Trade & investment

Azevedo visits ICC Brazil and highlights benefits of trade for Brazilian economy

  • 31 March 2016
ICC World Chambers

Roberto Azevedo, Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO), met with 20 CEOs from key sectors of the Brazilian economy to discuss the role of trade in the road back to growth.

The gathering was organized yesterday in Sao Paulo at the initiative of Daniel Feffer, Chairman of ICC Brazil, the Brazilian national committee of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).

Participants included Jorge Gerdau (Grupo Gerdau), Roberto Setubal (Banco Itau), Pedro Passos (Natura), Cledorvino Belini (Fiat), Giberto Peralta (General Electric), Pedro Mizutani (Raizen), Ricardo Scalamandre (TV Globo), Rodrigo Kede (IBM), Monica Herrero (Stefanini), Jose Augusto Fernandes (CNI) and Celso Lafer, former Minister of External Relations.

In his opening remarks, Mr Azevedo highlighted the tangible benefits the WTO’s landmark Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) will bring companies by simplifying customs procedures and accelerating the movement of goods across borders. Earlier this week, Brazil became the 72th country to ratify the agreement, whose implementation could reduce trade costs by an average of 14.5% and expand Brazilian GDP by US$24 billion.

Among the steps identified by the private sector to boost Brazilian trade were: the opening of trade in services, the participation of Brazil in plurilateral negotiations (such as the Environmental Goods Agreement), and greater support for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) which are the most hit by trade barriers preventing them to succeed in international markets.

For Brazil to reach its full potential as a global exporter, participants agreed that important domestic obstacles will need to be removed. One example is the adverse impact of accumulative taxes on the competitiveness of Brazilian products.

Another suggestion was to strengthen Brazil’s institutional governance for dealing with trade matters, including trade negotiations and trade defense initiatives.

Looking ahead, Mr Azevedo invited Brazilian business leaders to engage in the various fronts of WTO’s negotiating agenda and welcomed the input of ICC Brazil.

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), which hosted the meeting, is a long-time supporter of the WTO, helping to feed the Geneva-based organization with global business priorities. In 2014, ICC and the National Confederation of Industry joined forces to create ICC Brazil, with the aim to increase the voice of Brazilian business on the global stage and to bring ICC’s services and tools to the Brazilian market.

See below the list of participants:

OMC – Roberto Azevedo
OMC – Tatiana Prazeres
ICC Brazil / Suzano – Daniel Feffer
Bank of America Merril Lynch – Ricardo Diniz
Banco Itau – Roberto Egydio Setubal
CNI – Jose Augusto Fernandes
Embraer – Frederico Curado
Fiat – Cledorvino Belini
FIEMG/ Cedro – Aguinaldo Diniz
General Electric do Brasil- Gilberto Peralta
Gerdau – Jorge Gerdau
General Motors do Brasil – Marcos Munhoz
Grupo Pao de Açucar – Jorge Faical
IBA – Elizabeth Carvalhaes
IBM – Rodrigo Kede
ICC Brasil – Julian Kassum
McKinsey Brasil – Vicente Assis
Natura – Pedro Passos
Novozymes – Emerson George de Vasconcelos
Professor Celso Lafer
Raizen – Pedro Isamu Mizutani
Stefanini – Monica Herrero
TAM – Marco Antonio Bologna
TV Globo – Ricardo Scalamandre