Mercosur-EU agreement needs to be closed within early 2015, says Fiesp

Ana Volpe/Senado

Ana Volpe/Senado

The free trade agreement between Mercosur and the European Union (EU) is an immediate priority of Brazilian foreign policy and must be closed within early 2015, claims the Brazilian trade association for the industries (Fiesp) on the document “Proposals for Industry External Integration”, released this June. The goal of the paper is to present a series of measures and alternatives to make Brazil a more competitive and more integrated country in the global market.

“The Brazilian industry is facing an extremely challenging period. The national productive sector has been suffering from foreign competition over the past few years, and several sectors of the economy, that previously exported to the whole world, today struggle to maintain their position in the domestic market. Even in Latin America and Mercosur, export recipients for most of our manufactured products, we have lost market share”, says Paulo Skaf, president of Fiesp.

The Federation claims that Brazil must deepen the integration in Latin America and resume its effective leadership within Mercosur, without leaving aside the priority agreements with the European Union, Japan and the United States. Moreover, the country needs to reflect and act strategically with the Brics, China and Africa, says Fiesp.

“The way things are today, our products have been replaced in domestic and international markets because they are structurally more expensive than Asian products, and less advanced and innovative than the Europeans, Japanese and Americans ones. In this perspective, the keyword is competitiveness”, says Skaf.

Concerning this point, Fiesp wants Brazil to close the gap with international practices (OECD/UN) to avoid double taxation, eliminating the mandatory adoption of tax sparing in the negotiations of new agreements.

Read Fiesp proposals in the complete version of the document “Proposals for External Integration of Industry” (in Portuguese).