Development, Industry, and Foreign Trade minister Luiz Fernando Furlan stated yesterday, at the opening of the 34th edition of the international supermarket fair (Expo Abras) in Rio de Janeiro, that the Brazilian government wants to promote development of the domestic market, but without affecting country export.
by Geovana Pagel
“We want growth of the domestic market, but do not want to harm foreign trade. But for this purpose, investment is necessary. We are therefore providing incentives and the liberation of lines of credit especially for small and micro companies,” he stated.
So as to promote development policies for Brazilian retail, Furlan announced the creation of the National Trade Secretariat. “The secretariat will permanently focus on bilateral relations with the sector,” he said.
He added that sales of durable goods and food have been growing since June. “The year of 2004 will be seen as the divider between times of hardships, and times of bliss,” he declared.
The president of the Brazilian Supermarket Association (Abras), João Carlos Oliveira, also showed his trust in development of the economy.
“The 4% growth of the Brazilian Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the first half of this year has filled us with expectancy. This means greater employment, more industrial production, and more sales on the market,” stated Oliveira.
According to him, the supermarket sector includes over 72,000 stores throughout the country, generating 740,000 direct jobs and annual revenues of an estimated US$ 31 billion, equivalent to 6% of the country GDP.
Apart from policies like the creation of a new secretariat, Oliveira pointed out the importance of reduction of sector taxes, mentioning the reduction in the Cofins (social security tax) on foods in the staple diet.
“Reduction of taxes is essential for improvement of the economy. It is necessary to tax income, not the productive chain,” he said.
Brazilian vice president José Alencar, in turn, pointed out the importance of the Expo Abras internationalisation that has been taking place in recent years.
“Participation of businessmen from China, Poland, Mexico, and from the Arab countries shows that the sector has been attracting businessmen worldwide,” he said.
“Supermarkets are currently essential to Brazilian consumers, anywhere. The fair has a strategic connotation for this great sector,” he pointed out.
“Expo Abras shows tradition, quality, and dynamism. It combines technology and debates in an expanding and diverse sector,” added the governor of the state of Rio de Janeiro, Rosinha Garotinho.
ANBA ”“ Brazil-Arab News Agency