The document is the result of a survey conducted by the Association with the top 100 European and Brazilian companies with businesses between Brazil and EU
Since the nomination of Jean-Claude Juncker to the European Commission’s presidency, EUBrasil Association has initiated a survey among the largest European and Brazilian companies with investments and trade between Brazil and the EU in order to gather proposals. The the main challenges and suggestions from these companies are being collated and will be presented in a document by EUBrasil to Mr Juncker in November, when the new Commission will take office.
The Brazilian Centro de Estudos de Integração e Desenvolvimento (CINDES) is in charge of the final document. “New administrations in the EU and Brazil create an excellent opportunity for reviewing and updating the tools for bilateral cooperation. The responses collected by EUBrasil indicate that there is a strong interest from European companies, but also Brazilian, to strengthen the economic relations. There are many possibilities to be explored, involving the negotiation of a free trade agreement, but beyond this mechanism”, says Sandra Rios, director of the think tank.
The president of EUBrasil, Luigi Gambardella, explains what motivated the association to conduct this survey:
Why EUBrasil decided to conduct this survey?
Luigi Gambardella (LG): When Mr Juncker was chosen as the new president of the European Commission, many European and Brazilian companies have indicated a great interest to strengthen a EU-Brazil dialogue. It was the right time! In early July, the Mercosur-EU negotiations were put on hold, the European Parliament was changing, Brazil was about to have elections and there were also changes to be made at the EU executive body. With so many changes, EUBrasil understood that it was time to work harder for this dialogue and decided to ask the main stakeholders to choose key points of the business relations between Brazil and Europe that should be brought to the European Commission, putting these issues on top of president Juncker’s agenda.
How EUBrasil collected the companies’ opinions?
LG: We sent a letter to 100 companies with questions on the importance of Brazil-EU for business, the main barriers and regulations faced by those who want to export and invest in Europe of Brazil, and what the EU can do to solve these issues.
What EUBrasil plans to do with this information?
LG: We are preparing a document with all the answers to be sent to Mr Juncker, the Commissioners in charge of Trade and Agriculture, and also to the European Parliament where there is a new Delegation for the Relations with Brazil.
What do you expect to achieve?
LG: We hope that this document can be a guide to assist the European Commission to improve relations with Brazil. It will also be used by EUBrasil as guidance for future actions, in order to continue to support development of the relations between EU and Brazil.
Would you highlight any of the responses or comments received from the companies?
LG: We would not like to anticipate the responses before the final document is presented, but I can mention among the main comments the need of greater transparency and an effective commitment that allows a simplification in the way the EU laws are developed.
According to Eurostats, the European Commission’s Office, the EU is Brazil’s main trade partner:
- More than 20% of Brazilian exports go to the bloc;
- More than 2% of EU exports go to Brazil;
- The direct investment from EU in Brazil increased from €70 bilhões, in 2004, to €250 bilhões, in 2014. This figure represents 45% of all foreign investment in Brazil.