The Presidency of the Republic published this Wednesday, in the Official Diary of the Union, the Decree 7,159 of April 27 of 2010, which promulgates the Agreement of Free Commerce between Mercosur and Israel.
With the publication, the agreement starts to invigorate in Brazil and creates an area of free trade that removes great part of the tariff barriers in the goods commerce between both countries.
In the Mercosur, the agreement was already ratified by Paraguay and Uruguay and it is hanging of decision of Argentina.
The measure has the objective to reinforce the economical relations between the Mercosur and Israel, to promote the trade between the two regions and the free competition, besides increasing the bilateral investments and the technical cooperation in the technological area.
The Agreement of Free Commerce was signed between the four countries of the Mercosur and the State of Israel on the 18th of December of 2007.
Commercial exchange Brazil – Israel
Between January and March of 2010, the Brazilian exports to Israel added up US$ 63.209 millions, value that was a 6.3 % bigger than the registered one in the same period of last year.
Opposed to that, the Brazilian imports of Israeli products grew 134.8 %, in the same comparison, while totalizing US$ 202.382 millions.
In the period, Brazil exported more than hundred different products to Israel, however, the list is very concentrated in items like frozen beef (50.48 %), coffee in grain (9.88 %), timber (3.05 %) and jewels (2.72 %).
In the imports of Israeli products there is a strong concentration in the acquisitions of potassium chloride (36.6 %), however, the remainder of the list is well diversified: lubricating oils without additives (5.97 %), instruments for air traffic (3.25 %), methomyl (2.72 %), among other products.
Last year, the Brazilian exports to Israel totalized US$ 270.502 millions and the imports of products of this same market, US$ 651.413 millions.
Due to world-wide economical crisis, in 2009, the commercial flow between Brazil and Israel fell for US$ 921.916 millions.
In 2008, this amount had been of US$ 1.619 billion.
Analysis of the news
Last year, the agreement between Mercosur and Israel was used like one of the principal arguments so that Brazil could reject the entry of Venezuela to the block.
According to the opposition, Hugo Chávez keeps on being a factor for the disaggregation of the block and he won´t measure efforts to make difficult the relations between the region and Israel.
For Brazil, the agreement also has his political component, principally in the moment is which the country positions itself as interlocutor of Iran.
Israel did what could to convince Brazil to not be linked with the regime of the ayatollahs.
The Brazilian ambassador in Tel Aviv had been called by the Israeli government to explain why Lula would receive Ahmadinejad last year.
It coincided that the president met with the Iranian leader in the same sequence of visits of Shimon Peres and of the chief of the Palestine Authority, Mahmoud Abbas.
Since then, Lula already went to Israel, where he tried to convince the local authorities that the best for all is that Iran do not be isolated.
It was the same speech used to defend the entry of Venezuela in the Mercosur: it is always better to have Chávez around.
Marcelo Rech is a journalist, editor of the InfoRel and specialist in International Relations, Strategies and Policies of Defense and Terrorism, Counter-Insurgency. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org