Brasilia, Brazil, 21 July – Trade between the eight member countries of the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries (CPLP) currently totals around US$13 billion per year, but still account for a small proportion of total trade for Brazil and Portugal.
Brazil is now the main trade hub within the CPLP: Up to September of last year Brazilian imports rose 134 percent to US$2.51 billion, whilst exports to the eight member states rose 31 percent to US$2.73 billion, according to figures from the Brazilian Ministry for Development, Industry and Foreign Trade.
If the rate of trade of US$1.747 billion per quarter, in both directions, between September and December, the annual total will be US$7 billion.
However, the expressive rise in imports is mainly due to acquisition of oil from Angola, the value of which is falling this year; up to September 2008 trade between the two countries totalled US$3.33 billion, and US$1.85 billion in Portugal’s case.
In 2007, total trade between Brazil and CPLP countries was US$4.39 billion, a rise of 28 percent on 2006, with a surplus in Brazil’s favour of US$1.8 billion.
The total US$5.24 billion between January and September of last year accounted for just 1.8 percent of Brazil’s total trade in the period (US$282 billion).
Francisco Mantero, scretary-general of the CPLP Business Council, cited figures from the United Nations Conference on Trade (UNCTAD), which valued intra-CPLP trade at just 1 percent of the total for the eight members, although that total had grown in the last few years.
The small percentage shows that the eight member nations have greater trade relations with the countries in their respective regions, which “demonstrates an enormous field of opportunity for the CPLP in trade and business,” he told Portuguese news agency Lusa.
“This is due to navigation and air routes, worldwide competition – it is not because we speak the same language that the products are more competitive,” he said. (macauhub)