Brazil selects Japan 's digital TV standard

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has signed a decree adopting Japan's digital television system for his country over US and European standards, an AFP report said.

The report said the decree made official an agreement under which Brazil would adopt Japan's ISDB-T standard and Tokyo would adopt Brazil's technical innovations.

It was signed by communications ministers Helio Costa of Brazil and Heizo Takenaka of Japan.

"This is a milestone in Brazilian-Japanese relations," Lula was quoted as saying.

Japanese, US and European officials have been competing for the deal for months.

But Japan sweetened its offer by persuading electronics giant Toshiba, which stood to benefit from the agreement, to plan a new investment in Brazil, the report said.

The report further said Brazil, the world's fifth most populous nation, was a lucrative potential market, with its consumers buying 10 million analog or traditional television sets last year, and a 12% growth forecast for 2006.

The Brazilian government estimates that in the next 10 to 20 years, the digital television market in Brazil will grow to a $40-billion business, according to the report.