Although the US remains Brazil’s biggest trade partner, it is buying fewer Brazilian goods. A survey by the National Confederation of Industry (CNI) reports that the reduction began as a consequence of lower economic activity in Brazil between 2000 and 2002, even though Brazil was running growing trade surpluses with the US at the same time.
This year, with the Brazilian economy growing there has been an increase in exports to the US, which is presently buying 23% of all Brazilian exports (last year Brazilian exports to the US were worth US$ 16.7 billion).
Meanwhile, Brazil imports more from the US than from any other country, although the goods it buys from the US account for only 2% of all American exports.
Brazil’s export infrastructure is sufficient and adequate for the country’s business volume, and what gets in the way is a “logistics blackout” caused by the excess of bureaucracy, strikes, and insecurity.
This is the assessment of the directors of the 10th Intermodal – International Foreign Trade Transportation and Services Fair, which was held earlier this year in São Paulo. The Intermodal is the world’s largest export infrastructure fair.
For the director of the fair, Martin von Simson, the country’s export infrastructure is not undersized, even with record-breaking exports. In his opinion, port and airport terminals are capable of meeting demands.
Von Simson asserts that the long lines of trucks on highways at the peak of the harvest for export-bound grains are the result of a “logistics blackout.”
In his view, what disrupts business is the lack of operational support and the bureaucracy imposed by government organs responsible for inspections, licenses, authorizations, and other documents related to foreign trade, as well as the strikes in these sectors.
The director of the Intermodal points out that the government should seek solutions that also include security and the condition of highways used for transporting the crops.
“Since September 11, 2001 (when the World Trade Center towers were attacked in New York), shipments have to arrive at the terminals four days ahead of time for inspection.
The highways have gone without maintenance for years. All this together produces a problem we call logistics blackout,” von Simson affirms.
Translator: Allen Bennett