Russia’s announcement about its embargo on agriculture products from the US and Europe opens “a great window of opportunities for Brazil” to get into the Russian market, says Secretary for Agricultural Policy Seneri Paludo from the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply.
Russia has imposed a ban on imported food products from European countries and the US in response to their economic sanctions against Moscow over its involvement in the Ukrainian war. This embargo includes beef, pork, chicken, fish, cheese, milk, vegetables and fruit originated from the US, the European Union and also Australia, Canada and Norway.
“From the point of view of Brazilian agriculture policy, this is positive,” stated the secretary, because “Russia is a big consumer not only of grains but also of meat.” In his view, Russia’s move may result in a “revolution” in Brazil’s meat, corn and soy exports.
Brazil is waiting on an offer from the European Union to advance a trade agreement alongside other Mercosur countries with the European bloc, the Minister for Development, Industry and Foreign Trade, Mauro Borges, said.
“We are waiting for an indication that the European Union is consulting with its member countries,” he affirmed, explaining that no deadlines have been set for a reply.
But Borges admitted that Brazil could press ahead of its Mercosur peers towards a deal with the EU if it finds that its peers are moving in a slower pace, as was the case with the tariff reduction deal with member countries of the Pacific Alliance – namely Chile, Colombia, and Peru.
“Concerning Mercosur agreements with neighbor countries, the process of tax reduction is going much faster, ie, we are already operating in the fast track of tax reduction. This has often been the case with trade agreements in Latin America.”
Still, he went on to point out that although it is still a possibility, Brazil would not like to step ahead of its Mercosur partners.
The minister advocated multilateralism to strengthen trade integration with the EU, the United States, and China, while not overlooking the need for more integration in Latin America.
He said an agreement with the EU would enable the emergence of a productive specialization in Brazil’s diverse industrial base with technological cooperation. Therefore, he says a EU deal is critical in terms of gains in scale.
About strengthening production integration in Latin America, Borges noted that Brazil has recommended bringing forward economic agreements with countries of the Pacific Alliance in South America, with a view to a free trade status in 2019.
The minister believes that such integration would position Brazil to take great strides in the area of trade by increasing the current total trade of US$ 500 billion to about US$ 1 trillion over the next ten years.