Brazil trade relations with other countries exceeded, for the first time, US$ 200 billion in a 12-month period, between April 2005 and March of this year.
The Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade released the trade balance with the new numbers and Foreign Trade Secretary, Armando Meziat, celebrated the accomplishment.
According to him, even though this volume represents less than 2% of world trade, numbers show that Brazil is advancing in the process of opening its economy.
The Secretary recalled that current external trade represents 25% of Brazilian Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and added, "The ideal for open economies is that this volume reaches 30% of the GDP." Exports totaled US$ 123.245 billion and imports, US$ 77.446 billion.
Meziat said he believes that external sales will easily reach the 2006 goal of US$ 132 billion.
In spite of the government’s efforts to get more small businesses into the export sector, a study by the Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade found that 1,069 small businesses stopped exporting in 2005.
A preliminary analysis of the study shows that 75% of the small businesses that stopped exporting had little experience in the sector, reports Meziat.
Meziat says the valorization of the real against the dollar, which makes Brazilian goods more expensive abroad, was an important factor. He adds that the study found that the average value of exports by businesses that left the sector was US$ 20,000. However, the study also found that businesses entering the sector had average sales of US$ 23,000.