An economic giant and one of the world's biggest democracies, Brazil accounts for three fifths of the South American economy’s industrial production and integrates various economic groups, such as Mercosur, G-22 and the Cairns Group. As a major textiles producer, Brazil carries important position on the world stage and is one of the biggest in the production of yarns and filaments, fabrics, woven and knitted articles. The Textiles and Apparel industry has great importance in the Brazilian economy as a strong generator of jobs and high volume of production and increased exports. Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade has girded itself to reach new horizons in textiles and clothing industry domestically as well as in World market. 58, Mr Ivan Ramalho is the Vice-Minister of Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade, Federative Republic of Brazil. He is acting as an interim Minister of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade, since 2005. Currently, Mr Ramalho is also active as a President of the Committee for Financing and Warranties to Exports (COFIG in Portuguese); President of the Board of Guidance of the National Fund for Development (FND in Portuguese); Permanent member of the Executive Commission for the Management of Foreign Trade of the Foreign Trade Committee (GECEX/CAMEX in Portuguese); Coordinator of the Bilateral Commissions of Trade Surveillance between Brazil-Argentine, Brazil-Paraguay, Brazil-Bolivia, Brazil-Chile, Brazil-Ecuador and Brazil-Mexico; and Member of the Board of BNDESPAR (Holding of the Brazil’s Development Bank). Mr Ramalho is an Economist and also a Retired Civil Servant of the Bank of Brazil, 1973-2003. In an interview with Face2Face team, Mr Ivan Ramalho draws the larger picture of Brazilian textiles and clothing industry, and points out the policies mooted to reach the targetted growth.
Brazil has the tenth-largest economy in the world. As a policy maker for the Industry & Commerce of the country, how do you evaluate the role of textile and clothing industry in it?
Textile and clothing industry plays an extraordinary role in the Brazilian industrial development. It is one of the few productive sectors present widely across the whole country. Textile and clothing industry is equally important for almost all regions in Brazil nowadays.
For a closer view on the textiles & garments industry, can you please share the facts & figures of sector's performance in exports for the past two years?
It is really becoming quite a competitive sector with a significant and increasing share of the Brazilian exports. Brazilian textile and clothing products can be currently found in many places and in distinct foreign markets in the world. In fact, textile industry has been a large contributor to the successive positive results in terms of the Brazilian trade surplus in these last few years between 2003 and 2005. The recent figures show that presently, the sector comprises more than 30 thousand companies and employs approximately 1.5 million Brazilian workers. The sector was responsible for 4.1% of the Brazilian GDP in 2006 and almost 2 million jobs. According to ABIT in 2004, the total turnover of the sector was of US$ 25 billion and exports surmounted US$ 2.09 billion. Official figures from the Ministry of Development indicate that the sector generated a surplus of US$ 672 million in 2004 and US$ 704 million in 2005. In 2006 was registered a trade deficit of US$ 33 million and last year another deficit of US$ 645million was registered again. In 2006 the sector exported US$ 2.1 billion and in 2007 the exports were of US$ 2.3 billion. The own industrial sector currently has a target to increase its exports up to US$ 4 billion in 2008.
DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.