Brazil’s Minister of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade, Luiz Fernando Furlan, has announced his forecast for Brazilian exports in 2006: US$ 132 billion, which will be an 11% increase over 2005 (US$ 118.3 billion).

    Commenting on the fact that his forecast is the highest among various forecasts by market analysts, Furlan said: "It may be seen as optimistic. But it is based on studies by people who work with me and looked at all the economic segments. We are convinced it is perfectly possible."

    Furlan said it will be essential for the government to continue its export incentive programs.

    Furlan added that following the success of Brazil Year in France in 2005, this year the focus will be on Germany where the World Soccer Cup will be held.

    Furlan, pointed out that in 2005 Brazilian exports rose 23.1%, while China’s exports rose 25%. And that occurred with the world average export increase at 13.8%.

    Brazilian exports have been rising above the world average since 2003. According to Furlan, Brazil has now become one of the world’s top five exporting countries that do not export petroleum.

    ABr

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