News from Brazil

Archive for October, 2011|Monthly archive page

Brazil Politics & Government News

In Brazil on October 28, 2011 at 11:11 am

POLITICS

Dilma Rousseff appointed a Communist Party congressman as the country’s new Sports minister, replacing Orlando Silva, an official from the same party who resigned as he fights corruption allegations (MercoPress).

Brazil’s Senate has voted to set up a truth commission to investigate rights abuses, including those committed during military rule from 1964 to 1985. The bill, already passed by the Chamber of Deputies, now goes to President Dilma Rousseff to be signed into law (BBC).

Brazilian Mines and Energy Minister Edison Lobao announced that his country would invest 214 billion reals (122 billion U.S. dollars) to build hydroelectric, solar and wind power projects in the next decade (Xinhua).

CORRUPTION

Orlando Silva, Brazil’s sports minister, became the sixth minister Dilma Rousseff’s government has lost in its short ten-month life. One—Nelson Jobim, the defence minister—went after making sexist remarks about some female cabinet ministers in a press interview. The other five had all been accused in the press of corruption, and had to step down before the president gave them their marching orders (The Economist).

Veja accused him of helping embezzle $23m (£14m) from a government scheme that promotes sport for children from poor backgrounds. The money was allegedly used for personal enrichment and to fund the Communist Party of Brazil (PCdoB), which is part of Ms Rousseff’s governing coalition (BBC).

Brazilian officials skimmed at least a staggering equivalent of 37.7bn dollars from government coffers in just eight years of corruption cases from 2003-2010, the Rio do Janeiro daily O Globo reported, based on numbers from the country’s Public Accounts ombudsman (MercoPress).

2011 will go down in Brazilian history as the year that Dilma Rousseff, its first female president, came to power. But it may also be remembered as the year in which public frustration over rampant political corruption finally boiled over. With the word corruption on everyone’s lips, the Brazilian media has played a lead role in unearthing the wrongdoings of some of the country’s most powerful politicians (The Guardian).

SPLIT SECOND POLL

INTERNATIONAL

Brazil’s government is encouraged by Europe’s announcement of a plan to resolve the nagging debt crisis, though more details are needed on the proposal to determine its viability, Brazilian Finance Minister Guido Mantega said (Mercopress).

Prime Minister David Cameron will not be going to the Rio+20 Summit in Brazil next year despite his pledge to lead the “greenest ever government”. The meeting will mark 20 years since the seminal Earth Summit of 1992, and is regarded as a chance for leaders to put humanity on a sustainable track. But the June date clashes with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. The clash raises the question of whether other Commonwealth heads of government will also stay away. Protocol would be likely to demand the presence of the 54 countries’ leaders in London (BBC).

Brazil will not take part in the annual meeting of the Organization of American States in Washington due to a dispute over a giant hydroelectric plant, said opponents of the scheme (MercoPress).

Activists opposed to the construction of the Belo Monte hydropower dam in the Amazon jungle say the Brazilian government’s decision to boycott an Inter-American Commission on Human Rights hearing represents a “radical” shift in the country’s foreign policy (IPS News).

When IBSA, a trilateral alliance of India, Brazil and South Africa, was created in 2003, few analysts believed the outfit had much potential. Bringing up the  issue with policy makers in the United States or Europe would draw blank stares. For two years, no academic bothered to publish an article on the matter. Yet eight years and five summits on, the IBSA bloc has turned into an accepted platform for the three emerging powers to engage, allowing them to debate, coordinate and articulate a range of domestic and geopolitical issues (Post Western World).

It is a good time to be a Brazilian on the international stage. Brazil has the eighth largest economy in the world, and the “traditional donors” want to know what the country is thinking. In fact, with an aid programme of under $1bn (according to official estimates), it commands far more interest than it probably should. Why? Because Brazil is the future. When leaders in poor countries sit down to plan their way out of poverty, they don’t look to emulate Britain. They say: “We want to be an emerging economy, like Brazil” (The Guardian).

TWITTER, FACEBOOK & LINKEDIN

Brazil Weekly is now on Facebook! You can like us here and join our group here.

You can also follow Brazil Weekly on Twitter at brazilweekly.

Be very welcome to join the Brazil Weekly networking and discussion group on Linkedin: Click here.

DEFENSE & SECURITY

The plantation of coke in Peru has already reached low and humid areas in the Amazon and may soon reach Brazil. The warning was given by the military commander of the Amazon, general Eduardo Dias da Costa Villas Bôas, during a public hearing promoted by the Committee on External Relations and National Defense (CRE), on the theme “Border Surveillance – organization, space distribution in the Amazon and in the south of the country” (Federal Senate).

Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW), Europe’s market leader for protected tracked and wheeled vehicles, founded of a new subsidiary in Brazil in april this year. KMW is now demonstrating the Gepard anti-aircraft vehicle in southern Brazil.

Eurofighter thinks something beautifull will happen between Brazil and Turkey. These two countries may join forces to introduce a new fighter jet in 2025, joining a growing list of indigenous projects already started in China, India, Japan and South Korea, Eurofighter forecasts (Flightblobal).

Ukraine’s objective is to complete all the primary work to launch the Ukrainian rocket Cyclone-4 from the facility in the North Western Brazil by 2013, stated President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych in his interview with Brazilian newspaper O Globo during his official visit to Brazil on October 23-26. Brazil is responsible for the construction of the launch base while Ukrainian constructors are currently working on the carrier rockets (PR Newswire).

SPLIT SECOND POLL

SUPPORT BRAZIL WEEKLY

Brazil Weekly is freely distributed on the net and we like to keep it that way.

However, we’d like to ask you just one favor in return: please send Brazil Weekly to your friends and colleagues and help our readership grow!

Thank you!

INNOVATION

Scientists at FAPESP Week emphasize the importance of producing knowledge to help establish conservation policies. US researchers highlight the increased Brazilian publication of taxonomy and systems biology (FAPESP).

President Dilma Rousseff signed a bill which will provide as much as 13.7 billion U.S. dollars to increase students’ access to technical schools in the next three years. Under the so-called “National Program for Access to Technical Education and Employment” (Pronatec), the government expects to create eight million places in technical courses (Xinhua).

SOCIAL

Brazil’s economic boom is attracting European professionals who are finding it increasingly difficult to find jobs at home. Officials say the number of visas granted to Europeans grew 20% in the first quarter of 2011, compared to the same period of 2010 (BBC).

Brazil Business & Economy News

In Brazil on October 28, 2011 at 11:08 am

ECONOMY

Is the government of President Dilma Rousseff, in office since January, giving priority to other goals, such as sustaining growth and preventing the overvaluation of the currency, rather than keeping inflation low? And has the Central Bank lost its independence? Read on at The Economist.

Brazil’s total federal debt rose in September as the Treasury issued new debt at home and abroad, the government reported this week. The country’s federal debt load increased 2.3% in the month to Reais 1.809 trillion (1.02 trillion dollars), from Reais 1.768 trillion in August, the Treasury said in a statement (MercoPress).

Brazil’s Central Bank says direct foreign investment in Brazil in the first nine months of 2011 has totaled $50.5 billion. That’s the highest since it started to measure investment in 1947 (Washington Post).

The Brazilian economy has made a rapid recovery from the global economic crisis, but further reforms are necessary to boost long-term growth, spur investment and further reduce poverty, according to the OECD’s latest Economic Survey of Brazil (OECD).

“The OECD looks back and underestimates Brazil’s capacity to respond to the challenges today,” said Brazil’s Economic Policy Secretary Marcio Holland. Holland said the OECD is “underestimating the Brazilian economy’s capacity to recover from shocks” caused by external events (Xinhua).

For decades, Brazil’s poor had little else to cling to than their meager possessions and scant hopes for a better future. But a government program now is helping lift tens of millions in dire need out of poverty, in the process creating a vast new Brazilian consuming class (Yahoo).

When Brazil’s central bank in August reversed course suddenly, cutting its benchmark interest rate after a series of rate hikes, it was accused of succumbing to political pressure to spur economic growth at the cost of faster inflation. Nearly two months on, many economists are over their initial shock and are coming around to the bank’sway of thinking. The central bank’s weekly market survey showed inflation expectations for 2011 declined for the first time in eight weeks (Nasdaq).

After steadily appreciating for the previous 18 months, the real did a U-turn in July and promptly plummeted about 15 per cent against the dollar during the third quarter. A victory for Mantega’s currency war, perhaps, but very bad news for companies such as Vale that have almost all their debt in dollars. Most companies don’t bother to hedge all of their debt in Brazil: it’s expensive, people believed the real was a one-way bet, and you can always rely on the central bank to step into the market if things get really ugly (FT Beyond Brics).

Brazilian retailers and consumer goods companies’ third-quarter results were likely their worst in a year and a half, due to a broad economic slowdown, waning consumer confidence and tighter credit, a Reuters poll of analysts found.

Brazil’s ‘BBB’ ratings are supported by its strong external liquidity buffer with foreign exchange reserves at USD350.6 billion, its net sovereign external creditor status, the flexibility of its macroeconomic policy framework, and a healthy banking system (Reuters).

President Dilma Rousseff is pushing allies in Congress to approve changes to the pension system for government employees, a move Banco Bradesco SA says may pave the way for an upgrade of the nation’s credit rating (Bloomberg).

SUPPORT BRAZIL WEEKLY

Brazil Weekly is freely distributed on the net and we like to keep it that way.

However, we’d like to ask you just one favor in return: please send Brazil Weekly to your friends and colleagues and help our readership grow!

Thank you!

BUSINESS

During Brazil’s rise, several economic sectors have attained global prominence, but the Internet has been a notable exception. Nasdaq does not have a single Brazilian Internet company listed, and the country’s own exchange has very few. But start-ups are being nurtured now by a small range of venture caital funds  (New York Times).

The BNDES approved a credit limit of R$ 2.46 billion for Braskem S.A. Funds are earmarked to support the investment plan of the petrochemical company in the states of Bahia, Alagoas, Rio de Janeiro and Rio Grande do Sul (BNDES).

Odebrecht United States has begun its first port project in the country. The Wharves Strengthening Program involves the reinforcement of 1,600 meters of cargo dock walls at the Miami Port, and also includes the improvement of the infrastructure in the area of loading and unloading cranes (Odebrecht).

The Brazil Business presents an outlook of the economic profile of the five Brazilian regions, covering the viable segments and the impact Pre-Salt exploitation and the 2014 World Cup have over these states.

Brazil’s EBX group, controlled by billionaire industrial magnate Eike Batista, is planning to build a $3 billion fertilizer plant in Brazil together with Egypt’s Orascom Construction Industries, EBX said (Reuters).

Eike Batista, Brazil’s richest man, also wants to help Taiwanese technology giant Foxconn with its plans to produce Apple products such as the iPad in the country, the latest twist in a much-hyped deal that could be worth up to $12 billion (Reuters).

TWITTER, FACEBOOK & LINKEDIN

Brazil Weekly is now on Facebook! You can like us here and join our group here.

You can also follow Brazil Weekly on Twitter at brazilweekly.

Be very welcome to join the Brazil Weekly networking and discussion group on Linkedin: Click here.

AGRI ETC.

Producers in Brazil’s fast-expanding biodiesel sector are lobbying the government to raise the mandatory blend of the renewable fuel in regular diesel as production capacity far overshoots demand (Reuters).

AUTOMOTIVE

PSA Peugeot Citroen will invest 3.7 billion reais ($2.1 billion) in Brazil to double its production by 2015, Trade and Industry Minister Fernando Pimentel said. The announcement followed a report that Volkswagen AG is also negotiating with authorities to build a $2 billion factory in Brazil — the latest foreign automaker looking to raise local output after a tax increase on imported cars (Reuters).

The Brazilian government is working on a program to stimulate the production of vehicles manufactured with locally-made parts, in a bid to protect industrial production and jobs, Finance Minister Guido Mantega said (Reuters).

Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Group Co. plans to more than double annual sales in Brazil by 2015 after its publicly traded unit’s shares plunged by almost a third this year amid slowing sales growth in China (Bloomberg).

AVIATION

Embraer and Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras signed a contract for the purchase of 11 EMBRAER 195 jets. The transaction increases the airline’s total orders for Embraer E-Jets to 52 aircraft. The value of this latest acquisition, at list price, is USD 497.2 million. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in 2013 (Embraer).

JetBlue canceled the deliveries of 12 Embraer SA E190 aircraft that had been scheduled for delivery in 2014, 2017 and 2018 under a previously announced plan to limit its E190 fleet to no more than 75 planes, the airline said. JetBlue said in June it was working with Embraer to remarket 25 remaining E190s it had ordered (Bloomberg).

Boeing, Embraer and the São Paulo State Research Foundation (FAPESP) announced plans to collaborate on long-term aviation biofuels-related research and development, a move that represents another major step toward the creation of a sustainable aviation biofuels industry in Brazil. Azul, GOL, TAM and Trip airlines will be strategic advisors in the program (Embraer).

Brazil has begun a process of inviting in private investors and granting concessions to renovate and manage airports across the country. Infraero, a government corporation that runs many Brazilian airports, will maintain a 49 percent stake in the joint ventures formed with investors (Miami Herald).

Brazil’s antitrust regulator Cade ordered airline Gol Linhas Aereas to freeze its takeover of smaller rival WebJet while it weighs the case, following reports earlier in the year that it could suspend the deal (Reuters).

A small Chilean airline said it dropped its appeal against larger rival LAN’s planned takeover of Brazil’s TAM, removing a major hurdle to the creation of one of the world’s top airlines (Reuters).

TELECOMS

Heating competition among Brazil’s telecommunications companies likely pressured operating profit margins in the third quarter, with mixed results for their bottom-line results, a Reuters survey of analysts found.

Brazil Weekly’s Brazil Regional News

In Brazil on October 28, 2011 at 11:03 am

PROJECT OF THE WEEK

Render of the enormous 7th Avenue Live & Work project for Curitiba, Parana (source).

TWITTER, FACEBOOK & LINKEDIN

Brazil Weekly is now on Facebook! You can like us here and join our group here.

You can also follow Brazil Weekly on Twitter at brazilweekly.

Be very welcome to join the Brazil Weekly networking and discussion group on Linkedin: Click here.

SPLIT SECOND POLL

AMAZON

Hundreds of people peacefully occupied the construction site of a massive hydroelectric dam in Brazil’s Amazonian state of Para, Indian rights activists said. The Catholic Church-backed Indian Missionary Council said in a statement posted on its website that more than 600 Indians, fishermen and river dwellers are demanding that work on the Belo Monte hydroelectric dam be stopped (Washington Post).

SANTA CATARINA

Viagem e Turismo magazine announced this week that the state of Santa Catarina is the favorite vacation destination of Brazilians (Floripa Times).

RIO

The sprawling Complexo da Maré favelas in Rio’s Zona Norte (North Zone) have been occupied by the Polícia Militar (Military Police, PM) elite force, BOPE, for the past week. The police entered the complex October 21st, with the stated objective of finding drug traffickers and arms (The Rio Times).

Brazil’s elite military police are trying to build ties with communities and undo the harm done by officers who allegedly abused residents in Complexo da Mare, a favela which has not yet come under police control, reports blogger Julia Michaels (Insight Crime).

A bill to distribute oil royalties more evenly amongst Brazil’s 27 states passed its first hurdle when it received approval from Brazil’s Senate on October 19th.  The proposal now faces a tough November vote in the lower house of Congress and a torrent of potential lawsuits by those oil-producing states that stand to lose billions. Rio de Janeiro and Espirito Santo’s potential losses are estimated at R$4.3 billion in 2012 alone and reaching R$7.5 billion annually within seven years, according to an O Globo report (The Rio Times).

Residents in Ipanema, in Rio’s Zona Sul (South Zone) were out with banners and leaflets on Saturday as they protested against plans for a new metro (subway) station in their neighborhood. They are against plans for the expansion of metro Line 1 – into which Line 4, predicted to start running in 2015, will be integrated (The Rio Times).

This city never stops. The month of November brings no respite from the extensive cultural program. This month shall be highlighted by great international concerts, from Pearl Jam to Ringo Starr. There something for everyone. Opening the festive month of November is the US group Pearl Jam, which comes for the second time to Brazil and has chosen Apoteose square once more as the stage for the concert celebrating the band’s 20th anniversary (Rio Official Guide).

Brazilian police say they are trying to find out why 2,600 cans of beer were delivered to a jail holding police officers charged with crimes. The Rio de Janeiro radio station BandNews FM reports the beer was delivered to the prison in a northern suburb of the city (Washington Post).

SUPPORT BRAZIL WEEKLY

Brazil Weekly is freely distributed on the net and we like to keep it that way.

However, we’d like to ask you just one favor in return: please send Brazil Weekly to your friends and colleagues and help our readership grow!

Thank you!

SAO PAULO

A jury convicted three Brazilian doctors of killing four patients by removing their organs, which prosecutors said were used for transplants at an expensive private clinic. A judge in São Paulo State, Marco Montemor, sentenced the doctors to 17 years and 6 months each in prison (New York Times).

Australia has been sending beef to the world’s two largest beef exporting countries United States and Brazil. Australian beef exports to Brazil during the first nine months of 2011 jumped 381% year-on-year, to 969 tonnes swt, underlining the growing Brazilian demand for higher quality imported beef, mainly among steakhouse chains in the Sao Paulo region (MercoPress).

Sao Paulo new-home prices climbed 14 percent in the past seven months as surging real estate demand in Brazil showed few signs of ebbing, according to an index released today that measures values by square meter (Businessweek).

Rising property prices in Brazil’s biggest city show no signs of slowing, even after racking up an 85 percent jump over the past 30 months, market research firm Ibope said (Reuters).

SPLIT SECOND POLLS

Brazil Politics & Government News

In Brazil on October 21, 2011 at 10:37 am

POLITICS

So far, however, Brazil’s first female president has exceeded many expectations. A recent poll gave Rousseff an approval rating of 71%. Voters liked the way she came down hard on a series of corruption scandals, the likes of which dogged Lula’s presidency. The Brazilian economic miracle, fueled by a commodities trade with Asia and a domestic consumption boom, is still improving the lives of families. Abroad, her administration has been critical of key allies, including the U.S., without causing any diplomatic rows (LA Times).

Brazil’s Senate approved a plan to distribute oil royalties more widely among feuding states, a small step toward relaunching the development of the country’s vast offshore reserves. The agreement sees the federal government’s slice of royalties at 20 percent, down from a current 30 percent. Oil-producing states would see their share down to 20 percent from 26.25 percent.Non-producing states would see their share leap to 20 percent from a current 1.75 percent, eventually reaching 27 percent in 2020 (Reuters).

Senator Aecio Neves has proposed to the country’s Senate new legislation for Brazil’s mining sector that would boost royalties for all minerals to 5% of companies’ gross sales, rivaling the government’s own plans for a new mine royalties law (Fox).

Brazilian Senate Constitution and Justice Committee approved this week the bill for the creation of a National Truth Commission to research unsolved serious crimes committed between 1946 and 1988, which includes the controversial military dictatorship period from 1964 to 1985 (MercoPress).

CORRUPTION

Brazilian Sports Minister Orlando Silva has denied accusations that he was involved in the embezzlement of millions of dollars in public funds. The influential Brazilian magazine Veja published detailed allegations that he took cash from a scheme to promote sport among poor children (BBC).

Where people in other parts of the world have been busy “Occupying Wall Street” and ousting Arab World dictators, one topic dominates in Brazil: corruption. Last week’s October 12th public holiday saw 20,000 protesters take to the streets of Brasília, with 2,000 more in Rio and notable gatherings in cities up and down the country, from Goiânia to Florianópolis (The Rio Times).

Brazilians have long accepted malfeasance as the necessary cost of doing business, be it in commerce or public service. Every year, the country loses up to $47.4 billion to undeclared tax revenue, vanished public money and other casualties of widespread corruption, according to an August survey by the Federation of Industries of Sao Paulo (AJC).

SPLIT SECOND POLL

INTERNATIONAL

Brazil reaffirmed its influence in Africa with the visit by President Dilma Rousseff of the oil rich ‘brother’ nation Angola. Rousseff had previously visited South Africa and Mozambique (MercoPress).

President Dilma Rousseff was in Angola on 19 and 20 October 2011. In a meeting with the Angolan President, Jose Eduardo dos Santos, President Rousseff emphasized the strategic nature of the relationship between Brazil and Angola, marked by strong historical, cultural and economic ties. In order to strengthen and to fully explore the potential of the economic partnership between the two countries, Brazil will send a business mission to Angola in late November 2011 (Portal Brasil).

Angola is the third largest destination for Brazilian exports in Africa, while Angola is the fourth biggest exporter from the continent to Brazil. In the past six years, Brazil has extended more than $3 billion (2.2 billion euros) in credit lines to Angola, most of which has been spent on post-war construction projects such as new roads, dams and bridges (AFP).

Presidents Dilma Rousseff (Brazil) and Jacob Zuma (South Africa) and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (India) met on 18 October for the 5th Summit of Heads of State and Government of the India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) Dialogue Forum. The three leaders highlighted that the basic pillar of IBSA is the shared vision that democracy and development are mutually reinforcing and key to sustainable peace and stability (Portal Brasil).

However, Human Rights Watch, the US pressure group, has slammed statements on Syria issued by the India-Brazil-South Africa (Ibsa) Dialogue Forum after a meeting in Pretoria, saying the forum shied away from pressuring President Bashar al-Assad’s government to step down (BusinessDay).

Britain’s House of Commons strongly supports a closer bilateral relationship with Brazil, which it describes as a democratic, well governed, responsible state but regrets the hardening position of Brazil towards the Falklands and the HMS Clyde incident (MercoPress).

Brazilian policymakers view the G-20 as a positive instrument for both their country’s emergence on the world stage and advancement of substantive reforms in global economic governance and crisis prevention long advocated by Brazil. Yet questions certainly remain about Brazil’s continued ability to use effectively the G-20 to fulfill its foreign policy goals (Courier).

Brazil called upon the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) to reform its two mechanisms in order to further strengthen its crucial role on issues of economic and social development. Regina Maria Cordeiro Dunlop, the deputy permanent representative of Brazil to the United Nations, made the call while addressing the 66th session of the UN General Assembly during the joint debate on the report of ECOSOC (Xinhua).

Japan and South Korea fired a warning shot at Brazil’s treatment of foreign carmakers by raising the tax issue at a committee of the World Trade Organization (Reuters).

Florida Governor Rick Scott is leaving on a seven-day trade mission to Brazil. Scott is heading to Rio de Janeiro late Thursday and then he will travel to Sao Paulo. Scott’s foray to Brazil will take him to a major trade show of Brazilian travel agents. He will also inaugurate a trade exposition and visit with Brazilian businesses. Last year more than 1 million Brazilians traveled to the state, second only to the United Kingdom. Visits from Brazil are up 43 percent this year (AP).

DEFENSE & SECURITY

Brazil urgently needs to buy new fighter jets and has not ruled out replacing its fleet of Mirage 2000 jet fighters next year, but will monitor the global financial situation before making a decision, Defence Minister Celso Amorim said (Reuters).

The international economic crisis has pushed Brazil’s plans to update its fighter jet fleet to the sidelines, Brazilian Defense Minister Celso Amorim said in Paris, while France said it would go ahead with buying around 12 Embraer KC390 tactical transport aircraft as part of a sale of the Rafale. France stil hopes to sell its FREMM multimission frigate and an auxiliary ship, competing against Britain and other nations for the naval deal. Amorim said Brazil would have to start thinking about building a new aircraft carrier to replace the French-built Foch, renamed the Sao Paulo. This would require imported technology and take decades, he said (DefenseNews).

Around 80 Brazilian companies from the Brazilian aerospace cluster participated in the KC-390 Workshop, held by the Brazilian Air Force (FAB). Embraer Defense and Security presented short and medium-range opportunities to potential suppliers of the military transport and refueling jet being developed for the Brazilian Air Force (Embraer).

Brazil’s fleet of C295 aircraft, made by Spain’s Airbus Military, has reached 25.000 flight hours after six years of successful operation. The 12 aircraft fly mainly in Amazonia and Mato Grosso, areas where the airplanes are vital for the local population (UPI).

GENERAL

Brazil’s Minister of Tourism Gastão Vieira said that the federal government is considering ways of speeding up the visa processing for foreign tourists. The measure, which would initially benefit Canadians, Mexicans and U.S. citizens, was announced during a meeting with São Paulo Mayor Gilberto Kassab as part of a series of meetings with city authorities in preparation for the 2014 World Cup (Floripa Times).

The Brazilian economy and the increased presence of multinationals in the country increased the interest of foreigners to learn Portuguese language. While Europeans and Americans face high unemployment and risk of recession, Brazil became the country’s fashion abroad – and the Portuguese language is increasingly pop. In the last decade, the number of students enrolled in Celpe-Bras, the Portuguese proficiency exam recognized by the Ministry of Education, jumped from 1155 to 6139 (India-Brazil Chamber).

Brazil Business & Economy News

In Brazil on October 21, 2011 at 10:32 am
ECONOMY

Brazil’s central bank cut its benchmark Selic interest rate by 50 basis points to 11.50 percent, a potential inflation and growth play for investors (Reuters).

Brazil has exported $202.07 billion worth of goods in 2011, surpassing last year’s record-setting total of $201.92 billion, the Ministry of Industry, Development and Foreign Trade said (Latin American Herald Tribune).

Brazil created more jobs than economists expected in September, led by the services and civil construction sectors. Brazil generated 209,078 registered jobs last month, up from 190,446 in August. The number was higher than the median forecast of 168,625 jobs from 10 economists surveyed by Bloomberg. The job creation figure was the lowest for the month of September in five years (Bloomberg Businessweek).

The Brazilian Statistics Institute has a great site, also in English!

SUPPORT BRAZIL WEEKLY

Brazil Weekly is freely distributed on the net and we like to keep it that way.

However, we’d like to ask you just one favor in return: please send Brazil Weekly to your friends and colleagues and help our readership grow!

Thank you!

BUSINESS

Forbes presents a list compiled by experts of the top 10 Startups in Brazil. Even if you are not tech savvy, these companies should be on your radar since they promise extremely rapid growth. The list is attention-grabbing, to say the least. There are companies that cause little surprise, such as Peixe Urbano and BuscaPé, and others that are not yet so famous, like Shoes4You. Most of the startups are in the area of electronic commerce, one of the most promising segments in Brazil (Forbes).

After writing an article on things that must be considered before hiring in Brazil, The Brazil Business has decided to talk about the costs of firing in Brazil.

Jorge Paulo Lemann, the founder of 3G, 72, is an iconic figure in Brazilian finance. In 1971, when Brazil was under military rule, he founded the country’s first modern investment bank, Banco de Investimentos Garantia SA, Bloomberg Markets magazine reports in its November issue. In subsequent decades, he emerged as one of Brazil’s most prolific dealmakers. Read his bio at Bloomberg.

Brazil’s supreme court delayed a steep tax increase on imported cars until December. President Dilma Rousseff’s administration announced in September that it would raise a tax on autos with less than 65 percent local content in a move to support domestic industrial jobs amid a sharp slowdown in Latin America’s largest economy (Reuters).

AGRI ETC.

Federal prosecutors have issued a warning to Brazil’s largest slaughterhouse for accepting cattle raised illegally. The Attorney General’s Office says in a statement that JBS S/A slaughterhouse in the western state of Mato Grosso is not fulfilling an agreement to stop using cattle raised illegally (AP).

Sugar-cane growers in Sao Paulo state, which accounts for more than half the country’s output, are seeing “very deficient growth” in the newly planted crop, industry researcher Datagro Ltd. said (Bloomberg).

AVIATION

American Airlines is gearing up for a busy tourist season by reintroducing its daily nonstop New York–Rio de Janeiro route throughout the Brazilian summer. The revamped service will run from November 15th, 2011 to April 2012, according to the company, and is following a trend of increased flights from the U.S. to Brazil (The Rio Times).

Embraer closed out the third quarter of 2011 having delivered 28 commercial and 18 executive jets. On September 30, 2011, the firm order backlog totaled USD 16 billion (Embraer).

Brazil’s national development bank, or BNDES, will provide financing for investments at local airports under concession, local financial newspaper, Valor Economico, reported Thursday, quoting Civil Aviation Secretary Wagner Bittencourt. According to Bittencourt, BNDES may finance up to 70% of the investments at three airports to be privatized. They are the Guarulhos and Viracopos airports in Sao Paulo state, and the Brasilia international airport. These investments will focus on infrastructure projects to expand the passenger capacity at each airport, including making the Viracopos airport the largest in Latin America (Fox).

Brazil’s main airlines are revising down their forecast for air traffic next year due to the effects of a global economic slowdown (Reuters).

TAM Airlines, Brazil’s largest airline, has finalized a purchase agreement for 32 eco-efficient Airbus A320 aircraft, comprising of 22 A320neo and 10 A320 Family aircraft, the France-based aircraft maker said (Xinhua).

INFRA

President Dilma Rousseff said that her administration plans to invest 30 billion Reais (17 billion dollars) in urban transportation projects across Brazil. Rousseff made separate trips last week to the south-eastern cities of Curitiba and Porto Alegre to announce plans to build the first metro lines in those metropolitan areas (MercoPress).

TWITTER, FACEBOOK & LINKEDIN

Brazil Weekly is now on Facebook! You can like us here and join our group here.

You can also follow Brazil Weekly on Twitter at brazilweekly.

Be very welcome to join the Brazil Weekly networking and discussion group on Linkedin: Click here.

WORLD CUP & SOCCER SPECIAL

With less than three years before the World Cup is scheduled to start, critics say Brazil is not taking full advantage of hosting what is considered the world’s biggest sporting event. Construction experts and local government officials are among those who say that bureaucracy and a lack of planning have proved costly, leading to a series of missed opportunities in a soccer-mad nation that last hosted the World Cup in 1950 (New York Times).

The former World Cup striker, now a member of parliament, Romario has criticised Brazil’s 2014 World Cup preparations, denounced chief organiser Ricardo Teixeira and lashed out at the government’s weakness in its dealings with soccer’s ruling body FIFA (Reuters).

Football is undoubtedly the most popular Sport in the world and maybe the one holding more Power, because it can unite races, raise hopes and transcends cultures. Between 26 and 30 November, the world of football is going to be completely Carioca, where the Forte de Copacabana fort is hosting the 2nd edition of Soccerex in Brazil. The future stage of bog sports competitions, including the 2014 FIFA World Cup, during the convention; Rio de Janeiro is further welcoming representatives of all the Brazilian cities that are hosting matches during the football world cup. There are also going to be many of the world’s main football clubs taking part in the event (Rio Official Guide).

Fifa unveiled the 12 Brazilian cities which will host – stadiums and infrastructure permitting – the 2014 World Cup at a slick presentation overshadowed in grey, chilly Zurich by corruption allegations relentlessly levelled against the organisation and the head of Brazil’s organising committee, Ricardo Teixeira (The Guardian).

Players and fans face huge journeys around Brazil after 2014 World Cup organisers decided countries must play their group games in different venues. Some journeys will be up to 2,000 miles after Fifa decided against basing teams in single venues (BBC).

SPLIT SECOND POLL

Sao Paulo will host the opening match of the 2014 World Cup and Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana stadium, where Uruguay in 1950 knocked out the host’s dream of its first Cup, will stage the final, FIFA announced (MercoPress).

Ricardo Teixeira has dominated Brazilian football for so long that, like many of the best players, he is known by just one name. They call him the “cartola,” literally the “top hat,” a title given to football bosses that instil respect and fear in equal measure and can carry more than a hint of shadiness. But now Brazil’s ‘beautiful game’ fans want big boss ‘cartola’ out (MercoPress).

A BBC Panorama investigation claimed that former Fifa president Joao Havelange and his son-in-law Ricardo Teixeira, a Fifa executive committee member and chairman of the World Cup organising committee for Brazil 2014, were paid kickbacks in return for granting ISL lucrative World Cup television and sponsorship rights during the 1990s. The programme said Teixeira received £6m in bribes via a front company called Sanud which was registered in the tax haven of Liechtenstein. The Brazilian Fraud Squad has now opened an investigation into the allegations (BBC).

FIFA also announced the locations of the 2013 Confederations Cup in Brazil. The nation’s capital, Brasilia, will hold the opening match of the precursor to the 2014 World Cup. Only five other cities will host the Confederations Cup. They are Belo Horizonte, Fortaleza, Recife, Rio de Janeiro and Salvador (Xinhua).

 

Brazil Weekly’s Brazil Culture & Regional News

In Brazil on October 21, 2011 at 10:30 am

PROJECT OF THE WEEK

Render of the new Fonta Nova soccer stadium for Salvador da Bahia, by architects Marc Duwe and Claas Schulitz (Source).

TWITTER, FACEBOOK & LINKEDIN

Brazil Weekly is now on Facebook! You can like us here and join our group here.

You can also follow Brazil Weekly on Twitter at brazilweekly.

Be very welcome to join the Brazil Weekly networking and discussion group on Linkedin: Click here.

MEDIA

The army’s attempts to “pacify” and secure Brazil’s favelas and crack down on their drug traffickers before the 2014 Football World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games are raising concern about the accompanying violations of human rights and civil liberties in these communities, including the rights of their own journalists. News reporting by the residents of these poor neighbourhoods should enjoy the same safety guarantees and freedom from censorship as reporting by Brazil’s mainstream media (Reporters without borders).

CULTURE

Edifício residencial Jaraguá, in São Paulo, designed by Paulo Mendes da Rocha, 1984. Photograph by Nelson Kon

The Brussels Center for Fine Arts, one of the most prestigious cultural institutions in the world, presents until January 2012 the work of the renowned Brazilian architect Paulo Mendes da Rocha (Pritzker Prize 2006), known for his creativity and his constant use of technological innovations. Eight projects and six models will be displayed to show his most representative works and current projects. The exhibition is part of Europalia 2011, an European festival that will celebrate the Brazilian culture in Belgium and four other countries from October 2011 to January 2012. For more information, please visit the Europalia site.

AMAZON

Dozens of large-scale projects — including dams, high-speed rails, roads, electricity transmission systems, mines, and industrial farms — are planned or already in progress in the nine states that make up the “Legal Amazon” in Brazil (map). By 2020, the government aims to more than double the Amazon’s share of power generation to 23 percent of national output, up from 10 percent today. The target represents 45 percent of planned energy expansion during the period (Mongabay).

The Transpantaneira Highway, despite its grand name, is an unfinished dirt road running 90 or so miles from the Brazilian town of Poconé into the Pantanal, a vast wetlands many consider South America’s finest destination for animal viewing. But it’s not just a road: it’s a crocodilian slalom course (New York Times).

BAHIA

Since the sixties, hippie villages have grown all over the world. Argentina has El Bolson, Canada has Vancouver, India has Goa, Australia has Nimbin, and Brazil has the inspiring paradise of Arembepe. Of course, there are several hippie havens scattered around Brazil such as Trinidade and Paraty in Rio de Janeiro state, but none can compare to the one that Janis Joplin, Mick Jagger, and Roman Polanski favored (The Rio Times).

BRASILIA

A 6-year-old boy has become the fourth person to die in Brasilia after becoming infected with the streptococcus pyogenes bacteria, Brazilian health officials said (Latin American Herald Tribune).

ESPIRITO SANTO

An old train station in Vila Velha (Espírito Santo, Brazil), now occupied by the Vale Museum, will house Fermata, an exhibition of new works by the celebrated artists Gustavo and Otávio Pandolfo, known by the pseudonym OSGEMEOS (meaning “the twins” in Portuguese). Between October 28 and February 12, Fermata will be marked by unprecedented interactivity with the public, presenting educational and artistic activities in parallel (Vale).

MINAS GERAIS

Minas Gerais’ economy grew 3.4% in the second quarter of 2011 compared to the same period last year. The data released last week are part of the publication “Boletim de Conjuntura Econômica de Minas” – 2nd quarter of 2011, produced by the Center for Statistics and Information João Pinheiro Fundation (FJP) (India-Brazil Chamber).

PARAIBA

A conflict in Brazil’s northeast, where security forces launched an operation to quell a violent feud between criminal dynasties, is a reminder that in some rural parts of the country, state presence is as weak and crime as rampant as in urban favelas (Insight Crime).

RIO

The approach of summer in Rio de Janeiro is known to bring an increased risk of dengue fever. Early 2011 remained dangerous, with 5,500 cases reported in Zona Sul (South Zone) alone, and now the Municipal Secretary of Health and Civil Defense is stepping up preventative campaigns to battle an epidemic in 2012 (The Rio Times).

For the majority of foreigners arriving in Rio, the lively boulevards of Ipanema or the many beachside residencies overlooking praia de Copacabana are popular choices when it comes to finding a place to stay. However, those in the know and with the means also consider the luxury apartments situated along the tranquil waters of the Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas to be the perfect lakeside retreat (The Rio Times).

Rio de Janeiro state authorities say one of Brazil’s most-wanted drug lords has been arrested in neighboring Paraguay. State public safety spokesman Daniel Pereira says Alexander Mendes da Silva was arrested in the Paraguayan city of Pedro Juan Caballero (Washington Post).

Blogger Julia Michaels pulls out key points of an extensive Q&A from Epoca magazine with Rio state’s top cop, particularly on the state’s police pacification program in its many favela slums (Christian Science Monitor).

Drug gangs swap pistols and murder for popcorn and movies! A pioneering cinema is transforming a once-notorious favela. Geoffrey Macnab visits Rio de Janeiro’s new star attraction (The Independent).

SUPPORT BRAZIL WEEKLY

Brazil Weekly is freely distributed on the net and we like to keep it that way.

However, we’d like to ask you just one favor in return: please send Brazil Weekly to your friends and colleagues and help our readership grow!

Thank you!

SPLIT SECOND POLL

SAO PAULO

Cleaning up the Tietê poses more than the usual problems. São Paulo is just 75km from the river’s source, so there is less water to dilute what it discharges. Mountain ranges block potential pipe routes to the sea. Average annual rainfall is 150cm and summer storms can bring 7cm in just a few hours. Impermeable roads and pavements aggravate flooding: this year, the river burst its banks three times (The Economist).

São Paulo is almost beyond the imagination — a drizzle-shrouded megacity of almost 20 million that sprawls like Los Angeles and boasts enough skyscrapers to vie with New York. The gritty financial engine of the new Brazil, São Paulo exerts influence over commerce, media and culture. The Brazilian writer Roberto Pompeu de Toledo calls it an “urban labyrinth that reaches toward the infinite.” It might not have the palm-fringed glamour of Rio de Janeiro, but in the view of urbane Paulistanos, Brazil has only one truly global city: theirs (New York Times).

Two doctors are in court in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on charges they removed organs for transplant from patients who were still alive. The patients later died in the hospital. Drs. Pedro Torrecillas and Rui Sacramento are each charged with four homicides in a trial that started Monday. The deaths happened between September and December 1986 in the hospital connected to the University of Taubate, in Sao Paulo state (Washington Post).

Brazil Politics & Government News

In Brazil on October 14, 2011 at 10:34 am

POLITICS

The National Congress may analyze the presidential veto to the Ibsen Pinheiro Amendment – which equally shares the oil royalties among producer and non-producer states – on the 26th (Federal Senate).

Over 200.000 people took to the streets of the Brazilian capital to protest against corruption and impunity. The Wednesday rally was convened through the social networks and responds to citizens’ organizations with no political affiliation (MercoPress).

SPLIT SECOND POLLS

TWITTER, FACEBOOK & LINKEDIN

Brazil Weekly is now on Facebook! You can like us here and join our group here.

You can also follow Brazil Weekly on Twitter at brazilweekly.

Be very welcome to join the Brazil Weekly networking and discussion group on Linkedin: Click here.

INTERNATIONAL

Brazil is reinforcing its diplomacy’s legal and trade departments in anticipation of a major impact from a possible global situation and in this context “Mercosur is a priority, almost a sanctuary” the Foreign Affairs Ministry said (Mercopress).

Brazil questioned the Venezuelan government guarantees for freedom of expression and Judiciary branch independence although at the same time saying it was a “good friend” of the government of President Hugo Chavez (Mercopress).

Sérgio Amaral, a former trade minister and now president of the China-Brazil Business Council. “The expansion of trade and of investment is very beneficial for the country, with one qualification,” he told the Global Post. “Sometimes you don’t know whether the investments are looking for Brazil as a market or whether they correspond to strategic purposes of the Chinese government” (Financial Times).

SPLIT SECOND POLL

SUPPORT BRAZIL WEEKLY

Brazil Weekly is freely distributed on the net and we like to keep it that way.

However, we’d like to ask you just one favor in return: please send Brazil Weekly to your friends and colleagues and help our readership grow!

Thank you!

DEFENSE & SECURITY

A Pentagon assessment to Congress noted Brazil’s navy offered to provide China training in carrier operations. “However, Brazil’s limited capabilities in this area and the extensive problems with Brazil’s own carrier program raise some questions as to the implications of the offer,” it said (Reuters).

General Luiz Eduardo Rocha Paiva, member of the Academy of Terrestrial Military History of Brazil, supported a greater integration between diplomacy and national defense. He regretted that Brazilian military leaderships have been, as he remarked, “on the sideline of the State’s decision-making center”. He warned that the international “friction areas” began to approach the African West coast and the South Atlantic (Federal Senate).

President Dilma Rousseff revealed that in the last four months Brazilian forces in the framework of the ‘Strategic Frontiers Plan’ had seized over 62 tons of drugs and 650 kilos of arms and explosives (Mercopress).

The country needs to avoid the “trap” of treating its border areas only as crime regions, recommended the special advisor of the Under-Secretariat of Federative Affairs of the Secretariat of Institutional Relations of the Presidency, Alberto Kleiman. At a public hearing held by the Permanent Subcommittee on the Amazon and the Border Strip, he warned to the need to stimulate the development of areas next to the neighboring countries (Federal Senate).

The August 27 robbery at the Itau Unibanco bank on Sao Paulo’s Avenida Paulista, and the inept investigation that followed, highlight the security challenges still facing Brazil. Despite considerable progress in some areas, crime remains a major drag on the economy, and it is arguably one of the biggest obstacles standing between Brazil and its dream of attaining rich-world status in the coming decade (Reuters).

One of the Israeli citizens arrested in Brazil in a police operation against smuggling is on the most wanted list of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) (Xinhua).

Brazil Business & Economy News

In Brazil on October 14, 2011 at 10:34 am

ECONOMY

Coming off a year in which it recorded its highest growth in a quarter century, Brazil is faced with rising inflation, an overvalued currency and an industrial sector losing competitiveness to cheap Chinese imports. But Ms. Rousseff’s promising efforts to fix those problems could be undermined in the coming months as the government embarks on one of its biggest spending sprees in decades (New York Times).

Prices in Brazil keep rising and so does anxiety. Bloomberg lists some worrying reports.

Economic activity in Brazil slid in August from July with activity in previous months also weaker than first thought, data showed, in the latest sign of a slowdown (Reuters).

The Brazilian government will likely cut its 2011 economic growth forecast to between 3.5 and 4 percent from a previous outlook of 4.5 percent (Reuters).

The Brazilian National Industry Confederation (CNI) revised down its forecast for Brazil’s economic growth this year to 3.4 percent from 3.8 percent due to the effects of the world economic crisis (Xinhua).

Finance Minister Guido Mantega said that the country will regain momentum of higher economic growth in the 4th quarter this year following poor performances in the previous two quarters (Xinhua).

SUPPORT BRAZIL WEEKLY

Brazil Weekly is freely distributed on the net and we like to keep it that way.

However, we’d like to ask you just one favor in return: please send Brazil Weekly to your friends and colleagues and help our readership grow!

Thank you!

BUSINESS

Japanese beermaker Kirin says it has been cleared by a court to buy a majority stake in family-run Brazilian brewer Schincariol. Kirin will spend $2.6bn (£1.7bn) on buying 50.45% of the beer and soft-drink maker, after an injunction halting the deal was overturned (BBC).

Brazil has agreed to negotiate changes in a higher tax on car imports to accommodate auto makers that have disclosed billions of dollars in new investments in the world’s fourth-largest vehicle market, but critics of the higher tax say the damage to competition, and the consumer, has already been done (Wall Street Journal).

Taiwan’s Foxconn confirmed it will start producing iPads in Brazil in December but is still negotiating a multibillion-dollar expansion plan in the country, senior company and government officials said (Reuters).

Hitachi Ltd is mulling a joint venture in Brazil with a local heavy machinery manufacturer to produce monorail cars there, the Nikkei business daily reported (Reuters).

AGRI ETC.

Brazil’s government will lend a total of 2 billion reais ($1.1 billion) for cane mills to stock ethanol through the end of the interharvest, in March 2012, a government source told Reuters.

AVIATION

Embraer signed a firm order for 13 Legacy 650 executive jets with China’s Minsheng Financial Leasing Co., Ltd. The first aircraft is expected to be delivered by the end of this year, with the remainder to be delivered within the next five years (Embraer).

Embraer and GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS), the commercial aircraft leasing and financing arm of General Electric Company, have signed a contract for six firm orders and six options of the EMBRAER 190, with the right to convert to the EMBRAER 195. The total value of the deal, which will be included in Embraer’s fourth quarter of 2011 backlog, is USD 256.8 million, at list price, and could double, if all options are confirmed. Delivery of these aircraft will begin in the fourth quarter of 2012 (Embraer).

Brazil sets tough rules for three airport terminals concessions. Operators interested in running Brazil’s largest airport will be required to make a minimum bid of 1.3 billion dollars, Brazil’s aviation authority said (Mercopress).

The final words of three terrified pilots on board an Air France jet which crashed into the Atlantic Ocean have emerged today for the first time. In a scandal which is set to shock all those who work or travel on commercial flights, they reveal absolute panic and ignorance among those in charge of the aircraft (Daily Mail).

Indonesian flag carrier PT Garuda Indonesia said it is in talks with Canada’s Bombardier Inc and Brazil’s Embraer to buy 18 small-sized planes worth up to $720 million (Reuters).

MINING & STEEL

Vale launched its iron ore distribution centre in Teluk Rubiah, which will cater for demand of steel industries in the Asia Pacific region. The centre will have a maximum throughput capacity of 60 million tons per year. Vale is  investing US$ 1.4 billion (RM 4 billion) in the first phase of the project, which will create approximately 3,000 jobs in Perak during the next three years before completion (Vale).

OIL & GAS

Brazil, which is maintaining investments to increase oil production even as turmoil hits financial markets in Brazil and around the world, is leading a shift in Latin America’s oil industry with the potential to alter the geopolitics of energy. By the 2020s, if the stars align in Brazil’s favor, the country could emerge as the fourth-largest oil producer after Russia, Saudi Arabia and the United States (New York Times).

The Consortium operating Block BM-S-11, formed by Petrobras (65% – Operator) in partnership with BG Group (25%) and Petrogal Brasil S.A. – Galp Energia (10%), has opened up the Lula-Mexilhão gas pipeline. The system connects the Lula field to the Mexilhão platform, located in shallow Santos Basin waters. With a capacity to take off up to 10 million m3 gas per day, the pipeline will transport gas produced in the Pre-Salt Cluster (BW/Petrobras).

In an interview to Brazilian magazine IstoE, Gabrielli highlights innovation as the key factor to Petrobras’ success, published by Forbes.

A subsidiary of state-owned China National Petroleum Corporation has begun talks on developing deposits in an oil-rich region off the coast of the Brazilian state of Sao Paulo (Latin American Herald Tribune).

Italian oil services group Saipem SpA will invest about $300 million in a site in Guaruja, Sao Paulo,  to build a construction yard for its offshore structures. The 35 hectares in Guaruja, within the port and industrial hub of Santos Bay, will serve as a logistics base and a site to build subsea and floating structures to complement the ultra-deep water fleet recently built by Saipem (Reuters).

TELECOMS

Telecommunication products are required to have a certification and homologation by the Brazilian Telecommunication Agency (Anatel) in order to be legally commercialized and used in the country (The Brazil Business).

Brazil Weekly’s Brazil Culture & Regional News

In Brazil on October 14, 2011 at 10:32 am

PROJECT OF THE WEEK

Render of the Móbile 323 project for Sao Paulo’s Alto de Pinheiros. Design by Rocco Vital Arquitetos (Skyscrapercity).

SPLIT SECOND POLLS

TWITTER, FACEBOOK & LINKEDIN

Brazil Weekly is now on Facebook! You can like us here and join our group here.

You can also follow Brazil Weekly on Twitter at brazilweekly.

Be very welcome to join the Brazil Weekly networking and discussion group on Linkedin: Click here.

SOCCER & WORLDCUP

Former Brazil football star Romario has said Fifa must not be allowed to dictate changes to Brazilian law ahead of the World Cup in 2014. Romario – who is now a congressman – said laws that guarantee half-price tickets to students and pensioners should not be swept away (BBC).

Brazil’s top football official Ricardo Teixeira is to be investigated by the police on suspicion of illegal transfer of funds into the country and money laundering (The Guardian).

CULTURE

For the next 16 weeks, Belgium gets to soak up the sunny culture of Brazil thanks to Europalia, the festival that offers this country a crash course in the history, arts and customs of another (The Bulletin).

AMAZON

The amount of deforestation in the protected zones of Brazil’s Amazon rainforest increased by over 127 percent between 2000 and 2010, despite the creation of protected areas and the official demarcation of areas inhabited by indigenous peoples in the region. The statistics were released by Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE), which monitors Brazil’s sixty percent of the Amazonian rainforest for changes by satellite (The Rio Times).

Researchers monitoring the destruction of Brazil’s Amazon forest say the creation of conservation units and indigenous reserves has not been enough to contain deforestation (Washington Post).

The Bolsa Verde or Green Grant programme, which gives financial assistance to poor families that help preserve Brazil’s Amazon jungle, may turn out to be only a drop in the ocean if legislation that undermines forest protection is adopted (IPS).

MINAS GERAIS

He is one of Brazil’s most successful businessmen, a shy mining entrepreneur who made millions selling pig iron to China. Now Bernardo Paz has a new dream: to erect a “Disneyland” for art lovers in the countryside. Paz unveiled plans to build a mecca for contemporary arts fans around the Inhotim Cultural Institute, a sprawling rural estate in the hilltops of Minas Gerais state, already one of the most talked-about and unusual arts destinations in Latin America, if not the world (The Guardian).

PARANA

A good history student will tell you Brazil has had three capitals: Salvador, Rio de Janeiro and Brasília. A few history students, however, will add a fourth to the list: an oft-maligned, understated city and capital of Paraná state: Curitiba. Although it was only capital for three days in 1969, during the tumult of Brazil’s military regime (The Rio Times).

PERNAMBUCO

Brazilian police have made a major cocaine seizure in the port of Suape in the north-eastern state of Pernambuco. The haul of more than half a tonne was found in bags hidden in containers at the port, officials said (BBC).

SUPPORT BRAZIL WEEKLY

Brazil Weekly is freely distributed on the net and we like to keep it that way.

However, we’d like to ask you just one favor in return: please send Brazil Weekly to your friends and colleagues and help our readership grow!

Thank you!

RIO

Last week the mayor’s office announced Vila Autódromo, a small community on the shore of Lake Jacarepaguá, would be demolished in preparation for the 2016 Olympic Games despite a long period of negotiation with residents. The city is looking for private investors to help cover the costs of the Olympic facilities, prompting critics to question the motive behind the evictions (The Rio Times).

Colonel Erir Ribeiro da Costa Filho has revealed a new methodology for evaluating Polícia Militar (Military Police, or MP) officers, including a comprehensive performance review every six months for all police, regardless of rank.  The newly appointed MP commander has been announcing sweeping changes since replacing former commander Mário Sérgio de Brito Duarte last week (The Rio Times).

In the past The Rio Times covered rental options in the range of R$1,500, R$2,500 and R$3,500 and also discussed neighborhood qualities. This week they take a look at a higher price range of R$5,000 a month and include condominium fees in the total sum. For this amount renters can find ample choices in Zona Sul (South Zone), which tends to be more popular with most foreigners (The Rio Times).

The city of Rio de Janeiro plans to sell bonds as early as next year to finance projects for the 2016 Olympic Games, Mayor Eduardo Paes said (Bloomberg).

A suspected gas explosion at a restaurant in central Rio de Janeiro has left three people dead and at least 13 injured. The powerful blast early in the morning caused widespread damage to the restaurant, located in a multi-storey building on Tiradentes Square (BBC).

Every year people from all over the world come to visit the Cidade Maravilhosa, many of whom try to either stay or come back looking for work, and often find it as an English-language teacher. Now more than ever, with the emerging Oil economy, 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics on the horizon, there is a demand for Brazilians to learn English (The Rio Times).

On the same day that Brazilian Catholics honour their patroness, Our Lady of Aparecida, the country is celebrating Oct. 12, 2011 as the 80th anniversary of Rio’s famous “Christ the Redeemer” statue (Mercopress).

SAO PAULO

French urban artist Invader has brought his unique mosaic art to the streets of São Paulo, Brazil. In an eventful year for the artist, his arcade game-inspired art is exhibited as part of  ‘De Dentro e De Fora’ (‘Inside Out/Outside In’), a celebration of street art at São Paulo’s MASP gallery and in the surrounding area (PSFK).

Brazil Politics & Government News

In Brazil on October 7, 2011 at 11:23 am

POLITICS

President Dilma Rousseff’s biggest challenge in coming months will be to deal with growing discontent over persistent inflation and austerity measures as the fallout from global financial turmoil hits Latin America’s largest economy. Read about the key political risks in Brazil at Reuters.

The Senate unanimously approved the so-called “Bolsa Verde” program. The proposal establishes the Support Program on Environmental Conservation, which concedes a trimestrial benefit to the poorest families who adopt environmental conservation actions (Federal Senate).

SPLIT SECOND POLL

TWITTER, FACEBOOK & LINKEDIN

Brazil Weekly is now on Facebook! You can like us here and join our group here.

You can also follow Brazil Weekly on Twitter at brazilweekly.

Be very welcome to join the Brazil Weekly networking and discussion group on Linkedin: Click here.

INTERNATIONAL

Brazil and the European Union must take concerted action to calm markets fearful of global contagion resulting from Europe’s debt crisis, leaders from both sides said (Reuters).

Harsh austerity measures will make Europe’s economic woes even worse, President Dilma Rousseff said (Fox News).

The fifth EU-Brazil Business Summit took place in Brussels, Belgium on 4 October 2011. BUSINESSEUROPE, the National Confederation of Industry-Brazil (CNI) and EUROCHAMBRES put forward a pragmatic and ambitious agenda of issues, aimed at promoting trade and investment across the two economies. High level business leaders discussed cooperation in vital economic areas, such as innovation, financial services, investment opportunities, energy and climate change (EUBrasil).

EU-Brazil bilateral relations date back to 1960 when diplomatic relations were established (2010 marked the 50th anniversary). The 1992 Framework Co-operation Agreement established the legal basis for cooperation. Relations are strong, with regular high level visits, political dialogue, cooperation in a wide range of areas and consultations in the margins of major multilateral events. EUBrasil has an overview.

President Dilma Rousseff pledged to raise investment in Bulgaria, her ancestral homeland, in renewable energy, aviation and the oil industry (MercoPress).

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is providing a EUR 500 million loan to the BNDES of Brazil for projects in the renewable energy sector supporting climate change mitigation. The objective of this operation is to support investments that generate environmental benefits with respect to combating climate change. The majority of the schemes will contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by generating renewable energy. Other schemes may focus on increasing energy efficiency, including in industrial applications, the heating and cooling sectors and in power generation or support investments for climate change adaptation (BNDES).

Brazil looks set to strike a blow against international anti-piracy treaty ACTA, with a bill under discussion in the country’s parliament that sets out a civil rights-based framework for the internet (thinq).

Undersecretary-general for Asia of the Brazilian External Relations Ministry, Maria Edileuza Fontenelle Reis, said that Brazil wanted to boost bilateral trade and investment in Indonesia, its key partner in the Southeast Asia region, in the near future as economic cooperation between the two countries was very much complementary (The Jakarta Post).

SUPPORT BRAZIL WEEKLY

Brazil Weekly is freely distributed on the net and we like to keep it that way.

However, we’d like to ask you just one favor in return: please send Brazil Weekly to your friends and colleagues and help our readership grow!

Thank you!

DEFENSE

Brazil’s defense minister has reignited speculation about a multi-billion-dollar fighter jet deal by saying his country is in “urgent” need of new combat aircraft despite this year’s budget cuts. The French Dassault’s Rafale fighter, the U.S. Boeing’s F/A-18 Super Hornet and the Swedish Saab’s Gripen NG have long been in stiff competition for the estimated $4-7 billion contract, as Brazil has postponed a final decision (Defense News).

In proportion to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Brazil spends less in defense than the other countries that initially integrated the Brics – Russia, India and China. The information was presented by the minister of Defense, Celso Amorim, during a public hearing on the subject promoted by the Committee on External Relations and National Defense (CRE) (Federal Senate).

Aerospace and defence group EADS is open to teaming up with France’s Thales to win a border surveillance contract in Brazil potentially worth 7.5 billion euros ($10.1 billion) over five years (Reuters).

SPLIT SECOND POLL

EDUCATION

Quacquarelli Symonds, an education consultancy, published the first regional ranking of Latin American universities, combining measures of reputation, research output, academics’ qualifications and staff-student ratios. Of the 200 top universities, 65 are in Brazil, 35 in Mexico, 25 apiece in Argentina and Chile and 20 in Colombia (see table for the top ten). The University of São Paulo (USP), the richest and biggest university in Brazil’s richest state, came top (The Economist).

SOCIAL

Thousands will go untreated unless Brazil steps up production of essential drug.Médecins Sans Frontières calls on the Brazilian government to ensure its state-owned drug company steps up production of the only drug for Chagas disease, which affects 10 million people in Latin America (The Guardian).

The Brazilian government department for policies for women took action this week against a series of lingerie ads by brand Hope, starring supermodel Gisele Bündchen, which it deemed “offensive and sexist”. In the ads, titled Hope teaches, the model gives her husband bad news such as “honey, I’ve crashed the car” or “honey, I’ve reached the credit card limit … both mine and yours” – first fully dressed (which they teach viewers is wrong), then wearing tiny lingerie (which, according to Hope, is right) (The Guardian).

Brazil’s stand-up comics lead social revolution against powerful elites. New breed of comedians enjoy wave of popularity for pushing boundaries and challenging nation’s reputation for deference (The Guardian).