The EUBrasil Association and the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex-Brasil), whose missions are to foster trade and investments between Brazil and the European Union (EU) are jointly organising a round table debate on Regulatory Convergence on trade between Brazil and the EU, on 9 June in Brussel, with the support of the Brazilian government.
Regulatory convergence is one of the tools that can be usefully explored to foster trade between the two blocs. The objective is to remove or reduce the impact of diverging regulations on trade, whilst safeguarding the right to regulate to address legitimate public policy concerns. This can be achieved through better dialogue of regulators and industry on both sides, as well as the elimination of unnecessary technical barriers to trade. The EU-Mercosur Association Agreement offers a unique opportunity for to tackle non-tariff barriers to trade; EU-Brazil bilateral regulatory dialogue may also serve to achieve technical cooperation to enhance trade.
“Facilitating trade by eliminating regulatory barriers is a key issue. This can also be a way to reduce the obstacles to finalise a free trade agreement. Our main goals should be to boost competitiveness of European and Brazilian industry and at the same time to promote policies in favour of both consumers. European consumers should be aware that with the EU Mercosur Agreement they could buy Brazilian agricultural products at lower prices and Brazilian consumers could have better access at services offered by Europeans at better conditions,” said Luigi Gambardella, president of EUBrasil.
“The round table will take place in the context of the EU-CELAC Summit (Community of Latin American and Caribbean States) in Brussels while Brazil is promoting an open market policy and wants to increase its exports,” completed Gambardella.
Brazilian and European high-level officials will participate in the round table, including Mr Matthias Jorgensen, Head of the Latin America Unit at the Directorate-General for Trade of the European Commission; Mr Márcio Luiz Naves de Lima, Director of the department of international negotiations of the ministry of Industry and Foreign trade (MDIC); Mr Carlos Eduardo Abijaodi, Director of industrial development of the National industry confederation (CNI); Ms Luisa Santos, Director of the department of international relations of BusinessEurope, as well as the Ambassador Vera Machado, Head of the Brazilian mission at the European Union.
Representatives of companies and industry associations, such as Citrosuco, BASF Group Biotechnology, UNICA, Toledo JBS, the Brazilian Association of Animal Protein (ABPA), will also join the round table discussion.
The debate will be moderated by Mr. Mario Cimoli, Director for Production, Productivity and Economic Management at the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean States (CEPAL), an organisation of the United Nations (UN).
With respect to the EU-Mercosur free trade agreement negotiations, Mercosur Ministers will meet EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström on the margins of the EU-CELAC Summit of 10-11 June. The Ministerial Meeting aims to take stock of the negotiations and make progress towards an exchange of offer for goods.
The theme of EU-CELAC is “Building our common future: working to create prosperous, cohesive and sustainable societies for our citizens”. The summit will bring together 61 Heads of State or Government of the European Union, Latin America and the Caribbean to strengthen relations between the two regions. It is one of the main forums for dialogue, still gathering a third of UN members and almost half of the G20.
“The EU-CELAC summits are essentially political dialogue exercises, so we cannot expect substantive progress on bilateral concrete issues. But the fact that they gather such a large number of government representatives from both sides makes it a good opportunity to deliver new ideas and orientations on how to facilitate economic and social relationships between the two regions”, said Alfredo Valladão, Chairman of the Advisory Board of EUBrasil.
“It is also very useful for many more concrete side meetings between the EU and sub-regional Latin American and Caribbean integration processes, as well as more deep bilateral discussions between European and Latin American leaders”, added Valladão.
According to Eurostat, the EU is the second trade partner for the CELAC region. Trade in goods between the EU and Latin America almost doubled over the last decade (2004-2014) – reaching €209.2 billion in 2014 – 6.2% of total EU trade. The EU remains the leading foreign investor in CELAC countries, with total FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) stocks amounting to €505.7 billion in 2013. This represented around one third of all FDI stocks in the region. The EU FDI stock in CELAC countries was higher than the EU FDI stock in Russia (€155 billion – 2013, prior to the crisis in Ukraine), China (€128 billion, 2013) and India (€35 billion, 2013) combined (€319 billion, 2013). Trade in services between the EU and CELAC amounted to €72.2 billion in 2013.
The EU is the destination number one of Brazil’s exports and imports: 20% of Brazil’s exports go to the EU, while 21% of Brazil imports come from the EU. In 2014, Brazil represented 2.0% of EU Trade in goods with the world, immediately after India and before Saudi Arabia. In 2014, EU exports to Brazil stood at €37.0 bn, and EU imports from Brazil at € 31.1 bn. In 2014, Brazil was EU’s 10th trading partner worldwide, down from the eighth position in 2013.
About EUBrasil: The EUBrasil Association, based in Brussels, is the only private networking platform in Europe and Brazil created with the objective of supporting the development of trade relations between the EU and Brazil and at the same time promote the political and cultural exchange between the two blocks. EUBrasil gathers think tank organisations, business leaders, opinion makers and Brazilian and European academics as well as members of the Brazilian Congress and the European Parliament directly involved in decision-making within the EU-Brazil strategic partnership.