News from Brazil

Archive for February, 2013|Monthly archive page

Politics & Government News

In Brazil on February 22, 2013 at 1:29 am

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POLITICS

While The Economist discusses the options in October 2014’s presidential elections for Marina Silva (Sustainability Network), Eduardo Campos (PSB), Aecio Neves (PSDB) and of course Dilma Rousseff (PT), it misses two points. Firstly, former president Lula has this week (though possibly not timed to enter the Economist) publicly endorsed Dilma as the candidate for president in 2014, erasing all doubts that he might try a comeback himself. The question however is where that leaves Lula. Will he run for Governor of Sao Paulo where his personal popularity might give him the lead versus the incumbent PSDB? Secondly, the article overlooks the chances of the new PSD party, founded only two years ago. This party, led by former Sao Paulo Mayor Kassab, is now openly supporting the PT both in the city government of Sao Paulo and nationally, no doubt in exchange for a good position in 2014. In numbers (the party has 55 parliamentarians, two governors and since last year some 400 Mayors) the PSD may already be a more attractive partner to Dilma than the PSB. But 18 months to the elections is a very long time indeed!

The benefits provided by the “My House, My Life” (in Portuguese, “Minha Casa, Minha Vida”) program have now reached agrarian reform settlers. In 2013, 60,000 families are to be assisted with the construction and renovation of houses (Portal Brasil).

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INTERNATIONAL

Brazil and Russia agreed on Wednesday to negotiate the purchase of Russia’s anti-aircraft defense systems, jointly develop defense products and transfer technology to Brazilian defense companies without restrictions (more at Xinhua).

It is too soon to tell the impact of a proposed free trade agreement between the United States and the European Union on Brazilian economy, Foreign Minister Antonion Patriota said. The impact will not necessarily be negative, since the country has been diversifying its export markets and boosting South-South trade over recent years, Patriota said (Xinhua).

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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!

DEFENSE & SECURITY

The Brazilian Air Force (FAB) announced that two additional unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are already in the assembly phase at the Santa Maria Air Base in the state of Rio Grande do Sul. The two RQ-450s, manufactured in Israel, were received in late January and their first flights are scheduled for March. The new aircraft will be used in the next steps of the Ágata Operations, in the border regions, and also during the FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013, in June. The investment in the equipment amounts to R$ 48 million. With the arrival of two more aircraft, four units now form part of the Horus Squadron, with two RQ-450s having been in operation since 2011. Even though the models are the same, the aircraft which have just been received do offer some improvements, such as higher resolution daylight and infrared cameras and improved communication systems. A radar was also received that allows images to be produced even through clouds (Portal Brasil).

Visiting Brazilian Defence Minister Celso Amorim said his country was interested in working with Angola to build up the defence capacity of the African country. Celso Amorim said his visit to Angola was aimed at strengthening the existing strategic partnership in the field of defence between the two countries. The Brazilian defence chief said Brazilian businessmen in his delegation expressed interests in cooperating with Angola in the defence field.

Brazil is interesting in buying Russia’s medium-range surface-to-air Pantsir S1 combined missile and artillery batteries and Igla-S shoulder-held missiles, in part to beef up security during the World Cup soccer tournament next year and the 2016 Olympic Games. Contract negotiations are expected to begin in March.

As a sign of the two countries drawing closer, Brazil became the first country outside Russia to host a monitoring station for the Russian satellite navigation system GLONASS, a global positioning system that uses 24 satellites.

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?

Business & Economy News

In Brazil on February 22, 2013 at 1:28 am

OPINION

Be welcome to check out Brazil Weekly’s interview with Professor Bolivar Lamounier and find out Why you shouldn’t get too excited about Brazil’s new middle class…

ECONOMY

Economists lowered their forecasts for growth of Brazil in 2013 to 3.08 percent and trimmed their median estimate for 2014 GDP growth to 3.65 percent, Reuters reported.

In December 2012, the retail trade of the country recorded a change of –0.5% for the volume of sales and of 0.2% for the nominal revenue of sales, both rates in relation to the previous month (seasonally adjusted). As to volume, it is the first negative result after six consecutive months of growth. Conversely, as to revenue, the series does not register any negative results. The rates for the volume of sales, not seasonally adjusted, were at 5.0% against December/2011 and at 8.4% in the cumulative indicator of the year. Concerning nominal revenue, the rates were at 10.9% in relation to the same month in 2011 and at 12.3% in the year. As to the Extended retail trade, there was a growth of 1.3% in the volume of sales and of 1.1% in the nominal revenue. In relation to December 2011, the rises were of 5.0% and 7.7%, respectively Concerning the cumulative rates in the year, the increases were of 8.0% for the volume of sales and of 9.5% for the nominal revenue (IBGE).

The global and the Latin America economic climate have improved, but in Brazil it records slight worsening. Read on at FGV IBRE.

Furthermore, IBRE reported that in the preview of February 2013, the Industry Confidence Index (ICI) points to a slight decrease of 0.4% compared to the final result of January.

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.

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) announced its ongoing probe into suspected insider trading of H.J. Heinz after an acquisition announcement made by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire-Hathaway and Brazil’s 3G Capital last week (Xinhua).

AGRI ETC.

A potential record grain harvest has just gotten underway in Parana and already there are problems with inadequate storage and logistics. According to the State Secretary of Agriculture (Deral/Seab), 6% of the full season corn crop has been harvested in the state. The soybean harvest in the state is more advanced at 16% of the total. The most advanced harvest pace is in the southwestern and western part of the state in municipalities such as Toledo where 65% of the soybeans have been harvested, Campo Mourao with 35%, and Cascavel with 30%. In northern Parana the soybean harvest is expected to start at the end of February (Soybean & Corn Advisor).

Brazilian exports of sugar-cane ethanol to the U.S. may rise as much as 29 percent this crop season as oil companies there are mandated to blend more renewable fuels. Brazil may export as much as 4.5 billion liters (1.19 billion gallons) to the U.S. next harvest season, which begins in April, Bloomberg reported.

AVIATION

In the wake of November’s highly successful maiden flight of the Legacy 500, the first, full fly-by-wire midsize business aircraft in the corporate aircraft industry, Embraer Executive Jets’ second Legacy 500 made its maiden flight, officially entering the flight test and certification program (Embraer).

Bolivia’s air transport regulator said that units of LATAM Airlines Group had lost their operating licenses to fly in the country, although they could still file to extend or renew them (Reuters).

BANKING & FINANCE

Brazil has joined IBAN. IBAN (International Bank Account Number) is an international standard for identification of client accounts that will facilitate cross-border funds transfers (BCB).

State-controlled Banco do Brasil SA said it plans to boost lending this year at a faster pace than rivals, betting that a recovering economy, falling delinquencies and aggressive market share gains will bolster profit for the country’s largest bank. Disbursements may expand between 16 percent and 20 percent in 2013, slower than last year’s 23.1 percent growth, but still far more quickly than the country’s major private-sector banks (Reuters).

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MINING & STEEL

Vale declared force majeure (FM) on a number of its coal sales contracts on February 15, 2013. High rainfall since early February 2013 and continuing over the last few days in Tete, Mozambique, has created serious challenges to the Linha do Sena railway, thus impacting the transportation of our coal products. So far, we estimate a loss of approximately 250,000 metric tons in metallurgical coal shipments (Vale).

Gerdau SA cut its five-year investment plan by 17 percent. Planned capital expenditures for its steel and mining units were trimmed to 8.5 billion reais ($4.3 billion) for the 2013-2017 period, from 10.3 billion reais for the 2012-2016 period, Reuters reported.

OIL & GAS

Petrobras said it had discovered a “good quality” crude oil reserve in the Santos basin. Petrobras said the offshore oil reserve was discovered at the Florim well in the Santos Basin, at a depth of 2,009 meters, 206 km off the south coast of Rio de Janeiro.

Petroleo Brasileiro SA is in advanced talks to sell stakes in its refineries and other assets in to Argentine company Oil Combustibles, Reuters reported.

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Brazil Regional News

In Brazil on February 22, 2013 at 1:26 am

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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.

MEDIA

The BBC intends to increase its structure in Brazil and should soon be investing in domestic productions and building studios in the country. According to sources connected to the channel, last year the network got as far as negotiating a partnership with the Brazilian Globosat in the design of its new lineup of high definition channel, BBC HD. Incompatibilities with respect to the direction in which the content of the channel should take, hampered the business (Folha).

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…

AMAZON

The Ministry of National Integration is to invest R$ 40 million in providing water to more than 50,000 people living in rural areas across 16 municipalities in the state of Amazonas. With these funds under the Water for All program, the Amazonian people will have access to their own drinking water, even in the dry season. Installation of the water tanks is scheduled for April (Portal Brasil).

With the goal of ensuring full integration with the environment to all participating athletes and visitors, the location of the 12th edition of the Indigenous Peoples’ Games has already been decided. The event, which takes place every two years and is to be held in August 2013, will be staged in Cuiaba (Portal Brasil).

PROJECT OF THE WEEK

Render of the Hyundai Pavillion in Curitiba (Skyscrapercity).

RIO

The International Olympic Committee is “confident but vigilant” regarding the preparation of Rio de Janeiro for 2016. The wordplay was used by the Moroccan Nawal El Moutawakel, at the end of the fourth coordination meeting between the IOC and the Olympic organization. Showing an attitude less critical than in the previous meeting, in June 2012, the President of the Coordination Committee said that “there is much work ahead,” but said he has seen “solid progress” in recent months (Folha).

SAO PAULO

Samsung is installing a laboratory inside the State University of Campinas (Unicamp) to develop projects of mobile computer platforms in partnership with the institution — these are projects of collaborative research in which the global leader in consumer electronic products and digital convergence is expecting to generate innovations to be incorporated in future products. The amount of the investments was not disclosed. This is the second collaborative laboratory installed inside the university in the last month (Investe Sao Paulo)

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

Dock workers, protesting a government port modernization drive that they fear will cost them jobs, refused to let nonunion workers unload a Chinese ship at Santos Port. About 60 stevedores boarded the Zhen Hua 10 early on Monday, stopping it from unloading cranes manufactured by the Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industry Company. The cranes are to be installed at Embraport, a new private container terminal in Santos that does not use established union procedures to hire workers, Reuters reported.

Politics & Government News

In Brazil on February 15, 2013 at 9:48 am

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POLITICS

Mr Calheiros is the latest example of a well-established Brazilian phenomenon: the politician who can survive any number of seemingly killer blows. Paulo Maluf, found guilty of overbilling and taking kickbacks in the 1990s as São Paulo’s mayor, is so notorious that malufar has entered the Portuguese language, meaning “to steal from public funds”. He was elected to Congress in 2006 and is still there. José Genoino and Francisco Tenório, respectively found guilty of bribery (in the mensalão) and under investigation for murder, have just replaced congressmen who stepped down to become mayors. In total, a third of Brazil’s lawmakers have either been convicted or are being investigated for crimes ranging from vote-buying to theft to slave-holding (From The Economist).

Reporters Without Borders is releasing a report entitled “Brazil, the country of 30 Berlusconis” that examines all of the shortcomings of this South American giant’s media landscape. It is based on fact-finding visits to Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Brasilia in November 2012. The media topography of the country that is hosting the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics has barely changed in the three decades since the end of the 1964-85 military dictatorship. As well as the ten or so major companies that dominate the national media and are mainly based in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, Brazil has many regional media that are weakened by their subordination to the centres of power in the country’s individual states. The editorial independence of both print and broadcast media is above all undermined by their heavy financial reliance on advertising by state governments and agencies (Reporters Without Borders).

The Brazilian government has restarted discussions about the installation of new nuclear reactors in the country to help relieve the nation’s strained energy supplies. Also Brazil is examining the idea of allowing private companies to help finance the new plans, as has happened with other public infrastructure contracts, The Rio Times reported.

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Check out the Brazil Weekly Store, our online shop in cooperation with Amazon.com. Now listing books on Brazil and Brazilian music cds!

INTERNATIONAL

President Dilma Rousseff enacted an agreement with Uruguay for the construction of the second international bridge over the Jaguarão River in the state of Rio Grande do Sul. The project, located on the BR-116 road between the cities of Jaguarão (Brazil) and Rio Branco (Uruguay), will be 419 meters long, with 9 kilometers of access on the Brazilian side and 6 kilometers on the Uruguayan side.  The construction costs of the bridge will be shared between Brazil and Uruguay. One of the priorities of the project is the diversion of commercial transit from the route between the border cities Chuí (Brazil) and Chuy (Uruguay). In addition to expanding the integrated border system between the two Latin American countries, the new bridge will also provide improved international cargo and passenger traffic. A reduction of 60 km in the distance traveled between Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay, and Porto Alegre, in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, is expected as a result of the new route (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!

TIP

Check out Valor International, the English language version of Valor, Brazil’s equivalent of the Financial Times. You need to register and subscriptions will are temporarily free of charge but they will be paid in the future.

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?

SOCIAL

Brazil’s tougher laws against drunk driving seem to be paying off as the number of road deaths dropped 18 percent during the Carnival holiday from last year. According to the Federal Highway Police, 157 traffic deaths were reported on Brazil’s federal highways during this year’s Carnival holiday, down from 192 last year. The overall number of road accidents also dropped 10 percent to 3,149 (Xinhua).

Business & Economy News

In Brazil on February 15, 2013 at 9:46 am

OPINION

Be welcome to check out Brazil Weekly’s interview with Professor Bolivar Lamounier and find out Why you shouldn’t get too excited about Brazil’s new middle class…

ECONOMY

In the cumulative index in 2012, industrial employment posted a drop of 1.4%, with negative rates in 12 of the 14 places and in 14 of the 18 sectors surveyed. Among the places, São Paulo (-2.6%) marked the main negative impact in the industry overall, followed by the Northeast Region (-2.7%), Rio Grande do Sul (-1.9%), Santa Catarina (-1.1%), Bahia (-2.6%) and Ceará (-2.5%). On the other hand, Paraná (2.2%) and Minas Gerais (0.8%) exerted positive influences in the cumulative index of the year. Among the sectors, the most relevant negative contributions on the national average came from apparel (-8.9%), footwear and leather (-6.2%), textiles (-5.9%), fabricated metal products (-3.2%), paper and press (-3.5%), wood (-8.0%), other products of the manufacturing industry (-2.8%) and basic metals (-3.6%), whereas the sectors of food and beverages (3.9%), mining and quarrying (3.8%) and machinery and equipment (1.1%) were responsible for the main positive influences (IBGE).

Economists raised their forecasts for Brazil’s 2013 consumer price inflation for the sixth straight week, a weekly survey showed, after the government recently reported the fastest monthly inflation rate in nearly eight years in January (Reuters).

BUSINESS

Mahindra Satyam, a software services unit of India’s $15.9 billion Mahindra group, said it acquired a 51 percent stake in Brazil’s Complex IT, a provider of consultancy services on the use of SAP AG’s business management software (Reuters).

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.

Apple is fighting a ruling by Brazilian copyright regulators that could prevent the company from selling its popular iPhone in one of the industry’s fastest-growing markets, the Financial Times reported. The Brazilian institute in charge of granting trademarks, Inpi, denied a request by the US company to sell phones under the iPhone brand in Brazil this week as a Brazilian company had already applied to register the name 13 years ago.

AGRI ETC.

The area occupied by Brazilian pastures decreased by 8% between 1975 and 2011, a period in which the number of cattle doubled from 102.5 million to 204 million. In 1975 the area of natural and planted pastures totaled 165.6 million hectares. In 2011, this figure dropped to approximately 152 million. The result helped achieve a growth of 4.04% in Brazilian agricultural productivity between 2001 and 2009 – one of the highest in the world, along with China. Factors that help to explain the growth of national production in recent years include investments in roads, research, telecommunications, irrigation and electricity. In addition, the increase in agricultural exports and agricultural credit provided by the Federal Government have contributed (Portal Brasil).

The National Association of Fertilizer Distributors in Brazil (Anda) expects fertilizer sales in Brazil in 2013 to set a new record of 30.5 million tons. They feel that strong commodity prices and increased acreage of row crops and sugarcane will push sales to new heights (Soybean & Corn).

Brazil’s big sugarcane mills have begun to invest in ethanol production again, after licking their wounds from years of slim margins, as an expanding crop and favorable government policies brighten the horizon for the biofuel (Reuters Analysis).

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OIL & GAS

The contract for London-based Subsea 7 to rent space at Acu for making oil and natural gas pipelines was terminated with no prospects of renewal in the “immediate future,” LLX said after the stock market closed for Brazil’s Carnival break. The cancellation is due to “external factors” mainly related to “changes in the oil and gas industry”, Bloomberg reported.

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Regional Brazil News

In Brazil on February 15, 2013 at 9:45 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!

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…

PROJECT OF THE WEEK

Render of General Electric’s future research center on Ilha do Fundão in Rio de Janeiro.

RIO

Since 2000, per capita income has more than doubled. Violence has been reduced, primarily by the Pacifying Police Units (UPPs) currently installed in 28 city slums, and public education has gained a new management model. Both municipal and state administrations have put their finances in order, and the state plans to invest as much as US$100 billion between 2012 and 2014, according to the Federation of Industries of the State of Rio de Janeiro. Read the full report on Rio State economy at IBRE.

SAO PAULO

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

Sao Paulo’s first bid to get private investment for prisons is failing to lure Corrections Corp. of America and Geo Group Inc., two of the world’s top operators, because the rates of return trail global standards. The 750 million reais ($383 million) in contracts to run three facilities near Sao Paulo city will return about 8.5 percent, local operator Reviver Administracao Prisional Privada Ltda. estimates. That compares with about 14 percent that operators outside of Brazil usually get, Bloomberg reported.

SOUTH

The governor of the state of Parana, Beto Richa, announced that the Port of Paranagua will open up bidding for the purchase and installation of four new shiploaders for the port. The new shiploaders will be installed in the Export Corridor and are expected to handle 60% more grain than the ones they are replacing (Soybean & Corn).

Politics & Government News

In Brazil on February 8, 2013 at 11:23 am

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POLITICS

Henrique Eduardo Alves became the second tarnished politician in less than a week to be elected to a top legislative post in Brazil. Suspected of a range of crimes, Alves, from the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB), was elected president of the Chamber of Deputies, a position he will hold until February 2015 (Xinhua).

President Dilma Rousseff urged scientists to design a program to promote biotechnology research and industrial production. President Rousseff “recommended creating a biotechnology program to be developed by the Science and Technology and Education ministries,” said Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Marco Antonio Raupp (Xinhua).

Justice Minister, Jose Eduardo Cardozo, has announced the expansion of activities in the “Crack, we can beat it” program. The 133 Brazilian municipalities with over 200,000 inhabitants will now be able to join the program. Admissions to the program will take place in the month of February during videoconferences between the mayors and departments involved. Cities with less than 200,000 inhabitants will be able to receive services and equipment (Portal Brasil).

Reporters Without Borders is releasing a report entitled “Brazil, the country of 30 Berlusconis” that examines all of the shortcomings of this South American giant’s media landscape. It is based on fact-finding visits to Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Brasilia in November 2012. The media topography of the country that is hosting the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics has barely changed in the three decades since the end of the 1964-85 military dictatorship. As well as the ten or so major companies that dominate the national media and are mainly based in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, Brazil has many regional media that are weakened by their subordination to the centres of power in the country’s individual states. The editorial independence of both print and broadcast media is above all undermined by their heavy financial reliance on advertising by state governments and agencies (Reporters Without Borders).

The Brazilian government rolled out new terms to make highway concession projects more attractive to private-sector investors, Finance Minister Guido Mantega said. According to Mantega, Brazil will sell 30-year concessions to investors who bid on the projects, in stead of 25 years under the old terms, and the financing provided by the three government banks will last for 25 years, also five years longer than that in the past (Xinhua).

BRAZIL WEEKLY STORE

Check out the Brazil Weekly Store, our online shop in cooperation with Amazon.com. Now listing books on Brazil and Brazilian music cds!

INTERNATIONAL

The BNDES and the Belgian development agency, Société Fédérale de Participations et d´Investissement (SFPI), entered into an investment agreement to formally employ resources form BNDESPAR (BNDES’ equity branch) and SFPI in the Performa Key Investment Fund for Environmental Innovation. The investment agreement was signed on January 16 by the BNDES’ managing director of the international division, Luiz Eduardo Melin, and by SFPI’s chairman, Koen Van Loo. This is the first time that a European development agency has carried out a joint investment with the BNDESPAR in a fund (BNDES).

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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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TIP

Check out Valor International, the English language version of Valor, Brazil’s equivalent of the Financial Times. You need to register and subscriptions will are temporarily free of charge but they will be paid in the future.

DEFENSE & SECURITY

Embraer Defense and Security and its affiliate AEL Systems, Inc., a subsidiary of the Israeli company Elbit Systems Ltd., announced the entrance of Avibras Air and Naval Division, Inc., in the capital structure of Harpia Systems, Inc., so as to jointly develop the market for unmanned aircraft systems in Brazil. As a result, Avibras will hold a 9% stake of the company, whereas AEL Systems will hold 40%. Embraer Defense and Security will remain the majority shareholder, with 51% (Embraer).

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?

Business & Economy News

In Brazil on February 8, 2013 at 11:21 am

OPINION

Be welcome to check out Brazil Weekly’s interview with Professor Bolivar Lamounier and find out Why you shouldn’t get too excited about Brazil’s new middle class…

ECONOMY

The Extended National Consumer Price Index (IPCA) of January increased 0.86% and stood above the 0.79% rate registered in December 2012 in 0.07 percentage points. It is the highest monthly IPCA since April 2005 (0.87%) and the biggest of January since 2003 (2.25%). Over the last 12 months, the index went to 6.15%, above the 5.84% of the preceding 12 months (IBGE).

The National Index of Civil Construction (Sinapi), estimated by IBGE in partnership with CAIXA, recorded a change of 0.18% in January, dropping 0.25 percentage points in relation to December (0.43%). As a result, the cumulative index in 12 months ended in January 2013 stayed at 5.25%, lower than the rate of 5.68% registered in the latest 12 months. The index recorded 0.59% in January 2012 (IBGE).

Between November and December 2012, the stability of the production level in the industry was also seen in the areas, since seven places recorded negative rates and seven advanced this month, in the seasonally adjusted series. Paraná (-3.5%), Rio Grande do Sul (-2.0%), Espírito Santo (-1.9%), Rio de Janeiro (-1.3%), Ceará (-1.1%), Minas Gerais (-1.0%) and Amazonas (-0.5%) posted decreases in the production. On the other hand, Goiás, rising 13.7%, recorded the highest growth in December 2012, followed by Pernambuco (7.6%), Bahia (4.7%), Pará (4.0%), Northeast region (2.7%), São Paulo (0.6%) and Santa Catarina (0.4%). In the cumulative result of 2012, the industrial output fell in nine of the 14 places surveyed. The decreases were registered in Amazonas (-7.0%), Espírito Santo (-6.3%), Rio de Janeiro (-5.6%), Paraná (-4.8%), Rio Grande do Sul (-4.6%), São Paulo (-3.9%), Santa Catarina (-2.7%), Ceará (-1.3%) and Pará (-1.1%). Conversely, Bahia (4.2%), Goiás (3.8%), Northeast region (1.7%), Minas Gerais (1.4%) and Pernambuco (1.3%) posted the positive results in the cumulative index of the year (IBGE).

BUSINESS

In an operation that marked the entrance of the first foreign group in Brazil’s pharmacy retail area, the U.S.’s CVS purchased Onofre drugstore chain, Brazil’s eighth-biggest chain in revenues. Folha verified that the operation involved the sale of 80% of the shares of Onofre, founded by the Arede family, for R$ 600 million.

U.S. technology giant Apple lost the right to use the iPhone brand in Brazil, according to the country’s National Industrial Property Institute (INPI). The INPI, which oversees patents in Brazil, ruled that the brand belongs to Brazil’s Gradiente, an electronics company that had registered the name in 2000, seven years before Apple launched its now world-famous smartphone (Xinhua).

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.

AGRI ETC.

The Brazilian agroindustry declined 1.6% in terms of the cumulative index in 2012, a figure lower than that observed in 2011 (-2.2%) and in the overall industry in 2012 (-2.7%). The sectors related to agriculture (-2.4%), with the highest weight in the overall agroindustry, as well as the sectors related to livestock (-5.4%), showed a negative performance in the cumulative index in 2012 (IBGE).

The first estimate for the national harvest of cereals, legumes and oilseeds (cotton seed, peanuts, rice, beans, castor beans, corn, soybeans, oats, rye, barley, sunflower seeds, sorghum, wheat and triticale) in 2013 amounts to 183.3 million metric tons, 13.1% more than in 2012 (162.1 million metric tons). Planted area in 2013, expected to be 53.0 million metric tons, represents an increment of 8.4% versus the harvested area of 2012 (48.8 million hectares). The three main crops (rice, corn and soybeans) which, together, represent 92.2% of the estimated production of cereals, legumes and oilseeds, cover 85.2% of the area to be harvested. In relation to the previous year, there were increases of area for rice (1.3%), corn (8.2%) and soybeans (9.7%). Concerning production, rice recorded 5.35% of increase, corn, 3.8% and soybeans, 26.3%, all in comparison with 2012 figures (IBGE).

To the relief of the sugarcane and ethanol producers in Brazil, the Brazilian government announced late last week that the percent of ethanol blended into Brazilian gasoline would be increased from 20% to 25% starting in May. The mixture had been at 25% until October of 2011 when it was reduced to 20% in order to extend tight ethanol supplies due to poor sugarcane harvests. The increase had been requested by ethanol producers in order to increase the demand for the fuel (Soybean & Corn Advisor).

AVIATION

Embraer, Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras S.A. and TRIP Linhas Aéreas signed a renewal and expansion contract for the Pool services, on support for more than 350 spare parts and all repairable components of the hydraulic, mechanical, pneumatic, electronic and propulsion systems for their E-Jets (Embraer).

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MINING & STEEL

Vale informs that it has entered into an agreement with Silver Wheaton Corp. (SLW), a Canadian company traded on the TSX and NYSE, to sell 25% of the payable gold by-product stream from the Salobo copper mine for the life of the mine and 70% of the payable gold by-product stream from its Sudbury nickel mines – Coleman, Copper Cliff, Creighton, Garson, Stobie, Totten and Victor – for 20 years (Vale).

Vale delivered a very good operational performance in 4Q12. Iron ore production reached the highest level for a fourth quarter, at 85.5 Mt, allowing for a larger exposure to the price rally of the final months of last year (Vale’s production report).

OIL & GAS

Petrobras reported net profits of 21.18 billion reais (10.64 billion U.S. dollars) in 2012, down 36 percent from 2011 and the lowest since 2004.

Petrobras will have a difficult 2013, mostly due to maintenance work on infrastructure, the company’s CEO Maria das Gracas Foster said. “2013 will be a harder year than 2012, which was already extremely difficult. It is a great challenge,” she said. Foster, however, said the situation would improve in the second half of the year, when six new platforms are expected to go into operation (Xinhua).

REAL ESTATE

The Real Estate Investment Trust (FII, in the Portuguese acronym) have been seen as a very attractive investment opportunity and achieving a growing piece of the market for local and international investors. Besides exemption on capital gains tax, on January 31st the Brazilian Government announced the withdraw of the 6% of IOF (financial transactions tax) that the FII were subject to. FIIs are traded at BM&FBOVESPA counting on full transparency, price discovery and technological infrastructure as all other BVMF listed and traded products (BM&F Bovespa).

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TELECOMS

Mobile internet connections – by 3G cell phones or tablets – in Brazil has more failures than the number allowed by Anatel, the agency that regulates the sector. The same occurs in SMS text messages (Folha).

Regional & FIFA News

In Brazil on February 8, 2013 at 11:19 am

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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!

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.

FIFA WORLD CUP 2014

The cost for organizing the 2014 World Cup has now reached R$26.5 billion. The figure is R$2.7 billion higher than forecasted in the first balance of Brazil’s budget, in January 2011, and will increase. For the federal government, this account is not yet closed. Asked by Folha, the Sports Ministry said the World Cup investment is expected to reach R$33 billion. Considered the current value – R$26.5 billion – the country will finance 85.5% of the works related to the event. The money comes from federal, state and municipal governments. The number is based on the latest version of the responsibility matrix, consolidated in December 2012 (Folha).

The concessionaire Minas Arena, which manages the Mineirão stadium (in Minas Gerais), was fined R$1 million by the state government due to the problems seen in the reinauguration game at the arena, after renovation for the World Cup (Folha).

Just a few days after the Castelao and Mineirao stadiums hosted their very first games, FIFA.com brings you the latest pictures of the ongoing work at the ten other stadiums that will stage the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™. While the finishing touches are being put to the venues to be used at this June’s FIFA Confederations Cup and roofs installed, work is also being carried out at the remaining FIFA World Cup stadiums, which are due to be handed over this December (FIFA).

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…

TOURISM

Embratur is monitoring prices of accommodation in the country and working toward maintaining sensible daily rates during mega sporting events. The President of Embratur (Brazilian Tourism Board), Flavio Dino, said that the government is monitoring hotel prices in order to prevent consumer abuses. “Every tourist, whether Brazilian or foreign, wants good service at a fair price and that’s what we need to ensure” (Portal Brasil).

PROJECT OF THE WEEK

Render of the Edificio 360′ residential tower for Sao Paulo.

AMAZON

BNDES has approved two more projects that will be supported by the Amazon Fund, in the total amount of R$ 27.3 million. One of these projects, in the amount of R$ 18.8 million, is earmarked for the Brazilian Institute of Municipal Administration (Ibam) to strengthen environmental management in municipalities of the Amazon Biome. Another project, amounting to R$ 8.5 million, is for the Sustainable Development Institute of Mamirauá (IDSM) and aims at conducting research, development and dissemination of knowledge in management and participative management (BNDES).

In the International Year of Water Cooperation, defined by the United Nations (UN), the Government of Amazonas is beginning work that will provide drinking water to 10,100 families in the state. The action is part of the Water for All Program in Amazonas, approved by the Ministry of National Integration (MIN) from an initiative by the Department of Environment and Sustainable Development (SDS). Governor Omar Aziz signed the agreement, in the amount of R$ 44 million in partnership, with R$ 4 million in offset agreements (Portal Brasil).

RIO

Since 2000, per capita income has more than doubled. Violence has been reduced, primarily by the Pacifying Police Units (UPPs) currently installed in 28 city slums, and public education has gained a new management model. Both municipal and state administrations have put their finances in order, and the state plans to invest as much as US$100 billion between 2012 and 2014, according to the Federation of Industries of the State of Rio de Janeiro. Read the full report on Rio State economy at IBRE.

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

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!

SOUTH

While visiting Cascavel (in the state of Paraná), President Dilma Rousseff said that the federal government will expand funds and lower interest rates for the agricultural sector. According to the president, who attended a delivery ceremony for 29 backhoes to municipalities in Paraná, the record figures for the 2012/2013 harvest will be further improved upon this year (Portal Brasil).

Politics & Government News

In Brazil on February 1, 2013 at 11:11 am

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POLITICS

Reporters Without Borders is releasing a report entitled “Brazil, the country of 30 Berlusconis” that examines all of the shortcomings of this South American giant’s media landscape. It is based on fact-finding visits to Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Brasilia in November 2012. The media topography of the country that is hosting the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics has barely changed in the three decades since the end of the 1964-85 military dictatorship. As well as the ten or so major companies that dominate the national media and are mainly based in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, Brazil has many regional media that are weakened by their subordination to the centres of power in the country’s individual states. The editorial independence of both print and broadcast media is above all undermined by their heavy financial reliance on advertising by state governments and agencies (Reporters Without Borders).

BRAZIL WEEKLY STORE

Check out the Brazil Weekly Store, our online shop in cooperation with Amazon.com. Now listing books on Brazil and Brazilian music cds!

INTERNATIONAL

President Dilma Rousseff and her Chilean counterpart Sebastian Pinera signed three agreements in Santiago, committing their two nations to closer cooperation in education, culture and the Antarctic (Xinhua).

A trade delegation from the Government of the State of Sao Paulo travelled to the UK to present eight Public Private Partnership (PPP) infrastructure projects, worth 20 billion dollars, to British potential contractors. The PPP projects for Sao Paulo include the construction and maintenance of three subway lines, a monorail, an intercity train network, three prison complexes, four new hospitals and implementation of digital interactive equipment in all schools in the Sao Paulo state (totalling 3.3 million students and 163,000 teachers), Mercopress reported.

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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!

DEFENSE & SECURITY

Embraer Defense and Security delivered the first three light attack and advanced training A-29 Super Tucano turboprops to the National Air Force of Angola, at its facility in Gavião Peixoto, São Paulo, as part of an total order for six aircraft. Upon this delivery Angola becomes the third operator of the Super Tucano in the African continent. The airplane will be used for border surveillance missions (Embraer).

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?

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