Brazil needs to import more. This was the position defended by the Research and Economic Study director at Bradesco bank, Octávio de Barros, during the 120th Encomex, the foreign trade meeting that took place in São Paulo.
Barros said to an audience made up mainly of businessmen, at the offices of the Federation and Center of Industries of the State of São Paulo (Fiesp/Ciesp), that Brazil has the lowest imports to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio in the world.
According to Octávio de Barros, a study of national companies promoted every month by Bradesco shows that the sectors that are most increasing their exports are also those that are further expanding their production.
"This cycle of Brazilian imports is promising. We must make use of it to be more aggressive in exports," stated the director. The idea is to import inputs and technology to produce more, at lower cost, and thus also to export more.
According to figures supplied by the Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade, one of the organizers of the Encomex, Brazilian imports currently represent 8.5% of the GDP. Barros considers this percentage low, but it has already been lower.Â In 1997 it was 6.87%.
"The participation of imports in the GDP is growing," stated the director of the Foreign Trade Planning and Development Department at the Ministry, Fábio Martins Faria.
Brazil is currently facing an increase in imports, which are growing more than exports. From January to August this year, they have risen 27.8% in comparison with the same months in 2006, reaching US$ 74.9 billion. Imports, in turn, grew 15.9% to US$ 102.4 billion.
"This is a significant increase as it is basically in raw materials and intermediary products, which represent 50%, and capital goods, around 20%," stated the Foreign Trade secretary at the Development Ministry, Armando Meziat, at a press conference during the Encomex.
According to Meziat, imports include machinery that is not made in Brazil, bringing to the country further technology and the capacity of producing better quality products at lower costs.
"By offering cheaper products here, you compete with the import of end products and also slightly neutralize the loss there is being due to the appreciation of the Brazilian real against the dollar," stated Meziat.Â
Brazilian imports of raw and intermediary materials grew 28.5% from January to August this year, as against the same months in 2006, and those of capital goods rose 27.3%.