's news programme Ekot on Monday.

The current deal is set to cost Brazil 39 billion kronor ($4.7 billion) at today's exchange rate.

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