Brazilian trade agency administrator optimistic about Mercosur-EU deal

The Apex administrator also made remarks about documents leaked by

Published on 08/12/2017 - 18:55 By Mariana Branco - Reports from Agência Brasil - Brasília

Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex) administrator Roberto Jaguaribe showed optimism today (Dec.7) over the possibility that Mercosur and European Union close a trade agreement that has been being negotiated for about 20 years.

“I've never seen such a commitment from both parties. There's a high level of public commitment to the negotiation process from the European side”, he said during an interview to release Apex's 2017 assessment. Jaguaribe highlighted, however, that the agency does not lead the negotiation. “Apex plays a support role in the process.”

The Apex administrator also made remarks about documents leaked by Greenpeace related to the trade deal negotiation. According to the NGO, the planned activities will increase deforestation and three ecosystems are particularly threatened: the Amazon, the Cerrado ecosystem and the Gran Chaco region (which includes parts of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil and Paraguay).

In Jaguaribe's opinion, the information disseminated about how Brazil deals with its environmental issues does not correspond to reality. “I could paint a disgraceful image, as Greenpeace is very good in doing, the same way I could paint a paradisaical image. None of them would be real”, he said. He believes there is a focus on the negative facts.

“Brazil is fully committed to environment preservation. It has more ambitious targets than any other countries' against global warming and far better options than the European ones in its energy grid”, he added.

In mentioning agribusiness as a key sector for Apex, Jaguaribe said that people are missing the bigger picture when they criticize it. He remembered there has been comments from personalities whose opinions have great repercussion, like international top model Gisele Bündchen.

“Of course there are wrongdoings here, including in the social field. There is the slave labor issue. Is there such a thing as degrading work conditions? For sure. But we don't have illegal immigrants jammed in silos to collect apples as in Normandy. We must keep a sense of proportion,” he said.

 

Translated by Mariana Branco.

Edition: Nádia Franco/Mariana Branco

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