Brazil’s Minister of Finance, Antonio Palocci called for greater economic liberalization in Brazilian industrial sectors with very high protectionist barriers. He cited information technology as an example.
After making it clear, in a speech at the Getúlio Vargas Foundation’s 2nd Economics Forum, that the Ministry does not intend to propose a unilateral and indiscriminate reduction in import surcharges on industrial products from wealthy countries, Palocci said that he also wanted to clarify his position regarding other aspects of this question.
One of these aspects is unfair competition, which, according to the Minister, “is resolved not by entry rules but by actions against what is unfair – safeguards, antidumping, etc.”
Other aspects that the Minister said he views as negative and would like to offer for debate have to do with “some sectors, such as information technology, which we maintain with a very high level of effective protection.”
Palocci said that “the level of effective protection in information technology is not good for the Brazilian industrial park as a whole.”
In the Minister’s opinion, “we should move towards a more adequate position, more open in this sphere, because the benefits of this opening will materialize along horizontal lines throughout the Brazilian economy.
“I think that we should have this willingness, but there is no conflict within the government in this respect; there are only proposals that are being assembled.”
With reference to the need for the country to formulate proposals to achieve negotiating success within the World Trade Organization (WTO), Palocci said:
“We expect to make headway this year in gaining more daring trade agreements. This will be good for Brazil. It is not enough for us to desire it, because, since there are various parties involved, everyone must want it. It is a very slow process.”