News from Brazil

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Brazil Politics & Government News

In Brazil on October 26, 2012 at 9:58 am

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ELECTION RESULTS

On Sunday October 28th the second round of voting in Brazil’s 2012 local elections took place, that is in those cities that needed another vote to produce a final winner. The biggest change took place in São Paulo. José Serra (PSDB) lost in the second round to Ricardo Haddad (PT). Haddad promised to work closely with the federal administration and immediately flew to Brasilia to meet President Dilma Rousseff. The President already publicly toyed with the remark that she “will take a look at the city’s debt”. But the PT failed to dominate in any other main city contested in this second round.

In Curitiba Gustavo Fruet (PDT) won a clear majority, though with PT support. Roberto Claudio (PSB) meanwhile won Fortaleza, beating the local PT candidate, Elmano. In Salvador, ACM Neto (DEM for Democratas) became Mayor-elect. In a highly complicated arrangement, Neto received support from the PMDB, a party that is at the heart of the PT’s coalition government on the federal level. But at state level in Bahia it is in the opposition role – acting against PT Governor Wagner. And at Salvador city level the PMDB is in cahoots with the rightwing DEM candidate, who beat the PT’s Pelegrino.

Former President Lula campaigned hard on behalf of PT candidates in several cities, but – besides São Paulo city – to little avail. In Campinas for instance, São Paulo State’s second economic center, Márcio Pochmann, former president of Ipea (Instituto de Pesquisas Econômicas Aplicadas) and PT candidate, was beaten soundly by Jonas Donizette (PSB), who took 57,7% of the valid votes in the second round.

Three weeks ago the following results were already known after the first round: Rio de Janeiro: Eduardo Paes (PMDB), Belo Horizonte: Marcio Lacerda (PSB), Recife: Geraldo Julio (PSB), Porto Alegre: Fortunati (PDT), Goiania: Paulo Garcia (PT). Now we can look at all of Brazil’s state capitals. Of these the PT just took four in total, the PSB five, the PSDB also four and the PDT three. Six another parties scored one or two capitals as well.

It’s a hard job to draw any conclusions on such fragmented results. But what matters is that if you are dealing with a municipality that has now changed hands from one party to another, you may have to rebuild your contacts from scratch. Many officials – and not just politicians – will be replaced from January 2013, when the Mayor-elects take charge.

For those who like interactive election maps, check out the results in all of Brazil’s municipalities at Folha.

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INTERNATIONAL

Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota is in Washington for the Global Partnership Dialogue Brazil – United States meeting. Patriota will discuss partnerships in the areas of education, science, technology and innovation, as well as social inclusion (poverty reduction) and combating discrimination, Agencia Brasil reported. Representatives of both countries are thought to continue discussions on the elimination of visas for Brazilians visiting the US. Trade relations are intensifying too. In 2011, Brazil exported goods worth $25.8 billion to the US, an increase of 33.7%, compared to 2010. At the moment, the US is the second biggest market for Brazil exports, buying slightly over 10% of all Brazilian exports.

Besides strengthening the current naval cooperation and bilateral economic ties, Brazil intends to support Namibia’s participation on the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP, acronym in Portuguese) and the creation of a direct airline between both countries (Federal Senate).

Adapted to local realities, Brazilian agricultural practices could help fight world hunger, according to the British Department for International Development (DFID), which has partnered with the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (EMBRAPA) and the World Food Program (WFP) for joint actions abroad. “Together we fight against global poverty, particularly in Africa. We believe that Brazil has many good practices to share,” said Daniel Bradley from the DFID (Portal Brasil).

In the first nine months of 2012, the Brazilian Ministry of Labor and Employment (MTE) granted a total of 55,009 temporary and permanent work permits for foreign professionals, an increase of 5% compared to the same period in the previous year. In particular, factors such as humanitarian visas granted to Haitians, work permits for foreign specialists and foreign technicians responsible for the installation of imported machinery and equipment, and technical assistance / technology transfer contributed significantly to the increase (Portal Brasil).

DEFENSE & SECURITY

Embraer Defense and Security delivered the first light attack and advanced training A-29 Super Tucano turboprops to the Air Force of Mauritania. The aircraft will be used for border surveillance missions (Embraer).

Elbit Systems announced that Ares Aeroespacial e Defensa Ltda. , its Brazilian subsidiary, was awarded an initial production order valued at approximately $25 million to supply 12.7/7.62mm Remote Controlled Weapon Stations (RCWS) to the Brazilian Army. The RCWS, named REMAX, a unique development of Ares, will be supplied within two years (Elbit Systems).

Brazil and the Ukraine will be stepping up their space cooperation program, President Rousseff said after speaking by phone to her Ukranian counterpart. The countries are joinly developing thei program at Brazil’s Alcantara Space Centre.

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SOCIAL

Brazil jumped 20 positions and now ranks 62nd in the global index of equality between men and women, the World Economic Forum (WEF) reported.

Brazil Business & Economy News

In Brazil on October 26, 2012 at 9:58 am

ECONOMY

The unemployment rate estimated for September 2012, measured in a group of six metropolitan areas, was 5.4%. Compared to the result of August (5.3%), there was no statistically-relevant change. Versus September 2011, when the estimated rate reached 6.0%, there was significant decline by 0.6 percentage points in this indicator (IBGE).

Check the Sao Paulo stockmarket here.

The Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) compiled by the Getulio Vargas Foundation declined slightly between September and October, down to 121.7 from 122.1 points, corresponding to a change of -0.3%. After advancing in the previous month, the index remains at a relatively high level, well above the historical average of 112.2 points (FGV).

In the preview for October 2012, the Industry Confidence Index (ICI) advanced 1.3% compared to the end result of September, moving to 106.4 points. This would be the third consecutive increase in the index which, after 15 months, exceeds once more the average level of the last five years (FGV).

BUSINESS

Braskem has developed new resins for the automotive sector. The improvement to its portfolio is designed to increase the offer of high quality products that are in demand in the international market. The new grades of polyethylene that have recently arrived to clients are designed for application in fuel storage systems. The new part comes from the HS4506 and HS4506A resins (Odebrecht).

Billionaire Eike Batista has been raising his stake in two of his companies, OSX (shipbuilding) and MMX (mining), as well as offering to acquire one billion USD worth of shares in his oil exploration company OGX.

AGRI ETC.

The Atlas of Rural Areas in Brazil, which has just been released by IBGE, is a publication that gathers data from the Census of Agriculture 2006 and from population, social, economic and environmental surveys carried out by the Institute. The information is approached from a spatial point-of-view in order to provide a detailed, current picture of the territorial complexity of the Brazilian countryside. The Atlas comprises data on the rural-urban relations, showing, for example, how the modernization process in agriculture went from a massive expenditure in mechanization to a greater investment in intellectual capital, irrigation techniques, use of certified and transgenic seeds, access to technical assistance, no-till, embryo transfer, confinement and insemination, among others.

Brazil will raise the required amount of ethanol blended into gasoline to 25 percent from the current 20 percent by the end of June next year, Reuters reported.

Soybean producers in the state of Mato Grosso have higher transportation costs compared to other producers in southern Brazil and significantly higher compared to soybean producers in the United States. To transport a ton of soybeans from Sorriso, Mato Grosso to China via the Port of Santos, it costs approximately US$ 170 compared to the cost of US$ 71 to transport a ton of soybeans from Illinois to China via the Port of New Orleans (Soybeansandcorn).

Brazilian farmers have been very aggressive in forward contracting their 2012/13 soybean crop, but with the recent decline in soybean prices, farmers have basically stopped contracting any more of the anticipated crop. Nationwide, it is estimated that 47% of the 2012/13 soybean crop has already been negotiated, which is 16% more than last year. Forward contracting is more commonly practiced in central Brazil where soybean producers generally have very large operations. In southern Brazil where the farms are much smaller than in central Brazil, an estimated 35% of the 2012/13 soybean crop has been sold (Soybeansandcorn).

Brazil is the second leading producer of GMO crops in the world after the United States. During the 2011/12 growing season there were 30 million hectares of GMO crops grown in Brazil compared to 69 million hectares in the U.S. The number one GMO crop in Brazil is soybeans and it is estimated 89% of the soybeans grown in Brazil in 2012/13 will be genetically modified (Soybeansandcorn).

AUTOMOTIVE

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the 27th São Paulo Auto Show (“Salão Internacional do Automovel”), president Dilma Rousseff announced that the government will extend the reduction of the tax on auto sales (“IPI”) until December 31 (the reduction was scheduled to end on October 31), Agencia Brasil reported.

General Motors is planning to introduce its small SUV Chevrolet Trax in Brazil, Reuters reported, but the company has been furstrated by Brazil’s import restrictions so far. The small SUV segment is a fast growing niche in Brazil’s automotive market. In a seperate development the firm announced the advent of its luxury brand Cadillac in Brazil. Honda of Japan is considering bringing it luxury Acura brand to market in Brazil by 2015 as well.

AVIATION

Lufthansa will soon start operating new flights between Frankfurt and Rio de Janeiro, to be carried out with Airbus A340 planes. In 2013 the company will introduce the Boeing 747-800 on the Franfurt- Sao Paulo route, to be followed by the even bigger Airbus A380 in 2014.

Embraer released its latest results. During the third quarter of 2012 Embraer delivered 27 jets to the commercial aviation market and 13 to the executive aviation market (11 light jets and 2 large jets). Its 3Q12 revenues and gross margin reached US$ 1,404.5 million and 25.3%, respectively. More at Embraer.

Flynonstop, the new Norwegian airline based in Kristiansand, has acquired an Embraer 190 to support the airline’s launch in April 2013. The aircraft will be leased from a third party. Flynonstop’s E190 will be configured with 100 Elite seats in single class layout. The airline intends to operate its E190 between Kristiansand and major European cities to tap into the growing demand for scheduled nonstop air service to/from Norway (Embraer).

BANKING & FINANCE

Experian, a credit information services company, announced it has entered into a conditional agreement to acquire a further interest in Serasa S.A. Serasa is the market leading credit bureau in Brazil in which Experian already owns a 70% stake. Experian has agreed to acquire a further 29.6% interest to take its holding to 99.6%. The agreed consideration is R$3.1bn (US$1.5bn) plus a cash adjustment to the date of completion (Experian).

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MINING & STEEL

Vale expects Brazil iron ore output to expand from the second half of 2013 and into 2014, Reuters reported.

Brazil Weekly’s Brazil Regional News

In Brazil on October 26, 2012 at 9:56 am

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PROJECT OF THE WEEK

Render of the mixed-use Torres Attività e Vivere for the Vila Izabel district of Curitiba, Parana State (Skyscrapercity).

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!

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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.

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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 was the Brazil Weekly City Brief on Brasilia, the federal capital of Brazil. Latest addition is a City Brief on Belo Horizonte…

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MEDIA

Brazilian newspapers have massively pulled out of Google’s news service after a spat on revenue sharing.

RIO

Research by the Fundacao Getulio Vargas, quoted in the Rio Times, reveals that businesses in recently pacified favelas in Rio have improved by 23%.

Gilberto Gil is a genius of modern Brazilian culture. He was the man responsible for musical movements such as Tropicalismo and former Minister of Culture. He is a poet, a political activist, a great musician and an icon of music and arts, who just turned 70, and to celebrate this occasion, there is an homage to him and his career until October 28th, at Centro Cultural dos Correios. The art of Gil is represented at this free exhibition, featuring works by 25 different artists (Rio Offical Guide).

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SAO PAULO

São Paulo’s got some clean, green eco-architecture up its sleeve. Between sustainable buildings and ecologically focused architecture firms, the future looks as verdant as ever (Time Out).

Fernando Haddad of the ruling PT or Labour Party is now slated by local polls to be Sao Paulo’s next Mayor in Sunday’s second round of voting in the country’s municipal elections. Haddad was boosted by the campaigning of former President Lula on his behalf. The loss of Sao Paulo to the PT will be a major setback for the opposition PSDB party that has ruled the city for over a decade. Readers of Brazil Weekly howevera re still massively supporting the PSDB’s Serra. Brazil Weekly will bring you the results on Monday.

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Brazil Politics & Government News

In Brazil on October 19, 2012 at 10:17 am

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 was the Brazil Weekly City Brief on Brasilia, the federal capital of Brazil. Latest addition is a City Brief on Belo Horizonte…

POLITICS

President Rousseff is preparing a comprehensive affirmative action package that includes the adoption of quotas for blacks in the federal bureaucracy, Folha reported. The measure, championed personally by President Dilma Rousseff, will affect both commissioned as well as competitive positions. The quota in federal civil service is set for 30% for blacks in those jobs created after the law passes. Another idea is the creation of tax incentives for private companies that set goals of filling job openings by blacks. Employers would not be required to hire anyone, but would be financially rewarded when following the racial policy of the federal government. Another measure provides punishment for companies that demonstrably discriminate against people because of their skin color. These firms would be excluded from government bids.

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INTERNATIONAL

Brazil’s constituency at the IMF has been shaken up. Large nations represent a number of smaller countries on the IMF’s board and Brazil does so for a number of Latin American ones. Colombia, one of the countries Brazil represented, has walked over to Mexico’s constituency, a logical step as both Spanish-speaking countries are working together on a number of issues already. Nicaragua, Cape Verde and East Timor are from now on represented by Brazil on the board, though together these countries do not make up for the same number of votes Brazil had with Colombia on board.

NEW FEATURE: OPINION

Recently Reuters reported that President Dilma Rousseff had decided to wait until mid-2013 to make a decision on Brazil’s multibillion-dollar Air Force jets contract. What, again? Yes, again… So how should we interpret this delay? Most observers seem to agree that this development increases Boeing’s Super Hornet chances of winning the deal, instead of the earlier favorite, the French Dassault Rafale. So is this delay upon delay a tactical and polite way of saying no to the French? Possibly, but there is more at stake in this deal than meets the eye. It’s not just about buying 36 new planes. It’s all about the future of Brazil’s aviation and technology sectors and Brazil must make the best possible deal if it wants to achieve its ambitions…read on about Brazil’s new jet fighter saga.

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BRAZIL WEEKLY’S BEST SELLER

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SOCIAL

IBGE produced some interesting figures, derived from the 2010 census. As for housing units, despite some improvements, 52.5% were considered adequate (versus 43.9% in 2000), that is, with water supply from a public system, public sewer or septic tank, direct or indirect disposal of waste and up to two residents per room. The average income of adequate housing units was R$ 3,537.95, whereas that of inadequate ones (without any proper conditions) was R$ 708.94. Among housing units with a white householder, 63% were adequate, versus 45.9% of housing units with a black householder (more interesting data).

Brazil Business & Economy News

In Brazil on October 19, 2012 at 10:16 am

ECONOMY

Factories, farmers and retailers added a net 150,334 payroll jobs in September, the labour ministry said. The number was slightly below analysts’ median forecast of 154,000 jobs, but well above the 100,938 posted in August, Reuters reported.

BUSINESS

Bloomberg reports that Amazon.com is in talks to buy Saraiva, abook publsier and retailer based in Sao Paulo in order to enhance its position in Brazil.

AGRI ETC.

The national cattle herd size reached 212.8 million head in 2011, an increase of 1.6% over 2010, mainly in the Central West, North and Southeast Regions. As for animal products, between 2010 and 2011 output increased in milk and eggs (both with 4.5%), quail eggs (12.1%), honey (9.4%) and wool (1.4%) (IBGE).

The production of biofuels from corn, vegetable oil, or sugarcane has been criticized by many as one of the causes for rising food prices. To blunt this criticism, biofuel producers and scientists have been working to develop what is called cellulosic ethanol or commonly known as second generation ethanol. This is ethanol produced from cellulose plant material and not potential food products. The president of the Center for Sugarcane Technologies (CTC) located in Piracicaba, Sao Paulo recently announced that commercial quantities of cellulosic ethanol will become available in Brazil by 2015 (Soybeansandcorn).

It was no surprise when Conab’s first estimate of the 2012/13 Brazilian soybean crop indicated that it would surpass that of the U.S. In the October Crop Report, the USDA estimated the U.S. soybean crop at 77.8 million metric tons while Conab’s first estimate of the 2012/13 Brazilian soybean crop put it at 81.4 million tons (midpoint in their range of 80.0 to 82.8 million tons). Brazil will also become the number one exporter of soybeans as well with 39.1 million tons of soybean exports compared to 34.4 million tons for the U.S. (Soybeansandcorn).

AUTOMOTIVE

BMW is still going ahead with its plan to open a factory in Brazil, Reuters reported.

AVIATION

Portugal named Synergy Aerospace, owned by Brazilian airline entrepreneur German Efromovich and the mother company of Avianca, as the sole potential buyer of its national carrier TAP, Reuters reported. An Avianca-TAP merger will create a new and big player in Brazil, combining a local network with an international one, including a dozen connections between Europe and Brazil. Synergy also ownes Avianco of Colombia, another fast growing Latin American country. Expect a power struggle between TAM, recently taken over by LAN of Chile, Gol, partly owned by Delta and now owning Webjet and Avianca-TAP, all this while the aviation sector’s growth is flattening.

Azul cancelled 450 flights on Monday at one of the nation’s busiest airports, after a damaged cargo plane blocked its only landing strip. An MD-11 cargo plane blew a tire late Saturday as it landed at Viracopos airport in Sao Paulo state, causing the cancellation of landings and take-offs, Xinhua reported.

Brazil’s government has changed its mind and will use the original concession model to privatize the Galeão (RJ) and Confins (Greater BH) airports. In face of the resistance of major international airports to the idea of having Infraero as a majority partner – an option floated earlier – the government decided to adopt a privatization model similar to that used for the Guarulhos, Viracopos and Brasília airports, Folha reported.

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MINING & STEEL

Vale presented its 2012 third quarter results and paid dividend to its shareholders.

OIL & GAS

Petrobras has completed drilling well 3-BRSA-1101-SPS (3-SPS-100), informally known as Carioca Norte, located in the pre-salt layer of Santos Basin. Results obtained confirm the presence of light oil in the Carioca region, which had already been confirmed by wells 1-BRSA-491-SPS (discovery), 3-BRSA-861-SPS (Carioca Nordeste) and 3-BRSA-1023-SPS (Carioca Sela). The new well reached total depth of 5,576 meters. It is located in block BM-S-9 of assessment area 1-BRSA-491-SPS, at a water depth of 2,152 meters, and 275 km off the coast of São Paulo (Petrobras).

Petrobras signed a memorandum of understanding with HRT O&G Exploração e Produção de Petróleo Ltda (HRT) and TNK-Brasil Exploração e Produção de Óleo e Gás Natural Ltda. (TNK) to conduct studies in the companies’ concession areas in Solimões Basin in the state of Amazonas. The objective of the memorandum is to conduct joint analysis to assess the feasibility of monetizing natural gas in concessions areas adjacent to Juruá Field in Solimões Basin (Petrobras).

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TELECOMS

Brazil has 131.56 cellphone subscriptions for every 100 inhabitants, the National Telecommunications Agency (Anatel) said.

 

Brazil Weekly’s Brazil Regional News

In Brazil on October 19, 2012 at 10:11 am

BOOK YOUR HOTEL IN BRAZIL!

PROJECT OF THE WEEK

Render of the SC401 Square Corporate for Florianopolis, Sao Paulo State (Skyscrapercity).

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!

ADVERTISEMENT SECTION


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.

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You request a free subscription to Brazil Weekly here and get email notifications on updates.

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FIFA WORLD CUP 2014

Six cities will be used for the FIFA Confederations Cup: Fortaleza, Recife, Salvador, Brasilia, Belo Horizonte and Rio de Janeiro. The final decision will be made at the start of November. As regards the progress of work at the Arena Pernambuco, the government’s monitoring reports show that the state government and the constructors are putting in a major effort. The Arena Pernambuco is a stadium that has come along at a very fast pace and, if that pace is maintained, there is a statistical chance that it will be ready before the FIFA Confederations Cup (FIFA).

TOURISM

A survey has revealed that nine out of 10 foreign tourists intend to return to Brazil. The Brazilian services are, in general, well reviewed by foreign tourists. The people themselves continue to figure at the top of attractions. The best rated items were hospitality, which received a 97.6% positive rating from respondents, and cuisine, with a 95% rating. Public safety (with an 82.9% positive rating) has registered continued growth since 2006 (76.8%) (Portal Brasil).

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AMAZON

The board of directors at the BNDES approved R$ 1.8 billion in financing to build a transmission line and two substations that will connect power generated at the Madeira River Hydroelectric Plant to the National Interlinked System. Investments to the tune of R$ 3.5 billion will generate close to 4,400 direct jobs, 7,000 at the peak of works and another 3800 indirectly, especially connected to national production of machinery and equipment and the foodstuff and accommodation sectors. The transmission line, which will stretch 2,300 kilometers, will cross five Brazilian states (Rondônia, Mato Grosso, Goiás, Minas Gerais and São Paulo) and some 84 municipalities between Porto Velho (RO) and Araraquara (SP) (BNDES).

RIO

Oscar Niemeyer (104) was hospitalized in Rio after experiencing some nausea, but the hospital said he was doing fine.

SAO PAULO

The Mostra Internacional de Cinema, São Paulo’s annual international film festival, is a high point in the city’s cultural calendar. Read about its 2012 edition at Time Out Sao Paulo.

 

Brazil Politics & Government News

In Brazil on October 12, 2012 at 10:15 am

POLITICS

Brazil’s Supreme Court convicted three top aides of former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on charges of diverting public funds to buy political support for his leftist government when it came to power a decade ago, Reuters reported. The court found Lula’s former chief of staff Jose Dirceu, co-founder of the ruling PT, guilty of “running a scheme of monthly payments to politicians in exchange for their votes in Congress”.

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LOCAL ELECTION RESULTS

Some 140 million Brazilians voted for mayors, vice mayors and local legislators on Sunday October 7th. Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes (PMDB) said he is the luckiest man on earth after winning a second term in office which will make sure he is still Mayor during the 2016 Olympics in Rio. In Sao Paulo, Jose Serra (PSDB) and Fernando Haddad (PT) will slug it out in a second round in two weeks time. The following main cities know their next mayor already: Belo Horizonte (Marcio Lacerda – PSB), Recife (Geraldo Julio – PSB), Porto Alegre (Fortunati – PDT), Goiania (Paulo Garcia – PT). Salvador, Fortaleza, Curitiba, Manaus and Belem are among those cities that will need a second round. So far the ruling PT only took one major city outright, though it may win more cities during the next round. The PSB did very well, especially in the North East, challenging the PT on more than one occasion. Like in the previous election Brazil’s political landscape appears fragmented and it is hard to show a clear winner yet. In the final round, both PT and main opposition party PSDB will face their biggest battle as their candidates have mostly moved on to the next round.

For those who like interactive election maps, check out this one of Folha.

INTERNATIONAL

Brazilians interested in making short trips of up to three months to countries in the European Union will no longer require a visa. An agreement between the Brazilian government and the European Union has established the exemption of the document, with the exception of the United Kingdom and Ireland. The measure applies to 25 countries. The measure is reciprocal and therefore also applies to Europeans who come to Brazil for up to three months (Portal Brasil).

Bilateral trade between Brazil and Uruguay will receive a major boost by the end of this year. The reactivation of the rail link between the two countries will allow products to be transported long distances from the capital Montevideo to the state of São Paulo, with a lower freight cost (Portal Brasil).

Bolivia, Brazil and Peru plan to forge a trilateral deal to fight crossborder drug trafficking, production and shipping (BW).

NEW FEATURE: OPINION

Last week Reuters reported that President Dilma Rousseff had decided to wait until mid-2013 to make a decision on Brazil’s multibillion-dollar Air Force jets contract. What, again? Yes, again… So how should we interpret this delay? Most observers seem to agree that this development increases Boeing’s Super Hornet chances of winning the deal, instead of the earlier favorite, the French Dassault Rafale. So is this delay upon delay a tactical and polite way of saying no to the French? Possibly, but there is more at stake in this deal than meets the eye. It’s not just about buying 36 new planes. It’s all about the future of Brazil’s aviation and technology sectors and Brazil must make the best possible deal if it wants to achieve its ambitions…read on about Brazil’s new jet fighter saga.

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Contact us at atlanticoweekly at gmail.com

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DEFENSE & SECURITY

Incorporated into the Navy on June 29, the ocean patrol boat Amazonas arrived in Rio de Janeiro. The boat will strengthen the fleet which oversees maritime territory under Brazilian jurisdiction, an area known as the Blue Amazon, comprising 3.5 million square kilometers (km²). The boat was built in Portsmouth, in the United Kingdom. Defense Minister, Celso Amorim, who attended the reception ceremony, explained that, at 1,800 tons, the Amazonas is the largest patrol boat in the country. This is the first of three boats purchased from the UK (Portal Brasil).

SOCIAL

In the last ten years, between 2001 and 2011, the poorest 10% of the country saw a cumulative growth in income of 91.2%, while the richest portion of the population saw an increase of 16.6% in accumulated income during the same period. Accordingly, the variation in actual earnings was 5.5 times (550%) greater for the most vulnerable section of the Brazilian population (Portal Brasil).

Joaquim Barbosa was elected president of the Supreme Court, becoming the first black person to hold that post in Brazil, where more than half of its nearly 200 million-population is of African descent. Currently the sole black person in the top court, the 58-year-old is widely popular for his leading role in the nation’s mensalao trial (BW).

 

Brazil Business & Economy News

In Brazil on October 12, 2012 at 10:14 am

ECONOMY

In August 2012, retail trade in the country recorded change of 0.2% in terms of volume of sales and of 1.0% in terms of nominal revenue of sales, compared with the previous month (seasonally adjusted rates). Nominal revenue has kept positive increase rates since February and the volume of sales has recorded increasing rates for the third consecutive month. Nevertheless, both rates presented deceleration this month. Over August 2011, there have been changes of 10.1% and 13.7% in volume of sales and in nominal revenue, respectively. The rates accumulated in the first eight months of the year and in the last 12 months are, respectively, 9.0% and 7.8% for volume of sales and of 12.0% and 11.4% for nominal revenue (IBGE).

In August 2012, the total of employed persons in the industry recorded a negative change of -0.1% against the immediately previous month, in the seasonally adjusted series, after having registered an increase of 0.2% in July. Still concerning the seasonally adjusted series, the quarterly moving average index did not post any change (0.0%), repeating in the quarter ended in August the previous month’s pattern, and keeping the predominantly negative behavior seen since October last year. In the comparison with August 2011, the industrial employment declined 2.0% in August 2012, the 11th consecutive negative result in this kind of comparison and the sharpest since December 2009 (-2.4%). The index accumulated in the first eight months of 2012 marked a decrease of 1.4% over the same period a year ago. The annual rate (index accumulated in the last 12 months), recording -1.0% in August 2012, kept the downward trend begun in February 2011 (3.9%) (IBGE).

Brazil might have to raise interest rates to keep a lid on inflation expectations as economic growth rebounds, the International Monetary Fund said according to Reuters. The IMF expects growth to bounce back in 2013 and reach 4 percent, while inflation is forecast at 5.1 percent in 2013, above the 4.5 percent center of the central bank’s target range, Reuters said.

BUSINESS

Brazil hopes to capitalize on the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics to advance its goal of becoming the world’s third largest information technology and communications (ITC) market. Brasscom, which groups top domestic and foreign ITC companies operating in Brazil such as IBM, Microsoft, Intel, Ericcson and Lenovo, is drawing up a study with global consulting firm McKinsey on how to help Brazil vault into third place behind China and the United States by 2022 (InvesteSP).

Eletrobras is studying the sale of its distribution units in an effort to reduce costs before expected rate cuts on its energy generation concessions, Reuters reported.

To cope with data traffic growth and expand its mobile coverage, Vivo – Brazil’s largest telecoms operator serving 75.7 million mobile subscribers – has chosen Ericsson to supply and implement a 4G/LTE network in the North and Mid-Western regions of Brazil, as well as the states of São Paulo, Minas Gerais, Bahia and Sergipe (Ericsson).

US-based UnitedHealth Group Inc will buy control of Amil Participacoes SA, Brazil’s largest health insurer and hospital operator, for $4.9 billion, Reuters reported.

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AGRI ETC

Sugarcane processors in southern Brazil continue to be disappointed in the amount of sugarcane they have processed thus far this harvest season.  According to the Union of Sugarcane Industries (Unica), the amount of sugarcane processed in southern Brazil from April through the end of September totaled 381 million tons or 7.7% less than the 413 million tons processed during the same period last year (Soybeanandcorn).

In their first monthly estimate of the 2012/13 growing season in Brazil, Conab estimated that Brazilian farmers will increase their soybean acreage by 6.6% to 9.1% to 26.4 to 27.3 million hectares.  The biggest percentage increase will be in the states of Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, and Bahia where the soybean acreage could increase 7% to 14%.  The increase in soybean acreage will come at the expense of cotton (down 20% to 27%), full-season corn (down 4% to 7%), dry beans (down 1.5% to 2.3%), rice (down 1.4% to 2.9%), and pastures (Soybeanandcorn).

Brazil’s Ministry of Mines and Energy wants the percentage of ethanol in vehicle fuel sold in the country to be increased to 25 percent from 20 percent as sugar-cane production rises, Bloomberg reported.

Fibria Celulose SA, the world’s largest pulp producer, is expanding into biofuels. Its first plant will be able to produce about 22 million gallons (83 million liters) of fuel a year from wood and will open in 2015 after about two years of construction, Bloomberg reported.

AUTOMOTIVE

Volvo AB will invest $500 million in Brazil over the next three years to expand production, renewing and expanding its truck lineup in Brazil after a challenging year for the local market, Reuters reported.

AVIATION

In the third quarter of 2012 (3Q12), Embraer delivered 27 jets to the commercial aviation market and 13 to executive aviation. Deliveries year to date, at the end of September, total 83 commercial and 46 executive jets, seven more than for the same period of 2011 (Embraer).

Embraer reached a significant milestone with the delivery of its 900th E-Jet, an EMBRAER 190, to Kenya Airways in a ceremony held at the company’s headquarters in Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil.

Gol Linhas Aereas received approval from antitrust regulator Cade to buy rival WebJet, on the condition that it maintain minimum service standards at Rio de Janeiro’s domestic airport, Reuters reported.

One of TAP Air Portugal’s possible buyers is Brazilian: the Synergy Group, owner of the Avianca airline brands, Bloomberg reported.

BANKING & FINANCE

UBS AG and Sao Paulo-based Brasil Plural SA Banco Multiplo are in talks to buy BNP Paribas SA’s Brazil wealth-management unit for about $50 million, Bloomberg reported.

OIL & GAS

Petrobras announced that it has confirmed the presence of light hydrocarbons in block SEAL-M-426, in ultra-deep waters of Sergipe-Alagoas Basin. This block is part of concession BM-SEAL-11, where Petrobras is the operator with a 60% stake while partner IBV Brasil has 40% (Petrobras).

Petrobras also announced that preliminary drilling results of well 3-BRSA-967A-RJS (3-RJS-683A), known as Jupiter Nordeste, located 7.5 km from the Jupiter area’s discovery well (1-BRSA-559A), in the Santos Basin, confirm the presence of natural gas and condensate, as well as the presence of a continuous reservoir between the two wells (Petrobras).

OGX has been granted the required environmental authorization by IBAMA (the Brazilian Institute for Environment and Renewable Natural Resources) to begin drilling in BM-C-37 and BM-C-38 blocks, in the Campos Basin (EBX).

Brazil Weekly’s Brazil Regional News

In Brazil on October 12, 2012 at 10:09 am

BOOK YOUR HOTEL IN BRAZIL!

PROJECT OF THE WEEK

Render of the revitalisation works for Sao Paulo’s Parque Dom Pedro II in the old Center (Skyscrapercity).

CITY BRIEF BRASILIA

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 is the Brazil Weekly City Brief on Brasilia, the federal capital of Brazil. Enjoy!

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!

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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.

TOURISM

In 2009, characteristic tourism activities generated revenue (value added) of R$ 103.7 billion, with real increase (regardless of price changes) of 4.6% over 2008. In the time series, which started in 2003, there was increase of 32.4%, versus 24.6% increase in economy as a whole.  In 2009, these activities had 5.9 million positions, what represented 9.9% of the total services sector and 6.1% of total economy. This number was 1.3% bigger than in 2008 and 10.5% above that of 2003 (IBGE).

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AMAZON

Protesters paralyzing construction of Brazil’s biggest hydroelectric project are demanding a 10 percent stake in profits from the sale of energy, Bloomberg reported.

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RIO

A new trend has been sweeping the city and taking fun to a higher level, literally. Some of the city’s biggest hotels are opening their penthouses to create new areas of entertainment, where tourists and locals can have a pleasant time, get their talk on and have a drink, while admiring the city’s best sites from a whole new perspective (Rio Official Guide).

The president of COB (Brazilian Olympic Committee), Carlos Arthur Nuzman, 70, was reelected for another four-year term. He clearly stated that he does not intend to leave office after the Rio Olympics. If he manages a fifth reelection after the Rio Olympics, he will surpass João Havelange as the longest Brazilian director in charge of sports agencies. Nuzman has been the president of COB for 17 years. Earlier, he was the head of CBV (Brazilian Volleyball Confederation) for 20 years, between 1975 and 1995 (Folha).

SAO PAULO

Pivô looks set to become one of the finest places in town to get a dose of up-to-the-minute art and culture – and best of all, it’s set inside one of the most emblematic São Paulo buildings of all time: the magnificent Copan created by Oscar Niemeyer, whose curvaceous silhouette punctuates the cityscape like an immense, graceful gesture (Time Out).

A spate of shootings and gunfights killed nine people, including an off-duty military police officer, and injured four others in Sao Paulo, the Brazilian press reported.

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Brazil Politics & Government News

In Brazil on October 5, 2012 at 9:51 am

LOCAL ELECTIONS RESULTS

Some 140 million Brazilians voted for mayors, vice mayors and local legislators on Sunday October 7th.  Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes (PMDB) said he is the luckiest man on earth after winning a second term in office which will make sure he is still Mayor during the 2016 Olympics in Rio. In Sao Paulo, Jose Serra (PSDB) and Fernando Haddad (PT) will slug it out in a second round in two weeks time. The following main cities know their next mayor already: Belo Horizonte (Marcio Lacerda – PSB), Recife (Geraldo Julio – PSB), Porto Alegre (Fortunati – PDT), Goiania (Paulo Garcia – PT). Salvador, Fortaleza, Curitiba, Manaus and Belem are among those cities that will need a second round. So far the ruling PT only took one major city outright, though it may win more cities during the next round. The PSB did very well, especially in the North East, challenging the PT on more than one occasion. Like in the previous election Brazil’s political landscape appears fragmented and it is hard to show a clear winner yet. In the final round, both PT and main opposition party PSDB will face their biggest battle as their candidates have mostly moved on to the next round.

For those who like interactive election maps, check out this one of Folha.

NEW FEATURE: OPINION

Last week Reuters reported that President Dilma Rousseff had decided to wait until mid-2013 to make a decision on Brazil’s multibillion-dollar Air Force jets contract. What, again? Yes, again… So how should we interpret this delay? Most observers seem to agree that this development increases Boeing’s Super Hornet chances of winning the deal, instead of the earlier favorite, the French Dassault Rafale. So is this delay upon delay a tactical and polite way of saying no to the French? Possibly, but there is more at stake in this deal than meets the eye. It’s not just about buying 36 new planes. It’s all about the future of Brazil’s aviation and technology sectors and Brazil must make the best possible deal if it wants to achieve its ambitions…read on about Brazil’s new jet fighter saga.

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Contact us at atlanticoweekly at gmail.com

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INTERNATIONAL

President Dilma Rousseff and the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, signed three new agreements related to science, technology and innovation in Brasilia. The agreements provide for an increase in the number of students sent to the United Kingdom through the Science without Borders program; the cooperation between the company BG E&P and the National Council of Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq/MCTI) and the development of scientific studies, research and projects related to oil and derivatives (Portal Brasil).

In its rotating presidency of Mercosur, Brazil presented its science and technology (S&T) proposals to other countries in the bloc at the Itamaraty palace in Brasilia. The first meeting of the working group on the issue involved biotechnology, nanotechnology, network connections, natural disaster prevention, water management and information and communication technologies (ICT) (Portal Brasil).

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DEFENSE & SECURITY

Embraer Defense and Security announced the selection of two Brazilian companies as suppliers to the KC-390 military transport jet program. Aerotron, headquartered in Itajubá, Minas Gerais, will provide ballistics protection and LH Colus, from São José dos Campos, São Paulo, seats and stretchers (Embraer).

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SCIENCE & RESEARCH

FAPESP and the National Science Foundation Division of Chemistry announce the result of a Call for Proposals issued in 2011 for the International Collaborations in Chemistry (ICC) Program. The goal of this partnership is to stimulate innovative research projects in Chemistry conducted in cooperation between researchers in the U.S. and in the State of São Paulo (FAPESP).