News from Brazil

Archive for April, 2013|Monthly archive page

Politics & Government News

In Brazil on April 26, 2013 at 9:35 am

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INTERNATIONAL

Minister of Development, Industry and Foreign Commerce, Fernando Pimentel, suggested that Brazil could postpone the date the auto parts and automobile free trade agreement between Brazil and Argentina will become effective – the scheduled date is July. The bilateral auto trade is currently governed by a system which establishes that for every US$ 100 Argentina exports to Brazil, it must also import US$ 195 without charging Import taxes (Folha).

The next head of the World Trade Organization will be either Mexico’s Herminio Blanco or Brazil’s Roberto Azevedo, guaranteeing a Latin American nation will hold the top job at the global trade body for the first time (Bloomberg).

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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

President Dilma Rousseff stressed the “process of transformation, modernization and updating” of the operation means of the Brazilian Army. Rousseff gave a speech at a ceremony of the 365th anniversary of the Brazilian Army, held at the Brazilian Army’s General Headquarters in Brasilia. The Day of the Army commemorates the Brazilian victory against the Dutch in Guararapes Battle, near Recife city, in the northeastern state of Pernambuco on April 18, 1648 (Xinhua).

SOCIAL

Based on the information collected by the 2010 Census, IBGE developed a brief set of maps and tables showing the spatial distribution of 896 thousand people who self declared or considered themselves as Indians, including also 305 ethnicities found by the enumerators in 2010. More than two hundred languages spoken in Indian lands are also listed. Resulting from a partnership between IBGE and FUNAI, the publication “The Indian Brazil” will be distributed to every unit of these two institutions in the whole country, and will be available as well on the Internet.

The Strategic Affairs Secretariat (SAE) is to launch the third edition of the “Voices of the New Middle Class” book in Annex I of the Presidential Palace. The event will be promoted in partnership with Caixa Econômica Federal and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). The work, which focuses on “Entrepreneurship and the Middle Class” shows the contribution of entrepreneurs in the expansion of the new Brazilian middle class. One of the standout points is the jump in the formalization of employment. Of the six million jobs created by small businesses between 2001 and 2011, 95% were formal jobs (Portal Brasil).

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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Business & Economy News

In Brazil on April 26, 2013 at 9:34 am

– NEW EDITION –

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

Check out our revised, 2013, edition! 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 2013.

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 unemployment rate was estimated at 5.7%, the lowest rate for March since the beginning of the series (March 2002), and it did not change in relation to the results of February (5.6%). In comparison to March 2012 (6.2%), the rate contracted 0.5 percentage points. The unemployed population (1.4 million people) was stable in relation to the previous month and decreased 8.5% (127 thousand people) in relation to March last year. The Monthly Employment Survey is conducted in the metropolitan areas of Recife, Salvador, Belo Horizonte, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Porto Alegre (IBGE).

The Open Market Operations Department (Demab) of the Banco Central do Brasil released the Domestic Federal Public Debt and Open Market operations results for March 2013. Please, click here (zip file, 1.2Mb) to download the comments and tables on the Domestic Federal Public Debt and Open Market operations results for March 2013 (BCB).

The Department of Economics (Depec) of Banco Central do Brasil released the external accounts results for March 2013. The document brings together the results of the balance of payments, foreign debt and international reserves movement, among others. The tables in English are already available: click here to download the March 2013 external accounts results.

Brazil posted a current account deficit of $6.873 billion in March, Reuters reported.

The preview of the Industry Confidence Index (ICI) signals a decrease of 0.3% in the index in relation to the outcome of March. The second consecutive fall brought even closer the index to the recent historical average, indicating moderation in the pace of activity in the sector at the beginning of the second quarter of 2013 (Portal Brasil).

Arminio Fraga, Brazil’s former central bank president, is concerned by the government’s push to foster growth by encouraging consumers to spend more on credit. The speed of loan growth in Brazil merits “some monitoring,” Fraga, founder of Gavea Investimentos Ltda., said. Brazil is using state-owned banks aggressively to promote its goals, said Fraga, who was president of Brazil’s central bank from 1999 to 2002 (Bloomberg).

BUSINESS

In a billion-dollar transaction, the world’s biggest education group, Kroton, of Brazil, advanced even further as it merged with Anhanguera. The companies will engage in a R$ 5-billion stock exchange (US$ 2.5 billion).The new giant will have a market value of some US$ 5.8 billion (R$ 13 billion) – twice the size of the sector’s number 2, China’s New Oriental (US$ 2.9 billion) (Folha).

Dirce Navarro de Camargo, who became Brazil’s richest woman after inheriting the Camargo Correa SA industrial conglomerate, has died. She was 100. She controlled a fortune valued at $13.8 billion, making her the 62nd-richest person in the world, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.Founded in 1939 by her late husband, Sebastiao Camargo, the conglomerate has played a key role in developing Brazil’s infrastructure. It participated in the construction of Brazil’s capital, Brasilia, in the 1950s. Today, its interests include publicly traded cement maker Cimpor Cimentos de Portugal SGPS and Sao Paulo-based Alpargatas SA, which manufactures Havaianas flip-flops (Bloomberg).

A consumer protection agency in Brazil has taken aim at the Happy Meal, fining McDonald’s Corp for targeting children with its advertising and toys. The Procon agency in the state of Sao Paulo fined the fast-food company 3.2 million reais ($1.6 million), adding fuel to a global debate about fast food and public health (Reuters).

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AGRI ETC.

Even though sugarcane production in Brazil is expected to increase during the 2013/14 harvest season, the sugar/ethanol sector continues to be in the grip of a financial crisis. During 2012, 41 sugar/ethanol mills in southern Brazil closed down operations due to financial distress and more are expected to close in the coming years unless conditions improve (Soybean & Corn Advisor).

Brazil’s government threw its sugar-ethanol industry a lifeline, by cutting taxes and sweetening credit for the struggling sector it hopes will resume investments in new biofuel plants to bolster output (Reuters).

BANKING & FINANCE

BNDES is planning to sell about 6.1 billion reais ($3 billion) of nonperforming loans to investors.BNDES already opened the request for tender to define which firm would be the adviser on the asset sale, the government- owned bank said on its website. The 6.1 billion reais represents the value of 1,020 loans on the day the borrowers defaulted, plus two months’ interest (Bloomberg).

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PORTS & LOGISTICS

Brazil’s biggest trucking company, is considering bidding on government port contracts to accelerate growth, boost profits and cut costs on cargo. The company is seeking port projects where complementary investments such as industrial facilities and productivity gains can generate a return of 15 percent. JSL, based in Mogi das Cruzes, can augment government-mandated returns by leasing infrastructure and land around ports and by handling the seaborne shipments of cargo it already trucks from factories to the harbor (Bloomberg).

Regional & FIFA News

In Brazil on April 26, 2013 at 9:33 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 was your Weekend Break out of Belo Horizonte, to the famous historic town of Ouro Preto, a must to visit. Our latest addition is your Weekend break from Sao Paulo to Guarujá, check it out!

– THE RISE OF THE PACS –

Meet three booming Portuguese-speaking African Countries…!

The rise of the what? Another acronym, you say? Well, why not… In Portuguese the countries are called PALOPs, the Paises Africanos de Lingua Oficial Portuguesa (or African Countries with Portuguese as Official Language). So we call them PACs. Three PACs have become booming economies and nobody is stopping them: Cape Verde, Angola and Mozambique. Check it out!

FIFA WORLD CUP 2014

FIFA, the world’s governing body of soccer, wants to oust José Maria Marin from
the presidency of the LOC, which is responsible for organizing the 2014 World
Cup. Marin is also the head of the CBF (Brazilian Soccer Confederation). The LOC
is Fifa’s political and financial representative in Brazil, and the CBF is a
“partner” of the committee (Folha).

The Brazilian government is worried ordinary fans could be priced out of the country’s modernized stadiums in an unwanted legacy from hosting the 2014 World Cup. Brazil is building two brand new stadiums and remodeling another 10 which will leave the country with a glut of all-seater, state-of-the-art arenas once next year’s tournament is finished (Reuters).

ATLANTICO WEEKLY

Be welcome to visit Brazil Weekly’s sister publication Atlantico Weekly, with news about Angola, Mozambique and Cape Verde, three upcoming Portuguese speaking countries.

PROJECT OF THE WEEK

fortabuilding

Render of the Washington Soares Trade Center for Fortaleza.

AMAZON

Native indian leaders who took part in the public hearing at the Committee on Human Rights and Participative Legislation (CDH) reported the increase of disputes in indigenous lands, which has been causing increases in violence against communities and in murders of indians. In the opinion of such leaders and representatives of indigenous peoples, the federal government is neglectful in face of the deepening of the situation in the villages (Federal Senate).

SAO PAULO

A Brazilian judge sentenced 23 police officers to 156 years in prison each for involvement in a notorious prison massacre in 1992. The officers were convicted of killing 13 inmates during an operation to quell a revolt in Carandiru Prison in Sao Paulo, the largest city in Brazil. The incident came to be known as the “Carandiru massacre” (Xinhua).

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

Politics & Government News

In Brazil on April 19, 2013 at 8:58 am

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POLITICS

President Dilma Rousseff said that the government intends to double per capita income by 2022, when Brazil celebrates 200 years of independence from Portugal. Last year, Brazil’s per capita income remained stable at 22,402 reals (11,429 U.S. dollars), according to official figures (Xinhua).

The Ministry for Cities has announced it is launching an inquiry into accusations that former civil servants defrauded the government’s major public housing program, known as Minha Casa Minha Vida (My House My Life), by setting up a network of front companies. The R$72 billion Minha Casa Minha Vida program is in the process of building over two million new homes throughout Brazil by 2014 (The Rio Times).

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

Trade defense technicians from the Brazilian and U.S. governments began a three-day meeting at Itamaraty Palace to promote exchanges of information on the subject between the two countries. This is the second technical meeting between the Brazilian and American teams and follows their previous meeting in Washington in 2011 (Brasil Portal).

Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota reaffirmed his country’s support for Venezuela’s presidential election results, whose close count has sparked controversy (Xinhua).

Brazil has granted 900 visas to Haitians who entered the country illegally through its northwest border with Bolivia, Acre state Governor Tiago Viana said (Xinhua).

It is urgent that Brazil changes its attitude and begins to give priority to the foreign trade, raising its international competitiveness, aiming at improving its economic development and at preventing deindustrialization. This was one of the warnings presented by ambassadors Rubens Barbosa and Samuel Pinheiro Guimarães to the senators during public hearing at the Committee on External Relations and National Defense (Federal Senate).

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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

Even though it’s getting ready to host the World Cup next year and the Summer Olympic Games in 2016, Brazil still has no specific law for fighting terrorism, Folha reported. But specialists, who ask not to be identified, say that the country’s neutral position in recent international conflicts does not assure that it is free of risk. Indeed there is real concern that terrorists could try to hit, for example, one of the national delegations that will arrive for the events. Security and inteligence agencies from the Brazilian government and the national army are concerned that time is running out to make new laws. Currently, there are six bills dealing with the topic under analysis in the Chamber of Deputies, with the oldest dating back to 1991, and the most recent one presented in 2012.

The Brazilian government undertakes to cooperate in the development of the defense industry in Angola. The cooperation “constitutes a factor in development, employment generation and reduction of the external dependence of the Angolan Armed Forces in the acquisition of equipment and logistics resources” (Portal Brasil).

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?

SPLIT SECOND POLL

Business & Economy News

In Brazil on April 19, 2013 at 8:57 am

– NEW EDITION –

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

Check out our revised, 2013, edition! 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 2013.

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 International Monetary Fund cut its forecast for growth in Brazil, saying supply constraints could limit the pace of a recovery under way. Gross domestic product should expand 3 percent this year, down from a forecast of 3.5 percent made in January, the IMF said in its World Economic Outlook. The Washington- based lender has cut its Brazil forecast three times since predicting 2013 GDP growth of 4.6 percent in July 2012 (Bloomberg).

Prices rose by 6.6% during the past year, breaching the two-point tolerance band around the Central Bank’s 4.5% target. The price of more than two-thirds of the items used to calculate inflation rose in the past month. On April 17th the Central Bank raised the base interest-rate by 0.25 points, to 7.5%. Market watchers expect rates to hit 8.5% by the year’s end (The Economist).

The General Price Index – Market (IGP-M))recorded a 0.28% change in the second 10-day period of April. For the same period of March, the index rate was 0.24%. The second 10-day period of IGP-M in April corresponds to March 21st-April 10th. The Broad Producer Price Index (IPA) recorded a 0.11% change in the second 10-day period of April, which recorded no change. The rate for Finished Goods fell from 0.96% to 0.94%. Leading the way down was the fuels subgroup, decreasing from 1.16% to minus 0.31% (FGV-IBRE).

Disbursements from the National Social and Economic Development Bank (BNDES) totaled R$ 37.2 billion in the first quarter of this year, up 52% compared to the same period in 2012.

The level of disbursements is the highest in the history of BNDES for the first quarter and indicates significant recovery in investments, especially in disbursements for machinery and equipment, and those made to the industrial sector. The pace of approvals from the bank is going in the same direction as the recovery in the level of activity, totaling R$ 40.7 billion, up 51%. Another highlight for the period was the level of disbursements to micro, small and medium enterprises, which reached a record R$ 15.1 billion, increasing 50% compared to the first three months of last year. Industry accounted for 36% (R$ 13.5 billion) of total disbursements, representing a strong increase of 109% (Portal Brasil).

BUSINESS

Has Eike Batista’s “X” group of companies become too big to fail? Judging by the amount of help that “Brazil Inc” has been throwing his way, one would be forgiven for thinking so. The latest to lend a helping hand? BNDES, Brazil’s development bank, which approved a 10-year, R$935m ($464.6m) loan to Batista’s mining group, MMX Mineracao e Metalicos (FT).

Brazil’s burgeoning middle class might have helped propel the country to the top of the consumer league tables. But as Brazilians have gotten richer, they are also succumbing in ever greater numbers to so-called diseases of affluence – namely obesity, diabetes and cancer. It’s a development that has not gone unnoticed among the world’s top pharmaceutical companies (FT).

A research requested by the National Confederation of Industry (CNI) on the causes of the Chinese industrial growth over the past years might offer “valuable lessons” to the Brazilian industrial sector, stated senator Casildo Maldaner (PMDB-SC). In a speech at the Plenary, the senator listed some strategies adopted by China, whose participation in the world trade of manufactured products has increased from 3% to 15% since 2001, when the country entered the World Trade Organization. The senator stated that some of those strategies such as the large investment in education should be copied by Brazil (Federal Senate).

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AVIATION

Brazilian airlines finally have something to celebrate, however small. The government of the capital district of Brasília has announced a cut in the so-called ICMS services tax on aviation fuel from 25 per cent to 12 per cent, which would represent a tax waiver estimated at R$130m ($65m) per year. This follows similar cuts in Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais states (FT).

Passengers of Gol, Brazil’s cash-strapped, second-biggest airline, should not be surprised in the coming days if their landings suddenly become a bit more… interesting. That’s because the airline has announced a bonus for pilots and flight attendants if they can save fuel, possibly by eliminating some of the bells and whistles of comfortable flying (FT).

Flynonstop of Kristiansand, Norway, received this week its first Embraer 190 at a ceremony at Embraer’s headquarters in São José dos Campos, Brazil. The aircraft, leased from a third party, will be used to launch nonstop routes between Kristiansand and key cities in Southern and Central Europe (Embraer).

During the first quarter of 2013, Embraer delivered 17 jets to the commercial aviation market and 12 to business aviation, for a total of 29 aircraft. On March 31, 2013, the firm order backlog totaled USD 13.3 billion, an increase of USD 800 million over December 31, 2012 (Embraer).

Domestic air travel by Brazilian airline companies increased 1.1 percent in March from the same period last year, according to ANAC, the National Agency of Civil Aviation in Brasilia. Air travel is measured in total kilometers of air travel purchased by customers (Bloomberg).

BANKING & FINANCE

The Brazilian overnight loan market between banks is shrinking as the biggest lenders have pulled back, affecting the rate tied to $865 billion of securities and mutual funds, Bloomberg reported. Large banks are instead following central bank directives to purchase longer-term securities from smaller lenders. The average number of daily transactions in the interbank market fell to 16.8 last month from as many as 47.2 in January 2011, according to securities depository Cetip SA Mercados Organizados, while volume dropped to 1.85 billion reais ($916.3 million) from 10.2 billion reais.

ENERGY

Brazilian wind farms produced more electricity last year than their owners were expecting. The farms’ average efficiency was 54 percent in 2012, 12 percentage points higher than forecast. Wind-farm development is booming in Brazil as companies seek to use the country’s strong, steady breezes to generate cheap energy. The total amount of wind farms operating in Brazil will more than double this year to about 6,000 megawatts, Bloomberg reported.

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MINING

Vale production in 1Q13 was marked by a strong operational performance of the base metals assets. Output of copper and cobalt reached all-time high figures while nickel had its best first quarter of the last three years. Three base metals projects are ramping up production and all of them are doing well, according to plan (Vale).

Vale approved the payment of the first installment of the 2013 minimum dividend to shareholders amounting to US$ 2.250 billion (R$ 4,452,750,000.00), equivalent to US$ 0.436607084 (R$ 0.864045420) per outstanding common or preferred share (5,153,374,926) (Vale).

OIL & GAS

Royal Dutch Shell, Europe’s biggest oil company, is interested in acquiring assets in the Gulf of Mexico, including Petrobras blocks (Bloomberg).

Brazil plans to offer as much as 40 billion barrels of oil in place in its first auction of subsalt production-sharing contracts in November, the country’s oil regulator told reporters. The large amount of oil on offer led the regulator to recommend to the government that such sales be held about every two years (Reuters).

Brazil Regional News

In Brazil on April 19, 2013 at 8:55 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!

MEET BRAZIL WEEKLY’S CONSULTANCY

Are you planning on doing business in Brazil? Get there with

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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 was your Weekend Break out of Belo Horizonte, to the famous historic town of Ouro Preto, a must to visit. Our latest addition is your Weekend break from Sao Paulo to Guarujá, check it out!

– THE RISE OF THE PACS –

Meet three booming Portuguese-speaking African Countries…!

The rise of the what? Another acronym, you say? Well, why not… In Portuguese the countries are called PALOPs, the Paises Africanos de Lingua Oficial Portuguesa (or African Countries with Portuguese as Official Language). So we call them PACs. Three PACs have become booming economies and nobody is stopping them: Cape Verde, Angola and Mozambique. Check it out!

ATLANTICO WEEKLY

Be welcome to visit Brazil Weekly’s sister publication Atlantico Weekly, with news about Angola, Mozambique and Cape Verde, three upcoming Portuguese speaking countries.

PROJECT OF THE WEEK

Render of the bridge over the Coco River in Fortaleza, Ceara State (source).

NORTH EAST

A scientific article by French and Brazilian researchers brings new data to the discussion on the date humans arrived in the American continent. It analyzed three archeological sites in Piauí, in northeastern Brazil, and shows evidence that the region was inhabited by humans 22,000 years ago (Folha).

MINAS GERAIS

The world is littered with would-be Silicon Valleys with catchy monikers, from Chilecon Valley (Santiago) to Silicon Wadi (Tel Aviv). Now Belo Horizonte, Brazil’s third-biggest city, wants to join the list. Dubbed “San Pedro Valley” in 2011 by a group of start-ups that formed a chance cluster in its São Pedro district, it is now home to nearly 50 young tech firms (The Economist).

Roberto Burle Marx (1909-1994) called Serra do Cipo “the garden of Brazil.” It is no wonder that the landscaper was referring this way to the region of Minas Gerais located a hundred kilometers north of the capital, Belo Horizonte. The sierra features unique vegetation, like a flower that reaches six meters in height, and more than 50 waterfalls. A section of almost 34,000 hectares was transformed into a national park in 1984, and since then has established itself as one of the leading ecotourism destinations of the state of Minas Gerais (Folha).

RIO

The State of Rio de Janeiro has awarded a tender to procure the Maverick Internal Security Vehicle (ISV), manufactured by South African Paramount Group, for use by the Special Police Operations Battalion (BOPE) and the Shock Police Battalion (CHOQUE) within the Military Police, as well as by the Co-ordination of Special Resources (CORE) battalion of the Civil Police.

SAO PAULO

At least four people were killed and seven others injured in two related shooting incidents in Sao Paulo. The incidents occurred just past daybreak Thursday and police suspect the same assailants of being behind both attacks, since eyewitnesses in the Sao Paulo districts of Carapicuiba and Osasco, where the shootings occurred, reported seeing the same car with two people aboard (Xinhua).

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

SPLIT SECOND POLL

Politics & Government News

In Brazil on April 12, 2013 at 9:44 am

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POLITICS

President Dilma Rousseff has signed a decree relieving taxes on smartphones, with a waiver of up to R$ 500 million a year. The exemption should lead to a reduction of up to 30% in the final consumer price of imported smartphones. Under the terms of the Decree, smartphones with high speed Internet and pricesof up to R$ 1,500, will be entitled to tax relief (Portal Brasil).

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INTERNATIONAL

The Brazilian Foreign Ministry announced visitation guidelines to protect a Bolivian senator, who has been seeking asylum at Brazil’s embassy in La Paz for nearly a year. According to the new rules, Senator Roger Pinto Molina can only be visited by his lawyers and relatives, and if needed, by medical professionals (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

The Senegalese Air Force signed a contract at LAAD Defence & Security, for the acquisition of three A-29 Super Tucano light attack, advanced training turboprops from Embraer Defense & Security. The order includes logistical support for the operation and the installation of a training system for pilots and mechanics (TOSS) in Senegal, bringing autonomy to that country’s Air Force in preparing qualified personnel. The aircraft will be deployed on border surveillance and internal security missions. With this order, Senegal becomes the fourth Super Tucano customer on the African continent. Financing will be handled by Brazil’s National Economic and Social Development Bank (Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social – BNDES) (Embraer).

Embraer SA has also sold six Super Tucano light attack planes to Guatemala to bolster its fight against drug trafficking, Reuters reported.

Brazil plans to buy 34 used anti-aircraft tanks from the German army to help bolster air defenses as it prepares to hold two global sporting events and host a visit by Pope Francis. The Brazilian army said the contract to buy the self-propelled Gepard 1A2 anti-aircraft guns would be signed in the next few days and included ordnance, maintenance and training. The value is still being negotiated, an army statement said, adding the first lot would arrive by June, Reuters reported.

Embraer SA is looking to shock rivals with the price of its KC-390 military transport plane when it starts booking firm orders within the next 12 months, according to a senior executive. Luiz Carlos Aguiar, the head of Embraer’s defense unit, made clear in an interview ahead of the LAAD defense show in Rio de Janeiro, that the company’s strategy was aggressive (Reuters).

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

Inflation changes habits of classes A and B in Brazil, according to Folha.

Business & Economy News

In Brazil on April 12, 2013 at 9:43 am

– THE RISE OF THE PACS –

Meet three booming Portuguese-speaking African Countries…!

The rise of the what? Another acronym, you say? Well, why not… In Portuguese the countries are called PALOPs, the Paises Africanos de Lingua Oficial Portuguesa (or African Countries with Portuguese as Official Language). So we call them PACs. Three PACs have become booming economies and nobody is stopping them: Cape Verde, Angola and Mozambique. Check it out!

– NEW EDITION –

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

Check out our revised, 2013, edition! 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 2013.

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 February, the national retail trade recorded a change of –0.4% for the volume of sales and of 0.6% for the nominal revenue, both rates in relation to the previous month (seasonally adjusted). For the volume of sales, such a result represents the first negative change of the year (IBGE).

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AGRI ETC.

The shortage of tomatoes – the new villain of inflation – doesn’t just affect the Brazilian salad. The sauce industry is increasingly resorting to Chinese processed tomato to supply the domestic market. In the first two months of this year, total imports of tomatoes, whole or in pieces (prepared or preserved) rose 232% over the same period of 2012, to $13.8 million. China is the major supplier to the country, accounting for 42% of purchases this year – the equivalent of $5.8 million (Folha).

BRF Brasil Foods SA , the world’s largest poultry exporter, will focus on growing sales of processed foods overseas. BRF currently sells 65 percent of its products in Brazil, so future growth will come from diversifying to Asian and African markets, Reuters reported.

AVIATION

LATAM Airlines Group said on Wednesday its passenger traffic rose 7.7 percent in March versus a year before. In March, Brazilian domestic passenger traffic increased 3.8 percent while non-Brazil domestic passenger traffic jumped 14.9 percent. International passenger traffic, which accounted for more than half of the airline’s passenger traffic, rose 8.1 percent in March, Reuters reported.

Embraer has signed a contract for the sale of two Embraer 190 jets to Austral Líneas Aéreas, a company belonging to the Aerolíneas Argentina Group. The Argentine airline currently operates 20 airplanes of this model (Embraer).

Boeing Co said it had chosen the cradle of Brazilian aviation as the site of its new research center in that country, tightening its relationship with local partners and a government mulling a multibillion-dollar jets deal. The U.S. planemaker will establish the high-tech center in the city of Sao Jose dos Campos, in the interior of Brazil’s Sao Paulo state, Reuters reported.

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MINING

Vale informs that it has been granted the operational license (LO) of Pier IV in the Ponta da Madeira (PDM) maritime terminal in the state of Maranhão, Brazil, issued by the state environmental authority (SEMA). The LO encompasses the onshore and offshore parts of Pier IV (Vale).

The $15.5 billion tax dispute that has been weighing on Vale will be prolonged after Brazil’s Supreme Court decided to reassess the case (Bloomberg).

OIL & GAS

Brazil is about to open its doors wider to international oil companies from Britain’s BP to China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. to accelerate development in a country already home to the most oil finds this century. The government has estimated the nation’s first offshore auction in six years will generate as much as $5 billion for public spending (Bloomberg).

Petrobras said on Wednesday that it would borrow $20 billion in 2013, 63 percent above its planned five-year average, as stagnant revenue and fuel subsidies increase the need for debt to finance investment, Reuters reported. The borrowing will come from local and international sources and include bank loans and bonds

TELECOMS

Mobile broadband access in Brazil increased approximately 1800% in four years, being accessed 2 million times in 2008 and 65 million times by February 2013, putting the country in first place in Latin America in terms of the density of mobile broadband access. The minister said that Brazil saw one of the biggest price drops in broadband among the 155 countries surveyed by the International Telecommunication Union: 46% from 2010 to 2011, with the country now the fourth largest market for telecommunications services (Portal Brasil).

The auction for the 700 MHz band, which is to install 4G technology in Brazil, will give preference to applicants that buy products and equipment featuring national technology (Portal Brasil).

Regional & FIFA News

In Brazil on April 12, 2013 at 9:41 am

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BEST ENGLISH BOOKS ON BRAZIL

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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 was your Weekend Break out of Belo Horizonte, to the famous historic town of Ouro Preto, a must to visit. Our latest addition is your Weekend break from Sao Paulo to Guarujá, check it out!

FIFA WORLD CUP

More than half a million tickets have been sold for the Confederations Cup in June, but host nation Brazil has yet to finish the main stadiums to be used in the dress rehearsal for the 2014 soccer World Cup, Reuters reported.

ATLANTICO WEEKLY

Be welcome to visit Brazil Weekly’s sister publication Atlantico Weekly, with news about Angola, Mozambique and Cape Verde, three upcoming Portuguese speaking countries.

PROJECT OF THE WEEK

Render of the Golden Office complex for Jundiaí, Sao Paulo State (Source).

AMAZON

Acre state, the most affected by immigrants, declared a “social emergency” to get the government to help stem the tide of immigrants and allocate funds to aid those already in Brazil. State officials say there is not enough space or water to meet the refugees’ needs, and authorities fear the conditions could lead to a health crisis (Xinhua).

More than 100 years after the United States mostly finished carving out its Indian reservations, Brazil is among a handful of countries in the Americas, including Colombia and Panama, that are still setting land aside. But the Rousseff government has gone a step further by evicting non-Indians from indigenous territory. Read more at Reuters about the fate of Brazil’s indigenous peoples.

RIO

Rio de Janeiro mayor Eduardo Paes announced that the city government will impose fines for randomly dumping garbage, a measure to clear the streets of Brazil’s second largest city of litter. On a local news TV program, Paes said that even throwing an object as small as a soda can in the streets will be punished with high fines. “The idea is to change this bad habit of Rio’s residents,” he said. Fines will be applied according to the size of the object thrown in the streets, he said (Xinhua).

Rio de Janeiro state Monday imposed a fine worth about 17.5 million U.S. dollars on steel maker CSN for exposing families who live near its facilities to heavy metal contamination (Xinhua).

SAO PAULO

The curator of the 31st São Paulo Biennial, scheduled for next year, has already been chosen: Charles Esche, of the U.K., director of the Van Abbe museum, in Eindhoven, Holland (Folha).

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

The trial will finally start of the police officers involved in the deaths of 111 prisoners in the former House of Detention in São Paulo, more than 20 years after it happened. At this time, 26 officers will be judged. They participated in the invasion and deaths of 15 prisoners in the complex called Carandiru, Taubate’s prison (140 km from Sao Paulo). In total, 79 officers are accused in the case (Folha).

Politics & Government News

In Brazil on April 4, 2013 at 7:50 pm

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POLITICS

President Dilma Rousseff enacted a bill to lower payroll taxes for the industry and service sectors. The measure, designed to stimulate the economy and encourage companies to hire more workers, relieves certain companies from paying 20 percent payroll taxes to the government (Xinhua).

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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 president of the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES), Luciano Coutinho, signed two agreements that strengthen relations between the Brazilian bank and the development institutions in the BRICS. The documents pave the way for collaboration between countries in the bloc, with initiatives to foster a low-carbon economy and to develop infrastructure on the African continent (BNDES).

 

Cuba unveiled rules for its first free-trade manufacturing zone in the so-called Mariel megaport outside Havana. The Mariel Special Development Zone, which is developed with mostly Brazilian financing, will house manufacturing plants that make products for both domestic and international markets. Odebrecht company is building most of the infrastructure of the 900-million-dollar Mariel port project, with 70 percent of the money coming from Brazil. Part of the port is expected to begin operating this month, though it is not immediately clear when the manufacturing zone will be up and running (Xinhua).

Brazil and Belgium discussed the possibility of establishing partnership in energy and port management, among others. Belgium is “extremely developed” in nuclear energy, an area where Brazil is expanding its efforts, and it also has expertise in the management of the Antwerp Port, the second largest in Europe (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

Two years can seem like a long time in the revitalised Brazilian defence market. While the lengthy delay to the air force’s FX-2 fighter contract award receives most of the attention, the Brazilian military and the national defence industry have moved forward aggressively in key areas, revealing a new appreciation for taking national and regional security obligations more seriously. Perhaps the most telling example of this trend is the rapidly diversifying portfolio of Embraer Defense Systems, a company that seems set for long growth (flightglobal)

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?

SPLIT SECOND POLL

SOCIAL

The Ministry of Health and local and state departments have intensified vaccination against measles and rubella (diseases which have already been eradicated from the country) in the 2014 World Cup host cities. Since Brazil is to receive thousands of tourists during the coming major sporting events, the initiative is important to prevent new cases of the disease (Portal Brasil).

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