Brazil Spares World’s Poorest Countries from Import Tariffs

Cargo ship Since the Doha Round, a negotiation on trade liberalization between developed and developing countries held under the World Trade Organization (WTO), has failed to produce an agreement, Brazil decided to promote its own round.

That's the way the Brazilian minister of Foreign Relations, Celso Amorim, announced last Monday, November 30, that Brazil is going to exempt the world's 30 poorest countries from import tariffs.

The decision was announced by Amorim at the WTO meeting in Geneva. According to the foreign minister, the measure is going to encompass 80% of the products sold by those countries to the Brazilian market up until mid-next year. The rate should increase gradually and, within four years, all of the products traded should be covered.

Before the conference in Geneva, representatives of developing countries signaled with the possibility of signing a joint agreement for reducing trade tariffs amongst themselves. They had a new meeting, which was being called the São Paulo Round.

Industrial Output

The Brazilian industrial output grew 2.2% in October compared with September, according to data from the Monthly Industrial Survey disclosed December 3 by the Brazilian Institute for Geography and Statistics (IBGE).

This is the tenth consecutive increase, and it reflects the performance of the country's economy. In comparison with October last year, however, there was a 3.2% reduction.

Out of the 27 segments surveyed by the IBGE, 21 recorded growth from September to October. The performance was driven by the auto industry, which grew 11.2%. In comparison with the result for December last year, when the segment was under the impact of the crisis, vehicle production grew 107.1%.

The IBGE made an upward revision of industrial activity data for September, and increased growth from 0.8% to 1.8%. In the year-to-date period ended September, the output decreased 10.7%, and in the last 12-month period, there was reduction of 10.6%. The institute calls attention to the fact that the 12-month result has maintained its downward curve, but at a lower rate than in previous periods.

Chicken Exports

The Brazilian Poultry Exporters Association (Abef) disclosed estimates made by its executive chairman, Francisco Turra, regarding exports until the end of the year. According to him, the performance in 2009 should be similar to that of 2008, when 3.645 tonnes of chicken meat were exported, or else there should be growth of 1%.

Turra stated, according to a release issued by the Abef, that the result contrasts with the average annual growth of 11% in exports that took place in the last eight years. He added that shipments in 2009 were only kept going by the opening of new markets, especially China.

Among the factors that harmed exports, Turra mentioned the international financial crisis and the strong appreciation of the real (Brazilian currency) against the dollar, which, according to him, reduced the competitiveness and profitability of the Brazilian product.

According to the Abef, Brazilian chicken exports totaled 269,000 tonnes in November, having totaled 3.32 tonnes in the year-to-date period ended in the month, a figure that represents reduction of 1.74% compared with the same period of 2009. Revenues from shipments decreased 19.16% using the same basis for comparison.

Turra stated that in 2010, the organization is going to implement a strategic plan focusing on consolidating or entering 30 different markets.

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