Brazilian Agriculture minister Neri Geller just announced that the Chinese government has agreed to lift the embargo on Brazilian beef, brought into effect in 2012 following suspicions of a case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), the mad cow disease, in a dead animal in the state of Paraná, in 2010.
The case, however, was considered atypical and less dangerous than the usual variety of the illness.
According to Geller, the deal with China was made official during a meeting with Presidents Xi Jinping and Dilma Rousseff, and exports are likely to resume this year. Brazil awaits an official communication from the Chinese sanitary defense, which may take about a month.
At first, eight companies will be allowed to export to the Asian country, but nine others have made a request to join them.
After the embargo was suspended, sales to China may reach 18 percent of all the beef Brazil exports every year. According to Neri Geller, US$ 800 million is expected to be sold for $1.2 billion to the Chinese next year.
Brazil began selling beef to China in 2009, when $2.5 million-worth of the product was traded. By December 2012, when commerce was interrupted by the embargo, negotiations had amounted to $37.7 million.
While the ban was in force, the Chinese market expanded. In 2013, China’s beef purchases totaled $1.269 billion. Minister Geller believes that, besides the increase in the demand, the trust placed by the Chinese in Brazil’s sanitary system has played a key role in the decision to suspend the embargo.
“We understand that Brazil left the case a stronger country. We’ve shown that the Brazilian defense is working, and that public health is a priority,” he said.
At the moment, three countries still impose restrictions on Brazilian beef: Saudi Arabia, Peru and Iran; but the Ministry of Agriculture reported that negotiations have been made with all three of them.
BRICS and IMF
President Dilma Rousseff said that Brazil will not give up its rights in the International Monetary Fund (IMF). She once again called for changes in the institution’s quota system and a more substantial participation of emerging countries in the fund’s decision making. Rousseff also stated that the creation of the New Development Bank and the Contingent Reserve Arrangement does not pose a threat to the IMF.
“We’re quota-holders and we want a change in the distribution of quotas. We want the IMF, as an institution in the financial system, to reflect the interactions among forces in international economy. We, the emerging countries, occupying the position we do in the economy, should have the same representation. Having less representation is not a possibility,” she noted.
Rousseff spoke when asked about her view on the reaction of IMF managing director to the creation of the BRICS Development Bank and the emergency fund for member countries: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
In a letter to the Brazilian president, Christine Lagarde said that the IMF team will be “delighted to work” with BRICS, with a view to reinforcing the cooperation among all parts of the international safety net intended to preserve financial stability in the world.”
“I said that our Contingent Reserve Arrangement and our BRICS Development Bank were not against anyone and that we would not give up the right we have with the IMF, because there’s no reason why we should.”
The president went on to say that the BRICS are also interested in working with the IMF, and added that it is still too early to discuss how this cooperation could be put into effect.
Brazil’s aeronautics and aerospace industries are to receive extra support in the two upcoming years for the promotion of their business, products and services abroad.
An agreement signed between Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (“Apex-Brasil”) and the Center for Competitiveness and Innovation in the Cone Leste Paulista (“Cecompi”) is expected to encourage the participation of companies in leading fairs and events around the world.
Brazil’s industrial aerospace complex is the fourth largest one in the world, with 100 companies. According to Cecompi Executive Director Marcelo Sáfadi Alvares, this sector is also crucial from the geopolitical standpoint, since Brazilian technology is highly renowned among South American countries.
The deal is part of the project entitled Brazilian Aerospace Cluster, which so far includes 45 organizations. The project has been in existence since 2012 and previously gave more focus to companies from the São José dos Campos region, an important industrial center in São Paulo, where several major enterprises in the sector are based, Apex-Brasil manager Maurício Manfré pointed out. “It’s been a good pilot project. The institution contributes with knowledge about the industry and Apex applies technology and knowledge to the creation of business opportunities.”
Their goal now is to consolidate Brazil’s image as a major center for the development of technology as well as sophisticated products and services for the sector. “When we started our work, we had two or three exporters in the chain.
Now we have 15 product exporters alongside 18 service exporters, which have generated US$ 120 million,” Alvares said. In his view, the aerospace sector should improve in several arenas, but is nonetheless competitive on the international market.
The new stage of the project also entails companies from Minas Gerais, Santa Catarina, Paraná and Rio de Janeiro – states which have improved key centers for the aeronautics and aerospace industries.
“We’ve ascertained that some sectors are given the great opportunities in global events and industry fairs. In the next two years, we’ll be taking part in fairs in the US, Europe and the Middle East, in events that put the aerospace and the aeronautics branches together,” Manfré said. The group, for instance, is to participate in Airtec, in Frankfurt, Germany.