By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – An agreement signed at the World Trade Organization (WTO) last week will allow Brazil to export an extra R$250 million per year to the European Union, especially sugar and poultry exports, announced the Brazilian Foreign Relations Ministry, Itamaraty.
“After three years of negotiations, conducted in close coordination with the Brazilian private sector, the quotas with reduced import tariffs for sugar and poultry meats will increase, which will increase Brazilian exports to the European Union in about R$250 million per year,” said the press note released by Itamaraty.
The agreement calls for the increase by 114,000 tons the volume of sugar allowed to be exported from the South American country to Europe with lower tariffs for the next seven years.
Last week’s accords are part of negotiation talks within the WTO that started in July 2013, after the entry of Croatia in the European Union bloc. The entry of the Mediterranean country into the EU led to the increase of import tariffs by Croatia on Brazilian sugar, adjusting itself to new EU rules. Brazilian officials complained and the issue went to the WTO to be discussed.
According to Brazilian officials the agreement should be implemented as soon as possible and that Brazilian sugar producers should be able to export with lower tariffs already at the beginning of this second semester of 2016.
The Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Foreign Trade, said the European Union is Brazil’s main partner as a bloc on goods and services, with 17.8 percent of exports of goods and 32.2 percent of services in 2014. In 2015, the trade balance between the two totaled US$70.5 billion, with a deficit of US$2.7 billion for Brazil.