Discurso da Exma. Sra. Emb. Vera Barrouin Machado durante o evento da EUBrasil – 13.11.2013

Discurso da Exma. Sra. Emb. Vera Barrouin Machado durante o evento da EUBrasil – 13.11.2013

Bruxelas, 13 de novembro de 2013

I would like to thank Mr Gambardella for this welcoming dinner and many important MPs and EU officers and personalities that support Brazil- EU relations. I consider this dinner as an important occasion to take stock of our relations as they are today.

Political Relations

Brazil’s historical and cultural ties with the European continent are a solid basis for the close relationship we have maintained with many countries among the EU Member States throughout the years. Moreover, the Brazilian government kept up with the progress of the European project right from its inception and established a relationship with the European Communities since the initial stages of the European integration.

Cooperation became stronger and stronger in the last few years. The establishment, in 2007, of the Strategic Partnership between Brazil and the EU was a landmark in our bilateral relationship. It provided us with a framework that allowed us to deepen the institutionalisation of our relations and to enrich the cooperation in a multiple way.

The EU has a cardinal importance for Brazil. It is a great partner, not only economically, but politically as well. Our relationship is based upon a common ground of values such as rule of law, democracy, human rights, social justice and international peace.

The relationship between Brazil and the EU develops in three main levels: the bilateral level consists in the dialogue with the different EU institutions, especially the European Commission, the Presidency of the European Council and, since 2010, the European External Action Service. The second level resides in the bi-regional ties, both in the form of the MERCOSUR-EU negotiations and within the dialogue between the Latin-American and Caribbean Countries Community (CELAC) and the EU. The first EU-CELAC Summit, held in January this year in Santiago, agreed upon a common Declaration and in a Joint Action Plan 2013-2015 consisting in concrete measures of bi-regional cooperation. The third level is the relationship that Brazil has established on a bilateral basis with the EU Member States. Those three levels, although distinct, they interact and have synergies that, to some extent, influence one another.

The Brazilian government has a very positive view on the results of the 6th Brazil-EU Summit, held in Brasilia in January this year. It reflected the high degree of maturity of our relationship and how diversified it has become. On that occasion, our leaders took stock of what has been done since the adoption of the second Joint Action Plan of our Strategic Partnership, for the period from 2012 to 2014, and called for new actions to deepen our cooperation even further.

The increasing variety of our bilateral agenda and the ever-growing number of Sector Dialogues – more than 30 today – showcase the dynamic nature of our relationship. Besides the technical meetings, the number of mutual high-level visits by authorities from both sides has been increasing considerably. Those meetings allow us to have an effective implementation of our Joint Action Plan.

Next week, Brazilian authorities will come to Brussels for the XV Brazil-EU Joint Committee, which will be preceded by a meeting of the Joint Sub-Committee on Economic and Trade affairs, as well as for the Dialogue at the level of Political Directors. Those meetings will pave the way for the next Brazil-EU Summit meeting, which has been scheduled to take place in Brussels in February 2014.

Considering EUBrasil’s engagement in promoting the cooperation between Brazil and EU in the development of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT), I would like to highlight our constructive dialogue have with the EU on the Information Society.

In Brasilia, this November, we had a very productive two-day meeting with our European partner on the Dialogue on the Information Society, that will allow us to strengthen our concerted action on the promotion of a free, open, transparent, democratic and multi-stakeholder governance of the Internet. It was the sixth edition of this Dialogue since the establishment of our Strategic Partnership with the EU in 2007.

We hope that our European Partners, both in the public and in the private sector – EUBrasil included – can engage in the discussions for the preparation of the World Summit on the Information Society + 10 Review Process and in the international event on Internet governance we will host in April next year, probably in Rio. This event was announced by President Dilma Rousseff and the CEO of ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), Fadi Chehadé, on October 9.

I am very confident that the dynamic cooperation we have with the EU in Science, Technology and Innovation. We signed a framework agreement with the EU in 2004 that created a Joint Steering Committee that met six times already. During its third meeting, in 2009, the idea of a high-capacity submarine fibre-optic cable between Brazil and Europe was raised. Now a joint project between TELEBRAS and the Spanish private company IslaLink is ready and will be submited to the European Commission for financial support. Brazil strongly favours this project, which can bring our researchers’ communities closer and can be very useful for the interaction between our business communities as well.

The last meeting of this Joint Steering Committee, which took place in Brussels at the end of last June, paved the way for new fields of cooperation, such as marine research, sustainable agriculture, bio-economy and new forms of bio-fuels.

Many successful coordinated calls have already been carried out under our cooperation in ICT and Science, Technology and Innovation. This is an example of how well our Governments and companies can interact in the development of new technologies thereby creating new jobs and improving people’s lives.

I would like to stress the strong cooperation between our Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation and the EU Joint Research Centre.

Also, of utmost importance is our cooperation in education not only with the UE, but also with its Member States. Under the academic mobility programme “Science without Borders”, the Brazilian government intends to grant 100 thousand graduation and post-graduation scholarships for Brazilian students and researchers to attend leading universities abroad. Until September this year, a total number of more than 38 thousand scholarships were granted and implemented, almost 22 thousand of which in EU member states. And over 4000 additional scholarships were already granted for new students to study in the EU area and will soon be implemented. The cooperation with the EU in this programme is carried out mainly at the Member-State level. This is a very innovation and industry-driven programme. Most of the scholarships are granted for students in areas such as engineering, life sciences, exact sciences, computing and ICT, agriculture and biotechnology.

We have a specific channel for cooperation in education with the EU in the bilateral Sector Dialogue on Education, whose second meeting was held in Brasilia on October 18 this year. At this meeting of the dialogue we agreed on collaboration on language training for the students wanting to participate in the “Science without Borders”. The language barrier is now one of the main challenges this programme faces, and cooperation with the EU will certainly help us respond to it.

The dialogue meeting took place in Brasilia after a Joint Conference on the obstacles to the academic mobility between Brazil and EU. On that occasion Brazilian and European government officials and academics discussed ways to improve the interaction and collaboration between Brazilian and European Universities.

Much has been discussed on the macroeconomic situation in Brazil today. The data I bring to you are also forthcoming. Inflation is under control, at the current level of 5,8% over the last 12 months, thanks to the use of instruments such as the interest rate policy. Foreign reserves are above US$ 375 billion and we expect a primary fiscal surplus of 2.3% in 2013. The inflationary target is 4,5% with a flexibility margin between 2,5 and 6,5%. Interest rates is 9,5% as a result of recent increases aiming at inflation control.

The Brazilian Economy and Perspectives

After the modest growth rate of 0.9% in 2012 the Brazilian economy is recovering dynamism. In 2013 the expectations are that growth reaches from 2,5 to 3%. Unemployment rate is 5,7%.

Due to adverse effects of the international crisis on global trade, the main driver of our economy has been our internal market. Despite its considerable size, it is not sufficient ot compensate the reduction of external demand. We are looking forward to Europe´s economic recovery, as the EU is our main partner.

Trade and investment data continue to showcase the dynamism of bilateral relations. Bilateral trade in 2012 reached almost USD 100 billion, a result of growth in EU exports, which offset a reduction of Brazilian exports.

In 2012, Brazilian exports totalled USD 49 billion, a decrease of 8% if compared to the previous year; the European exports totalled USD 48 billion, an increase of 3%.

Indications so far in 2013 point to healthy trade flow, although with a change in the pattern. For the first time in many years, our trade balance with EU shows deficit to Brazil, probably due to the economic crisis in the EU. From January to September 2013 Brazilian exports totalled USD 34 billion and European exports, USD 38 billion.

As far as investments are concerned, over the last years we have come to a more balanced relationship. Brazilian investments are playing a more important role in the European market, Brazil is the 5th largest investor in the EU, while my country is the 3rd main destination of European investments (2011 data).

The stock of European investments in Brazil is 239 billion euros and the Brazilian stock reached 78 billion.

In the last Brazil-EU Summit meeting, a working group was mandated with the task to propose measures of incentive to bilateral investment and competitiveness The group shall present its proposals to our Presidents during the next Summit, early next year. This challenge was the object of the visit of the Voce-President of the European Commission to Brazil, last October.

The successful conclusion of the MERCOUL-EU negotiations will certainly give a significant push to our trade and investment relationship. Brazil and its partners in MERCOSUL are working to ensure that MERCOSUL and EU can proceed with the exchange of offers of market access this year, as agreed in Santiago, last January.

The Brazilian offer is ready and the Brazilian authorities at the highest levels have been forcefully emphasizing the importance of achieving progress within the agreed timeframe.

I would like to emphasize the crucial importance of continued support from the Legislative bodies for the success of the MERCOSUL-EU negotiations. The visit of the European Parliament delegation for Relations with MERCOSUL last October, was a very positive initiative.

In 2012, Brazil was the main supplier of agricultural products to the EU, with a market share of 14% and the EU was the main destination for Brazilian exports of agricultural products, with 24% of the total.

The agribusiness exports of Brazil to the EU reached USD 22.4 billion and the EU exports totalled USD 2.9 billion.

In this context, I would like to stress the importance of dialogues in agribusiness, especially the Consultation Mechanism on Sanitary and Phyto-sanitary Measures Between Brazil and the European Commission and the Dialogue between the Brazilian Ministry if Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply and the DG-AGRI. Initiatives such as these are an important element of the Strategic Partnership between Brazil and the EU.

Thank you.