Officials from the European Union and Brazil on Thursday agreed terms on a plan aimed at "significantly" boosting access for textiles and clothing on each other's markets.

The memorandum of understanding will give Brazil better access to the EU by removing the quotas on its textiles and clothing exports, while in return Brazil will respect maximum tariff levels and refrain from applying any non-tariff barriers to EU textile and clothing exports.

Both sides will also make a best endeavour commitment to early tariff dismantling in textiles and clothing in the EU - Mercosur negotiations. As part of the deal, Brazil will also discontinue the application of an additional tax on textile and clothing imports

Both parties also commit themselves to dismantling all tariffs on textiles and apparel in the ongoing talks between the EU and Mercosur countries: Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Argentina.

Brazil's textile and clothing exports to the EU in 2001 were worth 237 million euros, while EU exports to Brazil totalled 242 million euros. Of the Brazilian exports, 84 million euros were made up of clothing and made-up goods and 155 million euros were textiles.

Commenting on the deal, EU Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy said: "This agreement makes a significant contribution to improving trade relations between the EU and Brazil, and is an early deliverable for the on-going trade negotiations between the EU and Mercosur.

"It contains concrete steps to remove trade barriers from both sides. With such an agreement, the EU is showing that it is ready to accelerate the opening of its textile and clothing market to third countries that are in turn ready to offer a suitable degree of access to their markets".