7th EU-Brazil Business Summit: taking the strategic partnership one step further

Joint Press Release

EuroChambers, Business Europe and CNI Confederação Brasileira da Industria

Brussels, 24th February2014 – Following the political Brazil-European Union Summit in Brussels, representatives of European institutions, Brazilian authorities and business leaders gathered to commit to a Plan of Action on Investment and Competitiveness.

Resulting from one year of bilateral work between EUROCHAMBRES, BUSINESSEUROPE, the National Confederation of Industry-Brazil (CNI) and governments from both sides, the plan presented at the Business Summit reflects their endorsement of the priorities set and a joint commitment to expand the partnership and exploit complementarity between the two regions.

“Today´s Business Summit underlines both sides’ commitment to making the EU-Brazil Partnership a truly strategic one. The ingredients for upgrading the quality of our relationship are: swift progress in the bi-regional trade talks, improving our investment climate, cutting red tape, stimulating technological exchange and putting in place the right incentives for our SME’s  to trade and invest more in our respective markets” –  according to Richard Weber, President of EUROCHAMBRES.

Since its launch in 2007, the EU-Brazil Strategic Partnership has been a bridge for bilateral dialogue. Business leaders from the EU and Brazil expect to enhance the partnership through a series of actions such as making firm commitments to fight against protectionist tendencies, stimulating cooperation in the area of innovation, promoting SME internationalisation.

EUROCHAMBRES, BUSINESSEUROPE and CNI are engaged in promoting dialogue among business communities and supporting bi-regional talks as well, such as the EU-Mercosur Association Agreement.

“Brazil is a key trade and investment partner of the EU and our economic relationship is a complementary one. Both sides have the ambition to make more of this potential. The most promising approach would be the conclusion of the free trade negotiations between the wider Mercosur region and the EU.  However if no progress can be achieved in these EU-Mercosur negotiations, both parties should seriously consider alternative ways to remove barriers and enhance trade and investment between the EU and Brazil” – said Markus J. Beyrer, Director General of BUSINESSEUROPE.

The three organisations believe that although the economic contexts are different, they are still complementary. The EU´s future growth and competitiveness will depend heavily on its strategic relations with key trading partners such as Brazil.

“Europe remains our largest trade and investment partner and the EU is the second largest investment location for Brazilian companies. Therefore, the bilateral relation with EU is top of CNI´s international agenda. If we want a strong and long term economic partnership, it needs to be win-win and it needs to rely on trade but also on investment and on regulatory cooperation” – stressed Robson Braga de Andrade, President of CNI.

Plan of Action

At the core of the joint declaration signed by the presidents of EUROCHAMBRES, BUSINESSEUROPE, CNI and the heads of EU institutions, the President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso, the European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, this Plan of Action aims to foster a positive and cooperative competitiveness agenda, through concrete priorities for different sectors, such as:

· Investment: intensifying two-way investment and technology flows, following the creation of a favorable investment climate in both regions.

· Regulatory cooperation: enhancing international harmonisation between regulators, through mutual recognition agreements on conformity assessments and standards;

· Cooperation for competitiveness: developing joint projects in important industries such as oil and gas, renewable energy and tourism and raising awareness of corporate social responsibility;

· Industrial Innovation and Research: reinforcing the impact of cooperation in the field of information and communication technologies and investing in innovation and sustainable technologies;

· Small and medium-sized entreprises (SMEs): promoting transparency, predictability, reduced red tape and lower administrative burdens in strategic areas, protecting intellectual property rights, recognising SMEs’ role as key players on job creation for both economies.

The Business Summit was organised by EUROCHAMBRES, BUSINESSEUROPE and the National Confederation of Industry-Brazil (CNI), with the support of the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (ApexBrasil).