Government hosted debate on economic opening

07 de novembro de 2017

São Paulo – A debate held this Tuesday (7) in Brasília by the federal government of Brazil saw delegates from the private sector, civil society, government officials and scholars discuss paths to the country’s economic opening. The event was organized  by the Special Secretariat of Strategic Affairs of the Brazilian Presidency (SAE). The Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce was represented by its president Rubens Hannun.

“We hosted a debate on alternatives leading to an economic opening, their advantages, their pitfalls and how we should proceed,” the special secretary of Strategic Affairs of the Brazilian Presidency, Hussein Kalout, who opened the debate, told ANBA. According to him, the goal was to hear people’s ideas on how best to increase economic openness while focusing on development and well-being.

Brazil’s economy is ranked among the world’s most closed-off, including in World Trade Organization (WTO) reports. Speakers at the debate argued that a well-organized economic opening carried out in tandem with global value chains would fuel job creation and income, as well as the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Kalout said the debaters feel that a more open economy would entail transitioning to an improved, less paperwork-heavy business environment with better infrastructure and streamlined fees and charges. He believes the event achieved its goal, since ministries, the civil society and private sector were all represented there. The audience included guests and walk-in visitors.

According to Kalout, the debate was based on the fact that a major point in the current administration’s agenda, besides reforms designed to spur economic growth, is increasing capacity as pertains to production, competition and innovation.

The president of the Arab Brazilian Chamber, who sat on panels during the morning, stressed that international trade could be beneficial to Brazil in terms of global relevance and productivity. He also underscored other ideas brought up throughout the event, like the importance of matching imports and exports, and potential government policies.

Entitled Diálogos Estratégicos: Abertura Econômica para o Desenvolvimento e o Bem-Estar (Strategic Dialogues: Economic Opening for Development and Well-Being), the debate held by the SAE also involved Brazil’s General Secretariat of the Presidency, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Industry, Foreign Trade and Services, the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The debate was held in the Annex I Auditorium of presidential seat Palácio do Planalto.

The debate also saw the launch of study Uma Agenda de Produtividade: o Desenvolvimento como o Interesse Público (A Productivity Agenda: Development as Public Interest), a review of Brazil’s economic scenario in light of its trade relations, the dynamics of productive sectors, and the obstacles posed by law and by lobbyist interests.

*Translated by Gabriel Pomerancblum