Minister reinforces Brazil’s commitment to advance the Mercosur-EU negotiations

Minister Armando Monteiro and ambassador Josef Smets (Photo MDIC)

Minister Armando Monteiro and ambassador Josef Smets (Photo MDIC)

Armando Monteiro Neto, Brazil’s minister of Development, Industry and Trade (MDIC in Portuguese) said that the Brazilian government’s position is to move forward with the trade agreement between Mercosur and the EU. “We managed to evolve in the Mercosur with the affinity between the member countries and we are ready to advance with the presentation of an offer to conclude the negotiations. This is the government’s position today”, said the minister during a meeting with Belgium ambassador in Brazil, Josef Smets.

The minister stressed that president Dilma Rousseff already expressed being in favour of the negotiations between the two blocs. “We are waiting for an offer from EU to carry on. Mercosur would be stronger if we closed this agreement”, added Armando Monteiro.

The Belgian ambassador said that he is willing to take the minister’s message to EU representatives and expressed interest in expanding the trade and investments relations with Brazil. Smets highlighted that four sectors are a priority in the bilateral relation: transports and ports, chemical and pharmaceutical, agricultural and food, and research and development. A visit by the Secretary of State for Foreign Trade of Belgium, Pieter De Crem, to Brazil is scheduled for the first half of March. The agenda includes meetings between businessmen from both countries.

In Armando Monteiro’s opinion this is an important occasion to boost the trade relations between Brazil and Belgium. “Our trade relations have at some extend stagnated in the last five years and there is now an opportunity to find common points of interest to resume the trade flow and make this relationship more productive”, said the minister.

Trade exchange

In 2014, Brazil exported to Belgium US$ 3,286 billion while the European country sold US$ 1,849 billion, creating a surplus for Brazil of US$ 1,437 billion. Total trade between the two countries was US$ 5,136 billion and Belgium is the 20th trade partner of Brazil.

The main products sold by Brazil to Belgium last year were: orange juice (US$ 683 million), coffee beans (US$ 548 million), tobacco leaves (US$ 418 million) and iron ore (US$ 200 million).

In the same period, the main goods sold by Belgium to Brazil were medicines (US$ 337 million), insecticides (US$ 126 million), ammonium sulfate (US$ 88 million), passenger cars (US$ 66 million) and malt (US$ 62 million).

Information from MDIC (www.mdic.gov.br)