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Brazil Seek Faster Ways to Solve Trade Problems

November 14th, 2009
Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies

Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies

South Africa and Brazil had agreed to set up mechanisms to fast-track solutions to agricultural disputes constraining trade between the two countries, their trade ministers said yesterday.

Brazil is the second-largest exporter of agricultural goods to South Africa and the 10th-largest exporter of manufactured items to SA.

Although trade between the two rose 130% between 2004 and last year , Brazil was only SA’s 24th- largest export destination and 14th- largest source of imports, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said.

Building a relationship with Brazil was of strategic importance for SA. The Bric (Brazil, Russia, India and China) countries were establishing a growing presence in Africa, where trade had risen tenfold between 2000 and last year . These emerging economies had a common experience of development and greater complementarity than with other trading partners, Davies said.

Davies and Brazilian Development, Industry and Foreign Trade minister Miguel Jorge were speaking at a press conference during the three-day visit of a Brazilian trade mission to SA .

Jorge said although the problems Brazil was experiencing in selling its beef and pork in SA were not Davies’s responsibility, he had raised them with Davies. Brazil had invited SA’s agriculture minister to meet her Brazilian counterpart to discuss agricultural barriers, which were not confined only to beef but also included rules of origin on South African wines.

Davies said phyto-sanitary and other nontariff barriers existed on both sides. The two ministers had discussed the possibility of creating a fast-tracking mechanism within the co-operation council to address these issues.

One of the Brazilian delegation’s other priorities on this visit was to draw lessons from SA’s World Cup preparations as Brazil would be the next host, in 2014.

Davies said SA intended to continue developing its public transport infrastructure beyond next year, and a major Brazilian firm, Marco Polo, had already secured bus contracts in SA. “We want more products manufactured in SA and will be improving bus manufacturers’ access to the motor industry development programme,” he said.

By Charlotte Mathews

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