By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – The Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade (MDIC) in Brazil announced on Monday, February 9th, plans to increase the country’s exports, including finding new markets for Brazilian products and doing away with some of the bureaucracy of exporting abroad.
“This is not only the government’s plan,” MDIC Minister Armando Monteiro Neto, was quoted by Agencia Brasil as saying. The MDIC official noted that the national export plan is being prepared with the help of the private sector, “More than fifty sectors of the economy were consulted. Workers and unions will also be heard,” he stated.
According to Monteiro Neto the government wants to strengthen its trade policies with countries which are in good economic situation as well as those recovering from the 2008 global economic crisis.
Brazil, said the minister, will also work towards entering new markets in Asia and the Middle East.
“We want a more active trade policy so that Brazil may diversify the destination of its exports and associate its trade flows to regions which are more actively economically,” Monteiro Neto stated.
According to MDIC data, Brazil’s trade balance for the first week in February registered exports of US$3.678 billion and imports of US$3.703 billion, leading to a negative trade balance of US$25 million. In comparison to the same period last year, exports declined by 7.7 percent.
According to the ministry the decline in exports was due to a reduction in the sales of staple goods abroad, such as soybean grain and meal, cattle beef and iron ore, by nine percent.
Imports during the first week in February also fell, by eighteen percent, mainly due to a reduction of imports of auto vehicles and parts, fuel and lubricants and mechanical equipment.