By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – Brazil’s Minister of Development, Industry and Trade, Marcos Pereira and Argentina’s Production Minister, Francisco Cabrera, signed on Tuesday, August 2nd, agreements to lower bilateral trade bureaucracy and reduce time and costs of imports and exports between the two countries.
“Brazil and Argentina together, united, are stronger,” said Minister Pereira during a dinner with business leaders at Brazil’s embassy in Buenos Aires on the eve of the negotiations.
Officials the two countries vowed to continue the Digital Certificate of Origin Project (DOC). According to the Brazilian minister the digital certificate is expected to reduce logistic costs by at least 35 percent and instead of taking the current 24 hours, only thirty minutes to expedite the trade deals.
The two officials also signed the Cooperation Agreement on Trade Facilitation between Brazil, Argentina and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). The agreement provides for the exchange of technical information and experience in the development of foreign trade.
From January to July 2016 the bilateral trade between Brazil and Argentina amounted to US$12.5 billion. The neighboring country is Brazil’s third largest trading partner, behind only China and the United States.
In the period, Brazilian exports to Argentina fell 1.8 percent over the first seven months of 2015 from US$7.6 billion to US$7.5 billion. Argentina’s participation in Brazil’s total exports in 2016 is of 7 percent.
Last year, trade between Brazil and Argentina totaled US$23 billion, with exports of US$12.8 billion and imports of US$10.2 billion, leading to a surplus for Brazil of US$2.5 billion.