The Brazilian balance of trade (exports minus imports) recorded a surplus of US$ 2.719 billion in June, a value 28.8% lower than recorded in the same month of 2007 (US$ 3.821 billion). Last month, exports totaled US$ 18.594 billion and imports, US$ 15.875 billion.
In the accumulated result for the year, trade surplus reached US$ 11.370 billion, with foreign sales at US$ 90.645 billion and imports at US$ 79.275 billion. In comparison with the same period of last year, the trade surplus decreased 44.74%.
The reason for the reduction in trade surplus is the growth of imports at a faster pace than exports. The cheaper dollar and the increased income of the Brazilians favor imports of products. Besides, companies have been importing machinery and equipment in order to invest in production.
Brazil's Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade, the Brazilian Foreign Trade Association (AEB) and the National Confederation of Commerce (CNC) are going to promote this Tuesday, July 1st, in the southeastern Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro, the 2nd National Meeting of Foreign Trade in Services. The main theme will be "Construction of a services export policy."
According to the Ministry of Development, Brazilian services exports totaled US$ 22.6 billion in 2007, only 0.7% of total exports worldwide, which stand at approximately US$ 3.3 billion. In the evaluation of the ministry, however, foreign services sales might reach US$ 39.5 billion by 2010, by means of joint work between the government and private companies in incentive actions.
The projection, according to the Ministry of Development, was made based on an average annual growth rate of 20% for exports by the segment since 2005. In the first quarter this year, however, foreign sales of services grew only 5% compared with the same period of 2007. The segments that stood out the most were finances and insurance, information and trade (retail and wholesale).
The services area is included in the Production Development Policy (PDP), announced last May by the federal government. According to the Ministry of Development, support to the sector should include credit lines and tax reductions. The actions aim to increase the competitiveness of companies in the sector, especially the small ones, and consolidate an export policy for the sector.
In the domestic realm, the services sector answers to more than 56% of the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and to 85% of jobs, and attracts the most foreign direct investment. The government and the private organisations involved in the meeting want the foreign market performance to reflect the sector's strength within the national economy.
According to the Secretary for Trade and Services at the Ministry, Edson Lupatini, the most promising segments include fashion, design, audiovisual, engineering, information technology, and business advisory, among others.
Today, the Brazilian Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade and the Brazilian Export and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex) are going to sign a technical cooperation agreement to elaborate actions in the area.
The agreement, according to the Apex, forecasts partnerships with other public and private organisations, conduction of surveys and researches, information exchange, creation of sectoral plans, conduction of seminars, publications, and formation of a permanent workgroup turned to the segment.