News from Brazil

Archive for 2012|Yearly archive page

Politics & Government News

In Brazil on December 21, 2012 at 11:35 am

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INTERNATIONAL

The ambassadors nominated by the Brazilian government to represent the country in Iran and Turkey, first class ministers Santiago Irazabal Mourão and Antonio Luis Espinola Salgado, advocated an international understanding about the Iranian nuclear program.  A little more than two years ago, the Brazilian and Turkish governments promoted intense negotiations with Tehran about the nuclear program of Iran, which is suspected by several western countries of being connected to a parallel program of nuclear weapons. Tripartite negotiations led to the signing of Tehran Declaration, which established abroad shipment of uranium for enrichment of low-enriched uranium by Iran. However, the agreement was not accepted by the United States, which promoted the adoption of new sanctions from the United Nations against Iran (more on Federal Senate).

The governments of Brazil and Bolivia presented a set of actions to combat drug trafficking. The initiatives concern cooperation between the two countries focused on the development of joint intelligence operations, border monitoring, police training and combating money laundering (Portal Brasil).

DEFENSE & SECURITY

Created with the objective of integrating security agencies and police forces in order to protect Brazilian borders against drug trafficking, arms smuggling, the theft of animals and other crimes, the Strategic Border Plan has achieved “impressive” results. According to data from the federal government, 42 criminal organizations were dismantled between June (when the plan was launched) and November of this year. Compared to the previous period (from January 2010 to May 2011), an increase of 701.5% was seen, with 20,737 people being arrested while committing criminal acts. Additionally, 2,235 firearms (up 496%), 280,785 munitions (up 347%), 350 tons of drugs (up 329%), 9,545 vehicles (up 295%), and the equivalent of more than R$ 12 million in cash were seized (Portal Brasil).

The Brazilian Army took delivery of the first unit of a batch of 86 VBTP-MR Guarani 6×6 amphibious armoured fighting vehicles (AFVs) in a mechanised infantry configuration. The vehicles were ordered by the army’s Science & Technology Department, (Departamento de Ciência e Tecnologia: DCT) from Iveco Veículos de Defesa for BRL246 million (USD117 million), Janes reported. Defesanet reported that Argentina may be a possible first export customer of the Guarani.

The Russian state emterprise Rostekhnologii and Odebrecht Defesa e Tecnologia signed an agreement for setting up a joint venture that will assemble Mi-171 multi-use helicopters in Brazil.

Brazil is building a new military base, the Santa Barbara Fortress, in Goias state in order to house its new mobile missile untis equipped with the Astros 2020 system, Defesanet reports.

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CITY BRIEFS

Check out Brazil Weekly’s new feature City Briefs, a series of introductions to the country’s main economic centers, packed with relevant info for business travelers. First to hit the net were the Brazil Weekly City Briefs on Brasilia, the federal capital of Brazil, Belo Horizonte, the country’s third economic centre and Sao Paulo, the global megacity. Latest City Brief deals with Rio de Janeiro, the Marvelous City!

SOCIAL

More data have become availiable from the 2010 census. For instance schooling level of women was higher than men’s and they have widened their share in the labor market. Check out the whole story at IBGE.

The number of divorces in Brazil reached 351,153 in 2011, an increase of 45.6% over 2010 (243,224). As a result, the divorce rate reached its highest level since 1984 (2.6 divorces per 1,000 inhabitants aged 15 and over), even more than in the previous year (1.8‰) (IBGE).

Business & Economy News

In Brazil on December 21, 2012 at 11:35 am

MORE OPINION

Be welcome to check out our latest article, a reaction to a recent article in The Economist: Can Brazil Conquer Africa’s Booming Markets?

ECONOMY

The Extended Consumer Price Index 15 (IPCA-15) changed 0.69% in December and stood 0.15 percentage points above the 0.54% rate recorded in November. As a result, IPCA-E, which is the accumulated IPCA-15, closed the year at 5.78%, below the rate of 2011 (6.56%). More at IBGE.

The Industry Confidence Index (ICI) avanced 1.4% compared to the end result for November, going to 106.7 points. With the result, the ICI would reach the highest level since June 2011 (107.1 points), although it is only 0.7 point above the level reached last October (IBRE).

Lending growth and defaults at Brazilian banks showed signs of recovery in November, Reuters reported. The good news is that an ongoing decline in borrowing costs is easing the finances of companies and consumers.

Brazilian gold reserves expanded 14.7 metric tons in November to 67.2 tons, the most since November 2000, according the International Monetary Fund. The country bought 17.2 tons in October after adding 1.7 tons in September, the first increase since 2008.

Finance Minister Guido Mantega announced more tax cuts for automobiles, furniture, appliances and other goods through June, though at lower levels, Bloomberg reported. Tax cuts for some goods, such as trucks and washing machines, will remain in place. Mantega also announced that retailers, excluding supermarkets, will be exempt from payroll taxes starting in April. This brings the number of sectors receiving the tax benefit to 42.

Standard & Poor affirmed their ‘BBB’ long-term foreign currency sovereign credit rating and ‘A-’ long-term local currency rating on Brazil.

There were reports in the Brazilian press that the country this year lost its position as the sixth global economy again to the UK, due to the weak performance of Brazil’s economy in 2012.

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BUSINESS

Check out the clickable map at Veja showing indicators of all of Brazil’s states. Sao Paulo, Rio and Minas Gerais appear the best states for business.

Australia is poised to overtake Brazil as a source of demand growth for ships as the nation’s iron-ore supply to China expands faster than the Latin American country’s, said Clarkson Plc, the world’s largest shipbroker, Bloomberg reported.

AGRI ETC.

The amount of sugarcane processed by mills in Brazil’s South-Central region totaled 31.81 million tons in the second-half of September, down 24.20% compared to the first half of the month and a drop of 13.73% compared to the same period in 2011 (UNICA).

AVIATION

Fuji Dream Airlines of Japan signed a contract for two EMBRAER 175 jets. The total value of the deal is USD 81.6 million, at list price, which will be included in Embraer’s fourth quarter of 2012 backlog. Both aircraft will be configured in a single-class layout with 84 seats. This order brings the total number of aircraft in the airline’s all-E-Jet fleet to eight (Embraer).

Embraer and Boeing announced that they will provide customers with a shared set of tools, called Runway Situation Awareness Tools, to reduce runway excursions. This further strengthens the collaboration between two of the world’s largest aerospace companies (Embraer).

TAM has subsituted its Boeing 767s by Airbus A330s on its routes to Miami from Manaus, Belo Horizonte, Brasilia and Rio, the company announced. The planes will include four First Class seats, as well as 34 Business Class seats. TAM also announced it entered a code sharing agreement with American Airlines.

The International Airports of Confins in Belo Horizonte and Galeao in Rio have now been opened to private investors. Brazil wants the world’s 20 biggest airport operators to bid for the operating licenses, Bloomberg reports.

Portugal’s government rejected the offer to buy TAP from Brazilian investor German Efromovich’s Synergy Group.

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MINING & STEEL

Vale informed that it has concluded the annual assessment of Onça Puma and aluminum assets, which will imply the recognition of an impairment charge before tax of US$ 4.2 billion, thus affectingthe company’s earnings in the fourth quarter of 2012. The issues with the two furnaces of Onça Puma determined the total stoppage of its ferronickel operations since June 2012. After analyzing the case, Vale decided to rebuild one of the furnaces, at an estimated cost of US$ 188 million in 2013, and plans its start up in the fourth quarter of 2013 (Vale).

Vale International, based in St. Prex, Switzerland, has resolved its tax dispute with the Swiss federal authorities. The tax dispute was related to the federal tax holiday granted to ValeI in 2006 and the differences in its interpretation. Vale decided to clear the dispute and will pay the additional taxes claimed by the Swiss federal authorities for a total of CHF 212 million. Vale has made a provision of US$ 37 million and the difference will also impact the company’s income statement in the fourth quarter of 2012 (Vale).

OIL & GAS

Shares of Petrobras rose after the government said it would allow it to raise fuel prices in 2013 and the company moved to cut $15.4 billion of costs, Reuters reported. Brazil will “certainly” raise gasoline prices in 2013, Finance Minister Guido Mantega told reporters, raising expectation that Petrobras, Brazil’s only refiner, will be able to stem more than $8 billion in 2012 fuel sales losses. Petrobras said it will cut costs by 32 billion reais ($15.4 billion) between 2013 and 2016 to stanch the impact of falling output and rising debt on its ambitious expansion plan (Reuters).

Petrobras announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary Petrobras Colombia has confirmed the presence of oil at the Guando SW 1 well, in the Upper Magdalena Valley, Tolima Department, Colombia. The Guando SW 1 well reached a total depth of 1,576 meters. Tests have confirmed the presence of oil at approximately 23.9º API and initial production rates of 500 barrels of oil per day.

PORTS

LLX, the logistics company of EBX Group, announced the signing of a contract with V & M do Brasil S.A for the construction of a logistics base at Açu Superport, being built in São João da Barra (Rio de Janeiro state). The plant, which will be located in the Metalworking Cluster, will occupy 150,000 m² and will serve oil companies operating in Campos Basin, offering Just-in-Time storage and supply of pipes and specialist services. The contract will have a term of 20 years and is renewable for a further 20 years. The construction will be based on an offshore support base in the TX2 channel (LLX).

 

Regional and FIFA News

In Brazil on December 21, 2012 at 11:32 am

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NEW FEATURE: WEEKEND BREAKS!

Brazil Weekly now offers another new feature: Weekend Breaks! Over the next months we will show you how to enjoy your weekend out of town when staying in Brazil’s biggest business cities. First online is our Weekend Break out of Belo Horizonte, to the famous historic town of Ouro Preto, a must to visit!

BRAZIL WEEKLY’S BRAZIL’S NEXT 10 HOTTEST BUSINESS CITIES

No doubt the biggest and most important business centres of Brazil are the megacities of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro and do not forget most other state capitals like Belo Horizonte, Salvador da Bahia, Recife, Fortaleza, Curitiba and Porto Alegre. But Brazil is big and there are plenty of other fast developing cities, not being state capitals. So for a minute forget Sao Paulo, Rio and those other 2014 World Cup host cities and check out Brazil Weekly’s Brazil’s Next 10 Hottest Business Cities.

ATLANTICO WEEKLY

Be welcome to visit Brazil Weekly’s sister publication Atlantico Weekly, with news about Angola and Cape Verde, two upcoming Portuguese speaking countries. Read the Grand Tour of Cape Verde, Atlantico Weekly’s visitor’s guide to Cape Verde’s main islands, and read our forecast Cape Verde in 2030, a realistic glimpse of the small nation’s bright future and check out Entrepreneurs of Cape Verde, a series of interviews with local entrepreneurs. But there is much more…

FIFA WORLD CUP 2014

The first of the stadiums that will host the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ was handed over some 15 days before the initial deadline agreed with FIFA and the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Organising Committee (LOC) in 2007. Boasting a capacity of 64,000, the Estadio Castelao in Fortaleza heralds a new era in Brazilian football, with 12 safe, comfortable, sustainable and state-of-the-art stadiums opening their doors between now and 2014 across all five regions of Brazil (FIFA).

PROJECT OF THE WEEK

Render of Rio’s Central do Brasil train station after modernization (Skyscrapercity). Plans were also released showing an upgrade of the station in Duque de Caxias.

AMAZON

The BNDES approved financing worth R$ 75,9 million for the Companhia Norte de Navegação e Portos S/A (Cianport). The BNDES investment makes a new export route available from Brazil’s Center-West region to China and Europe, using the logistical corridor of the BR-163 highway and the waterway Tapajós-Amazonas.

RIO

Check out the mega project of the Acu Superport in northern Rio State, including maps of the area and its access routes at LLX.

Check out our latest City Brief, on Rio de Janeiro!

REX, the real estate branch in Eike Batista’s EBX group has announced it plans to convert a huge block of flats in Flamengo into the Hotel Parque do Flamengo, a new business hotel.

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SAO PAULO

What are Sao Paulo’s best hotels and restaurants? Do the polls on the Sao Paulo City Brief page.

Check out what’s on at the prestigious Sala Sao Paulo!

Politics & Government News

In Brazil on December 14, 2012 at 11:18 am

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POLITICS

Brazil is almost a third of the way toward its goal of providing 3.4 million houses to low-income families by 2014, President Dilma Rousseff said. A million units have already been delivered and another million have been contracted out for construction,the president said in her weekly radio show (Xinhua).

One day after testimony surfacing in which the businessman Marcos Valerio accuses him of direct involvement in the mensalão scandal – the clandestine political funding scheme organized by PT to ensure support for the government in Congress in 2003 and 2004 – the former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva mentioned the possibility of “again being a candidate” during a speech in Paris (Folha).

A majority of the Brazilian population, 63% is dissatisfied with the performance of the police forces and 90% considers the justice system ‘too slow” according to a survey from the Getulio Vargas Foundation think-tank Law School. The survey also showed that the institutions which inspire most confidence are the Armed Forces and the Catholic Church, with political parties ranked last, Mercopress reported.

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DEFENSE & SECURITY

Brazil and France have expressed interest in maintaining and strengthening cooperation in defense, with joint participation in the monitoring of technology transfer, benefiting defense industries in the two countries. The announcement was made in Paris, in a joint statement issued after a meeting between President Dilma Rousseff and President of the French Republic, François Hollande. One of Brazil’s largest military modernization projects is currently being developed with France: the Submarine Development Program (Prosub), which includes the construction of four conventional diesel-electric submarines and the fabrication of one nuclear-powered submarine. Cooperation will take place in the aeronautical, naval, ground and space sectors. Lastly Brazilian and French Presidents announced intentions to raise the level of operational cooperation at the common border of French Guiana, to promote and facilitate joint participation in operations under UN mandate, such as those in Haiti, and to increase common activities in areas of shared interest in the South Atlantic and Caribbean, as well as in West Africa and the Gulf of Guinea (Portal Brasil).

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CITY BRIEFS

Check out Brazil Weekly’s new feature City Briefs, a series of introductions to the country’s main economic centers, packed with relevant info for business travelers. First to hit the net were the Brazil Weekly City Briefs on Brasilia, the federal capital of Brazil, Belo Horizonte, the country’s third economic centre and Sao Paulo, the global megacity. Latest City Brief deals with Rio de Janeiro, the Marvelous City!

SCIENCE & EDUCATION

The Ministry of Education’s Science without Borders program will expand the offer of scholarships to Brazilians interested in studying in France. In addition to undergraduate students, post-graduate students will also now be accepted (Portal Brasil).

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Business & Economy News

In Brazil on December 14, 2012 at 11:16 am

MORE OPINION

Be welcome to check out our latest article, a reaction to a recent article in The Economist: Can Brazil Conquer Africa’s Booming Markets?

ECONOMY

In October retail trade increased 0.8% in the volume of sales and 1.1% in nominal revenue, as compared with the previous month (and seasonally adjusted). Retail trade recorded in volume of sales increases of 9.1% over October of the previous year and of 8.9% in the accumulated indicator of the first ten months of the year and of 8.5% in the last 12 months. Seven activities recorded positive and three negative changes for the volume of sales: office, computer and communication equipment and material (18.4%); vehicles and motorcycles, parts and accessories (13.3%); books, newspapers, magazines and stationery (5.2%); other articles of personal and household use (3.3%); construction material (2.8%), furniture and household appliances (1.4%); hypermarket, supermarket, food, beverages and tobacco (0.4%); pharmaceutical and medical goods, cosmetic and toilet articles (-0.1%); fuels and lubricants (-0.3%); and fabric, apparel and footwear (-2.2%). More at IBGE.

In October 2012, the total of employed persons in the industry recorded a positive change of 0.4% over the immediately previous month, in the seasonally adjusted series, after having registered negative rates in August (-0.1%) and in September (-0.3%) (IBGE).

The English version of the November Copom Minutes, in which the Committee decided to maintain the Selic target at 7.25% p.a., is available at the BCB site.

The central bank survey of about 100 financial institutions also showed a downward revision in the median of their 2013 GDP growth forecasts to 3.50 percent, from 3.70 percent previously, Reuters reported.

The October-November 2012 edition of the Investment Survey by the Getulio Vargas Foundation consulted Brazilian industrial companies about investment in fixed capital in the current year and those expected for 2013. The assessments made by industrial companies for 2012 show a worsening of the business environment compared to the previous year. As for revenues, 54% of companies indicated that actual sales growth in 2012 were 8 percentage points less than last year and 24% reported reduction in revenues in 2012 (15% in 2011). Despite the recent poor performance of the industrial sector and the uncertainties regarding the global economy, forecasts for 2013 cannot be classified as pessimistic (IBRE).

IBGE also measured the development of the share of the country’s biggest cities in national GDP. Check out this interesting table at IBGE.

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BUSINESS

BNDES is increasing the local-content requirements for wind-turbine manufacturers. Companies now must source 60 percent of the components in their turbines locally, and beginning in January will have to be producing or assembling in Brazil at least three of the four main wind-farm elements — towers, blades, nacelles and hubs (Bloomberg).

AGRI ETC.

Ethanol sales by mills in Brazil’s South-Central region grew considerably in the second half of November, totaling 1.17 billion liters – a 30.27% increase over the same period in 2011. Of this amount, 285.93 million liters were exported and 888.13 million liters remained in Brazil’s domestic fuels market (UNICA).

In its latest assessment of the 2012/13 Brazilian crops, Conab estimated that Brazilian farmers will produce 82.6 million tons of soybeans or 24.5% more than the 66.3 million tons produced in 2011/12. The gross value of the 2012/13 soybean crop is estimated at R$ 104 billion making it the most valuable grain crop produced in Brazil. Due to higher prices, the gross value of the 2012/13 soybean crop is 52% greater than the 2011/12 soybean crop. The second most valuable row crop is sugarcane valued at R$ 45.2 billion followed by corn at R$ 38.8 billion (Soybean & Corn Advisor).

The world’s largest pulp and forestry complex begins operation in south Brazil. JBS-Friboi has inaugurated an industrial complex for pulp production with an investment of 6.2 billion Reais (approx 3 billion dollars), local press reported.

AUTOMOTIVE

Audi will decide next year whether to start producing vehicles in Brazil again, following rival BMW’s plans for a new plant there and word that Japanese brands Acura and Infiniti are on the way, Reuters reported.

AVIATION

The federal government wants to make Brasilia International Airport a central hub for air traffic in Latin America. The strategy will take a step forward if the Federal District government manages to approve a bill to reduce the rate of ICMS value added tax from 25% to 12% for aircraft refueling (Portal Brasil).

The Embraer 190 and the Embraer 195 jets have received the Type Certificates from the Russian Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC), also known by its acronym MAK, paving the way for Russian airlines to acquire the 112 to 124-seat aircraft.

President Dilma Rousseff said her country will build some 800 regional airports and open more regional air routes in a bid to boost transportation infrastructure. “Some people in Brazil can travel only by air. We want cities of more than 100,000 inhabitants to have an airport within 60 kilometers,” she said at a business seminar in Paris (Xinhua).

BANKING & FINANCE

Banco do Brasil SA has received approval from a Chinese regulator to open a branch there. The bank still requires two more regulatory approvals, which it may receive during 2013, before it starts Chinese operations (Reuters).

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INFRA

Brazil set more attractive and less risky terms to attract international bids to operate a high-speed train between its two biggest cities, Reuters reported. The planned 350 km per hour (217 mile per hour) bullet train will run between Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and Campinas by 2020, said Bernardo Figueiredo, head of the government agency in charge of infrastructure projects.

MINING & STEEL

Vale recently launched the cornerstone for the construction of approximately 139-km rail spur and rehabilitation of 99 km of an existing railway, as well as the construction of 45 rail bridges and 3 road bridges, in Malawi, as part of the Nacala Corridor project. The Nacala Corridor project will bring a new railway and port infrastructure connecting the Moatize site to the Nacala-à-Velha maritime terminal, located in Nacala, Mozambique, with total capex of US$ 4.4 billion (Vale).

OIL & GAS

Gasoline consumption in Brazil will probably increase 12.2 percent in 2012 from a year earlier despite slower economic growth, testing national supply, fuel distributors association Sindicom said according to Reuters.

In addition to last week’s findings, Petrobras announced the discovery of a new accumulation of light hydrocarbons in ultra-deep waters of the Sergipe-Alagoas Basin, in concession area BM-SEAL-11, located in block SEAL-M-349.

PORTS

Brazil’s ports are among the slowest and most costly in the world due poor infrastructure, high taxes, excessive red-tape and deficient road and rail access, the country’s private transport sector said in a report according to Reuters. Lack of investment has resulted in inefficient ports where it costs $200 on average to load or unload a single container, compared to $110 in European ports such as Rotterdam, Hamburg and Antwerp, or $75 in Asian ports.

Culture & Regional News

In Brazil on December 14, 2012 at 11:12 am

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SUPPORT BRAZIL WEEKLY AND BOOK YOUR HOTEL IN BRAZIL HERE

BEST ENGLISH BOOKS ON BRAZIL

Be welcome to check out Brazil Weekly’s book store in cooperation with Amazon.com! Browse the Brazil Weekly Store for highly relevant maps, books on politics, economics and history as well as travel or tourist guides and translated Brazilian literature. Click on the categories and watch our slide shows go by, packed with Brazil Weekly’s picks. You order straight with Amazon, one of the best online stores in the world. Enjoy!

NEW FEATURE: WEEKEND BREAKS!

Brazil Weekly now offers another new feature: Weekend Breaks! Over the next months we will show you how to enjoy your weekend out of town when staying in Brazil’s biggest business cities. First online is our Weekend Break out of Belo Horizonte, to the famous historic town of Ouro Preto, a must to visit!

BRAZIL WEEKLY’S BRAZIL’S NEXT 10 HOTTEST BUSINESS CITIES

No doubt the biggest and most important business centres of Brazil are the megacities of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro and do not forget most other state capitals like Belo Horizonte, Salvador da Bahia, Recife, Fortaleza, Curitiba and Porto Alegre. But Brazil is big and there are plenty of other fast developing cities, not being state capitals. So for a minute forget Sao Paulo, Rio and those other 2014 World Cup host cities and check out Brazil Weekly’s Brazil’s Next 10 Hottest Business Cities.

ATLANTICO WEEKLY

Be welcome to visit Brazil Weekly’s sister publication Atlantico Weekly, with news about Angola and Cape Verde, two upcoming Portuguese speaking countries. Read the Grand Tour of Cape Verde, Atlantico Weekly’s visitor’s guide to Cape Verde’s main islands, and read our forecast Cape Verde in 2030, a realistic glimpse of the small nation’s bright future and check out Entrepreneurs of Cape Verde, a series of interviews with local entrepreneurs. But there is much more…

FIFA WORLD CUP 2014

SEBRAE (the Brazilian Support Service for Micro and Small Enterprises) has reported that micro, small and medium enterprises have already achieved R$ 50 million in business from the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil. SEBRAE estimates that this value should reach an amountof between R$ 60 million and R$ 100 million in contracts up to the beginning of the World Cup, in 18 months’ time (Portal Brasil).

Almost three months after being revealed to the Brazilian public Brazil’s most famous armadillo is taking a few days off and reflecting on a busy and exciting start to his ambassadorial role. Fuleco, who was named after a nationwide naming contest which attracted 1.7 million Brazilian votes, has supported FIFA and Local Organising Committee (LOC) teams at several official events including Host City Tours and the FIFA Confederations Cup draw (FIFA).

PROJECT OF THE WEEK

Render of the Casa FIRJAN da Industria Criativa for Botafogo, Rio (Skyscrapercity).

RIO

Check out our latest City Brief, on Rio de Janeiro!

Brazil’s federal development bank BNDES approved financing worth R$ 417 million for the construction of two new hotesl in Rio de Janeiro. R$ 118,5 million is earmarked for Carvalho Hosken Hotelaria LTDA., responsible for the construction of the Hilton Barra. The remaining R$ 298,5 million is destined for Rio JV Partners Participações LTDA., the company that will build the Grand Hyatt Barra (BNDES).

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SAO PAULO

What are Sao Paulo’s best hotels and restaurants? Do the polls on the Sao Paulo City Brief page.

Check out what’s on at the prestigious Sala Sao Paulo!

Politics & Government News

In Brazil on December 8, 2012 at 8:30 pm

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POLITICS

Brazil’s federal government announced a decision on the bill amending the rules governing the distribution of oil royalties. President Dilma Rousseff opted to fully associate (through municipalities, states and the federal government) the royalty funds from future concessions to education as of next year. It was also decided that 50% of the revenue from the Pre-salt Social Fund will go to education. The president vetoed Article 3 of the bill which provided for a reduced share of royalties and special participation arising from existing contracts in oil-producing states and municipalities. With the veto, the distribution of funds to states and municipalities currently producing in fields under exploration will be maintained. In the case of fields to be established in the future, the measures set out in the bill passed by Congress will apply. Accordingly, revenues for producing states will be reduced from 26.25% to 20% in 2013. In the case of municipalities, revenues will fall from 26.25% to 15%. As of the enactment of the new law, states and municipalities that do not participate in oil operations will be entitled to a portion of the revenues (Portal Brasil).

Finance Minister Guido Mantega announced a new economic stimulus package, including an extension of a payroll tax exemption for homebuilders and the construction industry. With the exemptions, the government will miss 2.85 billion reais ($1.36 billion) in tax revenue a year, but will hopefully be directly invested in housing developments.

INTERNATIONAL

As a country which is pacific, democratic and “consensus builder”, Brazil believes it meets all necessary requirements to be recognized as a candidate for a seat as a permanent member of the United Nations’ Security Council. That was the message presented to the Committee on External Relations and National Defense by first class minister Luiz Alberto Figueiredo Machado, whose nomination to the post of permanent representative of Brazil to the UN was approved by the Committee on External Relations and National Defense. Senator Cristovam Buarque (PDT-DF) criticized what he called an “obsession” of the Brazilian government with having a permanent seat in the Council. In his opinion, Brazil should fight for the end of permanent seats (Federal Senate).

In an attempt to combat networks that traffic women, the government stepped up efforts by expanding partnerships with other countries and public agencies. The Minister of the Department of Policies for Women, Eleonora Menicucci, said that the actions taken throughout this year have led to an increased number of denunciations and have helped to disrupt a network trafficking women that operated in Spain, in the Ibiza region (Portal Brasil).

President Dilma Rousseff Friday called for a better integrated and more socially committed Mercosur trade bloc, to help South America ride out the international economic crisis. During a high-level Mercosur summit in Brazil’s capital Brasilia, Rousseff said the ripple effects of the crisis in the eurozone and the United States highlighted the need to strengthen the bloc further, the international press reported.

Norway has agreed to give $180 million to Brazil as part of a broader $1 billion deal for slowing deforestation in the Amazon rainforest, Oslo’s environment minister said.

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CITY BRIEFS

Check out Brazil Weekly’s new feature City Briefs, a series of introductions to the country’s main economic centers, packed with relevant info for business travelers. First to hit the net were the Brazil Weekly City Briefs on Brasilia, the federal capital of Brazil, Belo Horizonte, the country’s third economic centre and Sao Paulo, the global megacity. Latest City Brief deals with Rio de Janeiro, the Marvelous City!

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Business & Economy News

In Brazil on December 8, 2012 at 8:27 pm

BRAZIL WEEKLY’S CITY BRIEFS

Check out our latest City Brief, on Rio de Janeiro!

ECONOMY

Gross domestic product grew only 0.6 percent in the third quarter, IBGE reported.

The Economist now talks freely about a crash in Brazil and advises President Dilma to change her economic team.

In October 2012 industrial output registered a growth of 0.9% over the immediately previous month, after recording a drop of 0.6% in September, when it interrupted three consecutive months of positive results. In the comparison with the same month a year ago, the industrial sector posted an output expansion (2.3%), interrupting 13 months of negative rates in this kind of comparison (IBGE).

The Extended National Consumer Price Index (IPCA) of November recorded a change of 0.60%, very close to the 0.59% rate recorded in October. The accumulated indicator in the year was at 5.01%, quite below the 5.97% rate of the same period a year ago.  Considering the last 12 months, the index was at 5.53%, above the 5.45% relative to the 12 immediately previous months. In November of 2011, the rate was at 0.52% (IBGE).

Check out the Banco Central do Brasil’s consolidated Fiscal Policy results for October 2012.

Even with the growth of the economy and energy consumption lower than expected, thermoelectric power plants have been turned on and are operating at full capacity. This reflects the deterioration of planning and management of the Brazilian electrical system, resulting in costs that will be transferred to consumers in 2013 (Folha).

BMF & Bovespa’s Corporate Sustainability Index (ISE) ends November 1.92% higher and accumulates 14.05% gains since the start of the year (BMF & BOVESPA).

Exports fell to $20.5 billion from $21.8 billion in October, while imports rose to $20.7 billion, from $20.1 billion, leading to the novelty of a (small) Brazilian trade deficit.

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BUSINESS

General Electric expects annual turbine sales of about $1 billion in Brazil for the next decade, Bloomberg reported.

Iprianga and Odebrecht TransPort announced the creation of ConectCar, a company that offers electronic payment of tolls, parking and fuels. The new company will be called ConectCar and plans to begin operating in São Paulo on February 1, 2013. Ipiranga and Odebrecht TransPort will invest up to R$ 150 million in the business over the upcoming years and will share the control of the company, with each owning 50% stake in the capital (Odebrecht).

Both Amazon.com Inc and Google Inc opened digital bookstores in Brazil, competing with e-book offerings by local booksellers in a fast-growing online retail market, Reuters reported.

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AGRI ETC.

In November 2012, IBGE conducted the second estimate of the area and production for the harvest of 2013. The production of cereals, legumes and oilseeds is estimated at 173.8 million tons, 6.9% higher than in 2012. This increase is due to the recovery and rise expected for the South (20.8%) and Northeast regions (26.2%), which faced weather problems in 2012. The area to be harvested might grow 2.5% in the South and 21.1% in the Northeast. The Central-West region presents a 4.3% area expansion, pushed by the products’ good prices, notably soybean and corn (IBGE).

The definition of success for Brazil’s sugar-energy industry in coming years is directly connected to identifying the right conditions to bring back investments and expand production. The statement came from the new CEO at the Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association (UNICA), Elizabeth Farina, as she began her first day at the helm of the top organization representing Brazilian ethanol, sugar and bioelectricity producers (UNICA).

The amount of sugarcane processed by mills in Brazil’s South-Central region totaled 26.47 million tons during the first two weeks of November, a drop of 26.78% compared to the second half of October and a 42.34% jump from the 18.59 million tons registered in first-half November 2011 (UNICA).

AUTOMOTIVE

Brazilian car production is likely to fall this year for the first time in a decade, the national automakers’ association said (Reuters).

Brazil’s car market will grow between 2 percent and 4 percent in 2013, depending on the pace of economic growth and a possible extension of a tax break on automobiles, Reuters reported.

AVIATION

The Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES) approved a R$ 1.2 billion bridge loan for Aeroportos Brasil – Viracopos S.A., which will expand, modernize and explore the Viracopos International Airport, located 12 km from the Campinas downtown area and 99 km from São Paulo’s central district (BNDES).

Embraer Executive Jets’ first made-in-the-USA Phenom 300 was rolled out and made its first flight. The aircraft joined the production line in September and its flight marks the anniversary of the maiden flight of the first Phenom 100 to be produced in the U.S. (Embraer).

Delta Airlines placed a firm order for Bombardier CRJ900 NextGen aircraft at a catalog value of about $1.85 billion, with options for 30 more, a big setback for Embraer that also competed for the order.

Businessman German Efromovich, owner of the Synergy group that controls the Avianca airline brands, submitted a binding offer for state-owned Portuguese airline TAP, Bloomberg reported.

Gol Linhas Aereas expects profit margins to recover in 2013 after slashing available flights and closing operations of its Webjet subsidiary, executives told analysts and investors (Reuters).

BANKING & FINANCE

Banker Jorge Paulo Lemann now claims the title of Brazil’s richest man. The 73-year-old Swiss-Brazilian surpassed commodities tycoon Eike Batista after shares of Anheuser Busch InBev NV, the world’s biggest beer manufacturer, crested 67 euros in trading. Lemann commands a net worth of $18.9 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, making him the planet’s 36th- richest individual.

Banco Santander Brasil SA said it laid off about 1000 employees this week as the bank works to cut costs, Reuters reported.

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MINING & STEEL

MMX Mineracao & Metalicos, the mining company controlled by Eike Batista, announced it will sell 1.37 billion reais ($646 million) of new shares to reduce funding concerns for its Serra Azul iron-ore project, Bloomberg reported.

Vale announced it has approved the investment budget for 2013, involving capital expenditures of US$ 10.1 billion for project execution and US$ 5.1 billion dedicated to sustaining existing operations, as well as US$ 1.1 billion for research and development (R&D) expenditures. Capital and R&D expenditures in 2012 are estimated to reach US$ 17.5 billion, lower than the US$ 18.0 billion for 2011, the peak expected for the foreseeable future (Vale).

Vale is losing $2 to $3 a tonne in iron ore shipping costs because of China’s port ban on its giant Valemax ships, Reuters reported.

OIL & GAS

Petrobras announced the discovery of a new light hydrocarbon accumulation in ultra deepwaters of the Sergipe-Alagoas Basin, in the concession area BM-SEAL-10, block SEAL-M-424. The discovery took place during drilling of well 1-BRSA-1108-SES (1-SES-172).

PORTS

The Brazilian government announced a plan to invest 54 billion reais (26 billion U.S. dollars) in ports across the country, the press reported. 31 billion reais will be invested by 2015 and another 23.2 billion reais by 2017. Two ports, in Ilheus of Bahia state and Imbituba of Santa Catarina state, will be transferred to private operators. Three new ports, which are expected to cost some 4.3 billion reais, will be built in the towns of Manaus, Porto Sul and Aguas Profundas and later run by private operators as well. The government said its investments in ports, roads and railways are expected to reduce transportation costs in the country by 20 percent.

Regional & Culture News

In Brazil on December 8, 2012 at 8:25 pm

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OSCAR NIEMEYER DIES

Oscar Niemeyer, the principal name in architecture in Brazil, died December 5th, 104 years old, in Rio (Folha).

BEST ENGLISH BOOKS ON BRAZIL

Be welcome to check out Brazil Weekly’s book store in cooperation with Amazon.com! Browse the Brazil Weekly Store for highly relevant maps, books on politics, economics and history as well as travel or tourist guides and translated Brazilian literature. Click on the categories and watch our slide shows go by, packed with Brazil Weekly’s picks. You order straight with Amazon, one of the best online stores in the world. Enjoy!

NEW FEATURE: WEEKEND BREAKS!

Brazil Weekly now offers another new feature: Weekend Breaks! Over the next months we will show you how to enjoy your weekend out of town when staying in Brazil’s biggest business cities. First online is our Weekend Break out of Belo Horizonte, to the famous historic town of Ouro Preto, a must to visit!

BRAZIL WEEKLY’S BRAZIL’S NEXT 10 HOTTEST BUSINESS CITIES

No doubt the biggest and most important business centres of Brazil are the megacities of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro and do not forget most other state capitals like Belo Horizonte, Salvador da Bahia, Recife, Fortaleza, Curitiba and Porto Alegre. But Brazil is big and there are plenty of other fast developing cities, not being state capitals. So for a minute forget Sao Paulo, Rio and those other 2014 World Cup host cities and check out Brazil Weekly’s Brazil’s Next 10 Hottest Business Cities.

ATLANTICO WEEKLY

Be welcome to visit Brazil Weekly’s sister publication Atlantico Weekly, with news about Angola and Cape Verde, two upcoming Portuguese speaking countries. Read the Grand Tour of Cape Verde, Atlantico Weekly’s visitor’s guide to Cape Verde’s main islands, and read our forecast Cape Verde in 2030, a realistic glimpse of the small nation’s bright future and check out Entrepreneurs of Cape Verde, a series of interviews with local entrepreneurs. But there is much more…

FIFA WORLD CUP 2014

Little more than 15 days ahead of the construction-work deadline, finishing touches and playing-surface preparation are in progress at the Estadio Mineirao (Belo Horizonte) and the Estadio Castelao (Fortaleza) – ready for the action kicking off in June 2013 at the FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil (FIFA).

PROJECT OF THE WEEK

Some international architects find their way to Brazil, like Daniel Libeskind, who designed the Shofar Center for Porto Alegre (Skyscrapercity).

AMAZON

Chinese construction companies are proposing to build-out the railroad from the city of Rondonopolis in southeastern Mato Grosso to the state capital of Cuiaba and from there straight north to the port city of Santarem on the Amazon River. The total length of the proposed project is 1,954 kilometers at an estimated cost of R$ 10 billion, Soybean & Corn Advisor reports.

NORTH EAST

Besides nice beaches, the state of Paraíba has well preserved historic buildings, manufactures cachaças and excels in the regional culinary arts (Folha).

RIO

Works on the Açu Superport are advancing rapidly and around seven thousand workers are currently involved in the venture’s construction. The dredgers which worked on the TX2 onshore terminal’s channel have now dredged a section 4.8 km long, 300 meters wide and 12.5 meters deep. The breakwater, which allows the passage of vessels through the channel, now has a length of 483 meters (North direction) and 512 meters (South direction), out of a total 1,466 and 2,363 meters respectively (LLX).

Authorities arrested 63 military police officers and 11 alleged drug dealers on charges of crimes including drug trafficking, corruption and kidnapping, local press reported. The officers, who worked at the same police battalion in Duque de Caxias in Rio de Janeiro State, reportedly helped drug-trafficking gangs that plague the region smuggle weapons in exchange for bribes.

Rio state will build the first UN Disaster Prevention Center in South America as part of efforts to improve the state’s defense against natural disasters, the state’s Civil Defense Secretary Sergio Simoes said to the press.

Reuters reports that the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympics organisers were told they needed to push ahead with their preparations because time was an issue. Rio has not finalised its budget for the Olympics as well as the venues for several sports, including rugby, hockey and golf.

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SAO PAULO

What are Sao Paulo’s best hotels and restaurants? Do the polls on the Sao Paulo City Brief page.

Check out what’s on at the prestigious Sala Sao Paulo!

Sao Paulo city airport Congonhas will receive a station on Line 17 of the metro system, a line built as monorail, Brazilian press reported.

SOUTH

The board of Chilean forestry and paper company CMPC approved a $2.1 billion expansion of its Guaiba plant in Brazil’s Rio Grande Do Sul state, Reuters reported.

Politics & Government News

In Brazil on November 29, 2012 at 6:20 pm

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POLITICS

A new corruption scandal inside Dilma Rousseff’s PT rocked Brazil. The Federal Police arrested the President’s representative in Sao Paulo State as well as a threesome of directors at ANTAQ, an agency dealing with Brazil’s inland waterways and related to the transport ministry.

Some 200.000 people took to the streets in Rio on Monday in protest against the federal government’s plan to redistribute the royalties obtained  from the oil industry by Rio and Espirito Santo states to the rest of the country. The protests were led by the Rio and Espirito Santo governors and many other officials. President Rousseff is expected to partly veto the measures, the Brazilian press reported.

INTERNATIONAL

Brazil and Argentina called for further regional integration. Argentina and Brazil should lead a process of integration within the regional trading bloc Mercosur to compete in the global market, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said and her Argentine colleague added that now is the “golden age of integration”.

ROYAL DUTCH BUSINESS

The biggest Dutch business mission ever descended on Brazil last week. Read how they fared in Royal Dutch Business.

BRAZIL WEEKLY STORE MUSIC

Check out the latest additions to the Brazil Weekly Store, our online shop in cooperation with Amazon.com. Now also listing Brazilian music cds!

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DEFENSE & SECURITY

The Brazilian Army has signed a contract for the implementation of Phase I of the Sisfron program with Tepro consortium, made up by the companies Savis Tecnologia e Sistemas S/A and OrbiSat Indústria e Aerolevantamento S/A, both controlled by Embraer Defesa e Segurança. Sisfron (Sistema Integrado de Monitoramento de Fronteiras) is the Integrated Border Monitoring System the Army is developing in the Western borders of Brazil. The contract is worth R$ 839 million (approximately USD 404 million) (Embraer).

As we reported two weeks ago: Embraer is mulling its entry in the naval shipbuilding market after spotting a business opportunity, Reuters now reports. Embraer wants to tap a program to renew Brazil’s Navy patrol vessel fleet that could cost $844 million. So far, seven of the 27 vessels in the program have been ordered.

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CITY BRIEFS

Check out Brazil Weekly’s new feature City Briefs, a series of introductions to the country’s main economic centers, packed with relevant info for business travelers. First to hit the net were the Brazil Weekly City Briefs on Brasilia, the federal capital of Brazil and Belo Horizonte, the country’s third economic centre. Latest addition is a City Brief on Sao Paulo!

SOCIAL

The entrance of black and brown young people in universities has tripled in the last ten years, the IBGE reports.

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