‘Brazil will continue to champion the economic rights of the Global South’
Brazil will continue to champion the economic rights of the Global South, Brazilian official Joao Alziro Herz da Jornada said in Tehran on Sunday.
Professor Joao Alziro Herz da Jornada, the president of Brazil's National Institute of Metrology, Standardization and Industrial Quality and the coordinator of the agreements signed by Iran and Brazil at the Fourth Iran-Brazil economic meeting, made the remarks in an interview with the Tehran Times on the sidelines of the meeting, which was held on May 16.
Ivan Ramalho, Brazil's deputy minister of development, industry and foreign trade, also participated in the interview.
Ramalho said that Iran and Brazil can act as gateways for developing trade in each other's regions in various fields, including the areas of focus in the workgroups held on the sidelines of the meeting.
Asked if the South American economic bloc Mercusor, which is called Mercosul in Portuguese, is interested in expanding interactions with the Asian economic bloc ECO (the Economic Cooperation Organization), Ramalho said, "Brazil's emphasis is on the reduction of tariffs and this is the center point of these kinds of negotiations."
"Bloc to bloc agreements must be discussed in the scope of Mercosul, and Brazil will certainly support it."
Asked if Brazil would continue to push for fair trade, which takes the plight of the poor into consideration, as opposed to free trade with no social component, Ramalho replied, "We believe that the development of big countries like Brazil depends on private investments of great magnitude. So to attract investment, we must have free markets and governments that do not interfere too much with mechanisms of the market."
Professor Da Jornada also commented on the issue.
"When you interfere too much you reduce the incentive of the entrepreneurs to invest and there should be a balance between these. I think Brazil has achieved that balance. Not too many regulations by the state and not a state that forgets the social (aspect). We are very concerned about the social, but we need to have some freedom of the market because if there is no incentive, people will just cross their arms."
Da Jornada said Brazil would continue to champion the rights of countries of the Global South in the international arena, and especially at economic forums where the countries of the Global North are trying to convince the countries of the Global South to open their markets to goods from the North while the North refuses to reciprocate and open their markets to goods from the South.
"We have been successful in some of our complaints to the World Trade Organization. We have the right now for commercial compensation and we will continue this kind of attitude. But of course, you are very right when you say rich countries are very much protective of certain specific parts of their economy where they are not competitive or they have special strategic interests either to support their people, for instance, the small agriculture, or because of strategic reasons."
He went on to say that perhaps the European countries are protecting their agricultural sectors because they still remember World War II, when they were unable to produce enough food due to the endless battles.
"Anyway, they are protecting them, so what we are doing is to oppose this kind of double standard. You are protective and you don't have a free market, so please don't ask us to be completely free," Da Jornada said.