During the Progressive Governance Summit, in Pretoria, South Africa, on Sunday, February 12, Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva declared that each country should do what it can to assist poorer nations. And he went on to offer free access for goods from the poorest nations to the Brazilian market.
"President Lula told the summit that Brazil is willing to offer access, free of surtaxes or quotas, to our market for goods from poor countries, especially the less developed nations of Africa," explained Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim.
According to Amorim, Lula also continued to insist on making progress on the Doha Round issue of farm subsidies. Lula said that fair trade is important for the development of poor nations because it reduces poverty and helps to build world peace.
In the past, President Lula criticized the way the world does business declaring that new economic, commercial and cultural policies were needed to make the world a better place, with more democracy and solidarity, and less inequality.
He said for example that rebuilding the United Nations would be a step toward more equality in the world. He also criticized protectionism in rich nations.
"There are countries that preach free trade but they practice protectionism. They want zero tariffs, but insist on maintaining subsidies that now total over US$ 1 billion per day.
"They want to liberalize services, investments, government procurement and intellectual property, but they use anti-dumping laws and quota systems to protect inefficient economic segments from fair competition," he said.
"Brazil wants an economic order that is more just and balanced, with equal opportunity for all," he concluded.