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Brazil Wants to Triple Trade with Iran in Five Years

01/19/2016 - 09h04

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ISABEL FLECK
FROM SÃO PAULO

After the United States and the European Union announced last Saturday (16) the end of Iran's sanctions, the Brazilian government estimates that trading between the two countries will triple over the next five years.

In 2015, the bilateral trade shrank 30%, totalling US$ 1.67 billion. In the previous year, before the toughening of sanctions, it reached US$ 2.37 billion.

Brazilian exports were 98.5% of the total trading.

"I think we can, in the short term, in a five-year horizon, triple current trade with Iran," said to Folha Armando Monteiro, Minister of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade.

Monteiro was ahead of a mission with 33 companies and Brazilian sectoral organizations which visited Iran in October. They had an eye on the country's market and its 80 million consumers.

The first meeting of a joint committee on economic themes - being regathered - is expected to be held in March or April, in Brasilia, with government representatives from both countries.

The government would also be considering an investment facilitation agreement with Iran, similar to the ones signed last year with countries such as Mexico, Colombia, Chile, Angola and Mozambique.

Brazil is not the only one interested in the Iranian market. Missions from Germany, France and Japan have been to Iran in recent months in anticipation of Saturday's announcement.

However, the Brazilian government and exporters expect that the political proximity the country has kept with Tehran in recent years will be a differential in the race for Iranian consumers.

"Politically, in recent years, Brazil has not been hostile to Iran. And that will possibly revert in Brazil's exports to that country, "said Jose Augusto de Castro, head of the Brazilian Foreign Trade Association.

According to Rodrigo Azeredo, director of the Trade and Investment Promotion Department of the Foreign Ministry, the message was clear during the trade mission that visited Iran in October. "Brazil is very competitive in several segments and they have with Brazil a relationship of trust and friendship," he said.  

Translated by JULIANA CALDERARI

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