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SIAL's founder attends Series of Lectures to discuss European Union - Mercosul Free Trade Agreem

On August 28th the Palacio Tangara in Sao Paulo held the opening the Series of Lectures to discuss European Union - Mercosul Free Trade Agreement. SIAL's founder and international lawyer Fernanda Siqueira attended the event together with lawyer Renan Martins, the representative in Goiania - Goias - Brazil of Brazilian Institute of International Business Relations Development (IBREI).

As a result of a partnership between IBREI and Catholic Lisbon School of Business & Economics, the event aimed to tight relations among public and private sectors in order to present to Brazilian entrepreneurial leaders the importance of the execution of the free trade agreement between UE and Mercosul.

Approximately 300 attendees followed the lectures presented by Chief-Negotiators and Authorities from the main involved countries, as well as representatives of the biggest companies and confederations, foundations and associations.

Mrs. Paula Aguiar Barbosa - Chief of Commercial Negotiations Department Between Europe and Latin America from Brazilian Foreign Relations Ministry - ensured that the execution of the agreement "will take Brazil to another level", influencing its economy. "European Union is a great investor in Brazil, as in 2015 they invested here BRL 230 million", explain Barbosa when highlighting that Brazil is currently negotiating trade agreements with Brussels, Geneva and Canada.

However, she stressed that Brazil is still a very closed country to foreign negotiations. Such fact is highlighted by Gabriel Petrus, CEO of International Commercial Chamber (ICC). According to a study developed by the institution, Brazil is ranked in the 69 position among the G-20 countries with most closed economy. "Now it is time to open to the world", alerts.

Bernardo Ivo Cruz, former president of Portuguese-British Chamber of Commerce of London believes that the agreement "is one of the most important to strengthen South-Atlantic dimensions". The officer spoke about Brexit and its consequences. "They have plenty technology but with little dimensions. Besides, they import agribusiness and purchase more then selling", stress Cruz. He also highlights that Brazilian services area is the strongest in the region. "Regarding to Brazil, it is very important that our country establish relations with its old metropolis. Portugal is the natural platform for Brazilian companies to the European market", said.

The expectations of the private sector was also part of the agenda of the lectures series. According to Rubens Medrano, VP of Fecomercio-SP, the agreement removes customs bureaucracy, saving time for transactions. "It enables Brazil to access other markets", highlights the VP. However, Mendrano stressed the importance of isonomy among the national and international negotiations, enabling that one country may produce and take advantages of the benefits. "Brazilian e-commerce is alarming. Although its strength, international companies have the biggest share".

To the Slovenian Stefan Bogdan Barenboim-Salej, officer of Industries Federation of Sao Paulo(FIESP), not only one sector has been benefited from the agreement, but the whole country. "Its execution cannot be seen as a threat, but as an opportunity, because Brazil needs to be more opened and competitive at global level". The officer highlights paradigm change to achieve better results. "The 'plant floor' needs to be changed. We need to use even more technology as an ally to seek Industry 4.0".

As the agreement execution expected for December 2017 involves two of the biggest economic blocs of the planet, it will promote a great impact in the international relations worldwide. "Therefore it is extremely important the participation of the entrepreneurial sector in the discussions of the Lectures Series. Thus we will be able to know what is is being discussed and participate more effectively in the development of the negotiations", states Maurício Prazak, president of IBREI.

The Series of Lectures will sequentially take place in seven countries (Belgium, France, Germany, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and Brazil). International negotiators will attend each of them, as well as ministers, ambassadors, consuls and presidentes of Chambers of Commerce of the main European and Mercosul countries. (Source: IBREI)

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