Dublin hopes to twin with party capital Rio

Cormac Murphy

DUBLIN'S links with the party capital of the world are likely to be boosted as a result of a twinning proposal.

Dublin City Council is to seek permission from its members to twin with Brazil's Rio de Janeiro -- famous around the globe for its annual carnival.

It comes following approval for a similar arrangement with Beijing in China.

If the Rio plan goes ahead, Dublin will have forged stronger connections with two of the world's emerging economic powerhouses.

"Rio is a major city in one of the world's fastest growing economies," notes a council report prepared for its protocol and selection committee.

"In the agreed international policy adopted by city council, the city committed to establishing bilateral relations ... with capital and major cities in the four BRIC countries (Brazil, China, Russia, and India).

"Education links are developing and an estimated 6,000 Brazilian students choose Ireland as a country of study last year," the report adds.

"A bilateral agreement on education and research was signed during the recent ministerial-led trade mission to Brazil.

"This means that there is a growing Brazilian population in Dublin and one reason for creating links with another international city is to recognise and validate the culture, traditions and contribution of new migrant populations in Dublin."

The author of the report -- Peter Finnegan, the council's director of international relations -- said: "Brazil is a key target country for Enterprise Ireland and IDA."

The recent trade mission saw a number of Irish companies sign contracts with companies and public utilities in Brazil, Mr Finnegan revealed.