News from Brazil

Archive for October, 2013|Monthly archive page

Politics & Government News

In Brazil on October 25, 2013 at 11:02 am

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POLITICS

As Brazil’s protests become a fading memory, the presidential campaign seems increasingly “old school”, is the analysis of Rotterdam Week.

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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!

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…

ROTTERDAM WEEK

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CITY BRIEFS

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

SOCIAL

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Do we need intercultural communication or should we just be yourself? Read the column at Rotterdam Week.

– NEW EDITION –

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

Rodoviária de Londrina - Ft: Milton Dória - 2004

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.

Business & Economy News

In Brazil on October 25, 2013 at 11:02 am

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ECONOMY

The OECD’s new report on Brazil is out. Many challenges remain, the institution writes (Rotterdam Week).

Two influential entities in global economic thought have demonstrated some disbelief in the Brazilian indicator that shows a drop in the country’s public debt. In the report released this week, the IMF says it has received and refuted arguments from Brazilian authorities under which the continued reduction of debt has allowed a relaxing of the control of spending (Folha).

The Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) by the Getulio Vargas Foundation decreased 2.2% between September and October 2013, going from 114.2 to 111.7 points1. With the result, the index remained below the historical average of 114.9 points for the eighth consecutive month (FGV-IBRE).

The preview of the Industry Confidence Index (ICI) of October signals a decrease of 0.9% compared to the outcome of September, considering data free of seasonal influences . If confirmed, this would be the fifth consecutive drop, bringing the ICI to 97.1 points, the lowest level since July 2009 (95.7 points) (FGV-IBRE).

Brazil’s jobless rate rose slightly in September, suggesting the country’s tight labor market could be easing after economic growth was seen slowing in the third quarter. Brazil’s jobless rate rose to 5.4 percent in September from 5.3 percent in August, government statistics agency IBGE said (Reuters).

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BUSINESS

LLX, the Brazilian logistics company, will change its name and command. Eike Batista will continue as a shareholder, but the new controller, the American group EIG, wants to disassociate the future of the enterprise from the name of the entrepreneur (Folha).

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AGRI ETC.

Bunge Ltd’s new chief executive signaled plans to shed its loss-making Brazilian sugar milling business, making Bunge the first major merchant to consider exiting the one-hot sector that has swallowed billions of dollars of investment. Bunge reported a quarterly net loss of $137 million as the sugar unit dragged on earnings. Shares fell 1.4 percent after the loss, and a sharp revenue drop that surprised analysts (Reuters).

AUTOMOTIVE

German automaker Daimler AG is preparing a two-year investment plan for commercial vehicle production in Brazil after winning an order for 2,884 heavy trucks from the agricultural development ministry. The Mercedes Benz bus and trucks division will announce its investments for 2014 and 2015 on Sunday, a spokeswoman said after the announcement of the latest order (Reuters).

AVIATION

Beechcraft Corp., the U.S. planemaker that exited bankruptcy protection in February, has drawn takeover interest from at least three suitors, including Brazil’s Embraer, Bloomberg reported.

BANKING & FINANCE

BM&F BOVESPA will start annual compensation of its greenhouse gas emissions that cannot be reduced, thus becoming carbon neutral. This initiative is being backdated to 2011 and 2012 and seeks among other things to encourage the adoption of best sustainability practices by listed companies and by the market as a whole. This course of action is also in line with the Exchange’s Sustainability Policy – approved by the Board of Directors in 2013 – and cements the commitment to business initiatives related to climate change (BM&F Bovespa).

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OIL & GAS

A consortium of companies, including Royal Dutch Shell, Petrobras, Total, CNPC and CNOOC, won today a 35-year production sharing contract to develop the giant Libra pre-salt oil discovery located in the Santos Basin, offshore Brazil. The Brazilian regulator, Agência Nacional do Petróleo (ANP), estimates Libra’s recoverable resources of between 8 to 12 billion barrels of oil (Rotterdam Week).

But The Economist reckons a single bid for a vast field shows the weakness of Brazil’s state-led approach to developing its oil reserves.

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Local & LatAm News

In Brazil on October 25, 2013 at 11:01 am

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THE LATIN PACIFIC

latam

A new section in Brazil Weekly, aiming top provide information on the latest Latam developments, mainly on the Pacific coast.

Mexico’s Zetas are not finished yet, Stratfor reckons (Rotterdam Week).

Latin American countries other than Brazil could order more than $10 billion worth of space and defense products in the next few years, according to a Boeing Co. executive for the region. Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru are key markets that will drive that demand, Roberto Valla, vice president of international business development for the Americas at Boeing’s defense, space and security unit (Bloomberg).

Carlos Slim bites the Dutch dust (Rotterdam Week).

Dutch companies Van Oord and BAM International are to build a new APM container terminal in Costa Rica (Rotterdam Week).

Foreign Direct Investment flows to Latin America rose by 6% in the first half of 2013 (Rotterdam Week).

Peru and Panama have the strongest Latam economic growth (Rotterdam Week).

After Chile and Mexico, Colombia is the next country set to join the OECD (Rotterdam Week).

Damen supplies Mexican navy (Rotterdam Week).

OMA to design new government center for Bogotá (Rotterdam Week).

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

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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!

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.

FIFA WORLD CUP & OLYMPIC GAMES

The Brazilian government will do everything it can to prevent abusive prices in plane tickets for the FIFA World Cup, which will take place in June-July 2014 in 12 Brazilian cities (Xinhua).

International police organization Interpol will reinforce security at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, according to an agreement it reached with the Rio 2016 Organizing Committee, both agencies said (Xinhua).

PROJECT OF THE WEEK

ubertorsul

Render of the Torre Empesarial Sul for Uberlandia.

NORTH EAST

Choppy seas, calm seas. Firm sand, soft sand. Food and drink, cold coconut water. Nightclubs and kids activities. Sport and culture. Tourists will find all of this and more at Orla de Atalaia, a beach of nearly six kilometers at the town of Aracaju, in the state of Sergipe (Folha).

RIO

Rio’s new ferries are Dutch designed and they will be fitted with Dutch driving systems too (Rotterdam Week).

Investors who bet on Eike Batista have lost billions over the past year as the Brazilian’s ephemeral business empire imploded. But they haven’t been the only losers – the onetime Amazon gold trader and former speedboat racer’s hometown of Rio de Janeiro has also been shaken by his rapid decline (Reuters).

SAO PAULO

The lack of urban planning and investment in public transport, combined with a policy of encouraging use of the automobile, is not unique, but São Paulo city leads other major Brazilian cities in immobility, wasting residents’ potential as well as their time. Traffic jams also cause financial and productivity losses, which aggravates social inequality in large cities. A study by Marcos Cintra, vice president, Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV), found that the opportunity cost of time lost by people in traffic jams and the financial cost of additional spending on fuel, goods transport, and pollution controls reached US$20 billion in São Paulo city in 2012 (FGV-IBRE).

When Dona Brazi arrived in São Paulo four years ago, carrying a knapsack containing leafcutter ants, tucupi preto (a liquid extracted from cassava) and beiju (a type of pancake made from cassava), there was great excitement. For weeks the city’s chefs could speak of nothing but the Baré Indian and the ants she served up at Tordesilhas Restaurant. Now she is returning to São Paulo, to launch her book “Dona Brazi: Traditional Amazonian Cooking” (Folha).

More than half of the population of São Paulo has been the victim of some kind of crime, according to a new study published by the Centre of Public Policy at the Insper Institute of Education and Research (Folha).

Politics & Government News

In Brazil on October 19, 2013 at 10:35 am

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POLITICS

As Brazil’s protests become a fading memory, the presidential campaign seems increasingly “old school”, is the analysis of Rotterdam Week.

Marcos Pontes, the first, and until now, only Brazilian astronaut, has some serious political ambitions. Having recently joined the Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB, in its Portuguese acronym), he is planning to run for a seat in Congress. However, he intends to fly much higher than that (Folha).

Whether teachers campaigning for better working conditions or doctors against the importing of overseas professionals, the common threads remain bringing disruption to the city and their fight to a wider audience, discontentment with the government, and, increasingly, the participation of members of the Black Bloc movement (The Rio Times).

The Brazilian army will safeguard the upcoming bid on the country’s Libra oilfield due to ongoing protests, head of the National Petroleum Agency (ANP) said. “It is our obligation to ensure the security of auctions. There has always been security, but we are going through a period of protests in Rio, in which peaceful protests end up turning into vandalism,” Magda Chambriard said. “The auction, set on Oct. 21, won’t be postponed.” Several social sectors are against the bid, saying Brazil should not auction off its largest oilfield so far to foreign interests (Xinhua).

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INTERNATIONAL

Brazil and India will work together to devise Internet regulations to protect online privacy from snooping by countries such as the United States, both nations said. The partnership was announced in Brazilian capital Brasilia, after a meeting between foreign ministers of Brazil and India, Luiz Alberto Figueiredo and Salman Khurshid (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!

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…

ROTTERDAM WEEK

terminal

Check out our new Publication

ROTTERDAM WEEK

Brains & Brawn from a Virtual City State!

Un-Dutch Reporting

on

Political Risks & Business Opportunities

in the Americas, Europe & Southern Africa!

SUBSCRIBE, IT’S FREE!

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

Brazil Weekly is also Facebook. You can like us here and join our group there.

You can also follow Brazil Weekly on Twitter at brazilweekly.

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

DEFENSE & SECURITY

Minister Celso Amorim (Defense) admitted the possibility of Brazil entering into the design of the fifth generation fighter Russia, the Sukhoi T-50. He had just met with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Shoigu, who was in Brasilia to close the a US$1 billion sale of anti-aircraft weapon systems – the contract will be signed by the middle of next year (Folha).

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CITY BRIEFS

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

SOCIAL

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Do we need intercultural communication or should we just be yourself? Read the column at Rotterdam Week.

– NEW EDITION –

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

Rodoviária de Londrina - Ft: Milton Dória - 2004

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.

Business & Economy News

In Brazil on October 19, 2013 at 10:35 am

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ON BRAZIL WEEKLY

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Brazil Weekly now offers huge discounts to companies wishing to promote their business on our website.

Rates for ads with picture, link and a bit of text in one of the three columns on our front page now start at only 499 Euros for a 26 weekly edition period or only 999 Euros for a 52 weekly edition period (excluding taxes and money transfer costs).

Contact us for more info.

ECONOMY

The General Price Index – Market (IGP-M))recorded a 0.91% change in the second 10-day period of October. For the same period of September, the index rate was 1.36%.The second 10-day period of IGP-M in October corresponds to September 21st-October 10th (FGV-IBRE).

It’s getting more expensive to eat in Brazil these days. Not to mention rent an apartment. Meat, bread, rent and even clothing all pressured Brazil’s IPCA-15 inflation index a tad higher than anyone had expected. IPCA-15 measures price changes between mid-September and mid-October, and it rose 0.48% month over month from a consensus estimate of 0.41%. That’s not a ridiculous miss. But in year-over-year terms, the IPCA-15 increased 5.75%, still within the Central Bank’s tolerance band, but not as low as the bank would like. Not only was the headline number above consensus, a detailed look at component prices also reveals a number of worrying signs, said Nomura Securities analyst George Lei (Forbes).

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“They Don’t Speak Spanish in Brazil” is the go to resource for learning the culture and for conducting business in Brazil by Joseph and Claudia Brito Low.

BUSINESS

Brazil definitely does not have any place similar to the Silicon Valley and many argue that Santiago, Chile’s capital, is by far Latin American city that pushes entrepreneurship the most. On the other hand, a MIT study indicates that Brazil’s venture capital is “nascent and rapidly evolving” and the IESE ranked Brazil’s VC ecosystem as 36th out of 161 countries. Furthermore, Brazil is not the most welcoming country to foreigners, who represent only 0,2% of Brazil’s population, according to BBC. By comparison, immigrants make 3% of total population worldwide and 1,5% of Latin America. According to Manpower Group Talent Shortage Survey that surveyed over 38,000 employers, Japan is the only country in the world where it is harder to effectively fill a position than Brazil. Finally, The Economist has recently put Brazil on its cover page and affirms that Brazil’s red tape is one of the main factors behind the country’s stagnation. Despite all of this, Brazil’s richest man, Jorge Paulo Lemann, worth $17.8 billion, together with his longtime billionaire partners and fellow billionaires Marcel Herrmann Telles and Carlos Alberto Sicupira are making investments to find and foster young talent in Brazil (Forbes).

Brazil’s multinational companies will have up to eight years to pay taxes on their foreign profits, in a rule that will encourage the growth of their investments abroad. Brazilian companies will be allowed to compensate profits and losses between their foreign subsidiaries for four years, Federal Revenue Secretary Carlos Alberto Barreto said. Companies based in tax havens will not benefit from the new rules (Reuters).

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AGRI ETC.

Mato Grosso is the largest corn producing state in Brazil and in their first estimate of the 2013/14 growing season, the Mato Grosso Institute of Agricultural Economics (Imea), reported that the corn acreage in the state is expected to decline 9% from 3.7 million hectares to 3.36 million hectares. The total corn production in the state is estimated at 16.3 million tons, which would be a decline of 27% (-6.2 million tons) compared to the 22.5 million tons produced in 2012/13. Virtually all the corn grown in Mato Grosso is planted as a second crop after the soybeans are harvested (Soybean & Corn Advisor).

AUTOMOTIVE

Toyota Motor Corp presented the Brazilian government with a preliminary plan to establish a local factory building hybrid vehicles in exchange for new tax incentives. That could make Toyota the first company producing such cars in Brazil, where high production costs, a huge sugar ethanol industry and a market focused on entry-level subcompacts have marginalized the role of electric and hybrid vehicles (Reuters).

AVIATION

During the third quarter of 2013 (3Q13), Embraer S.A. delivered 19 jets to the commercial aviation market and 25 to the executive aviation market, for a total of 44 aircraft. On September 30, 2013, the firm order backlog totaled USD 17.8 billion.

Gol Linhas Aereas Inteligentes SA, Brazil’s second-biggest carrier, rose to a two-week high after saying it’s in talks with European airlines including Air France-KLM and Deutsche Lufthansa AG for codesharing accords. The Sao-Paulo based company expects to sign two to three agreements to share booking codes with European partners in the next year, Bloomberg reported.

TAP Portugal will start operations to Manaus and Belem in northern Brazil, as of next June. With the addition of these new destinations to its network, the company increases to 12 the number of gateways operated in Brazil and further strengthens its position as the world’s leading airline to that key market in South America. The operation will begin with three weekly frequencies with flights operating the route Lisbon – Manaus – Belem – Lisbon.

Air France-KLM is improving its connections to Brazil through the launch of a new route to Brasilia as well as increasing frequency and capacity, or introducing newer aircraft, on other routes. Air France is to begin serving the Brazilian capital thrice-weekly from Paris Charles de Gaulle on 31 March 2014. The service will be operated using a Boeing 777-200 configured with 309 seats, of which 35 are in business class, 24 in premium economy and 250 in economy. Brasilia will be Air France’s third destination in Brazil. The airline intends to substitute 777-200s and -300s with Airbus A380s on services to São Paulo during the first half of next year. From 30 March 2014, Air France will stop using a 432-seat Boeing 747-400 for night flights to Rio de Janeiro from Paris. The jumbo will be replaced by a 381-seat 777-300. Meanwhile, KLM is extending its fifth weekly flight between Amsterdam and Rio de Janeiro beyond 27 October, for the 2013-2014 winter season.

BANKING & FINANCE

A politically inspired surge in lending is weakening state-owned banks in Brazil, The Economist reports.

After betting for most of the year that Brazilian stocks would continue to tank, some investors are now cautiously looking for opportunities to buy into a market that might have just become cheap enough. But calls to deploy money into Brazilian shares still lack conviction. For now, analysts are recommending that investors hunt for bargains or cherry-pick shares in that could benefit from an expected rebound in emerging markets (Reuters).

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MINING & STEEL

Vale informed that its Board of Directors approved the payment of the second installment of the 2013 minimum dividend of US$ 1.750 billion (R$ 3,785,075,000.00), and an additional dividend of US$ 500 million (R$ 1,081,450,000.00). Thus, the gross amount to be paid is US$ 2.250 billion (R$ 4,866,525,000.00), equivalent to US$ 0.436607084 (R$ 0.944337462) per outstanding common or preferred share.

OIL & GAS

Petrobras Argentina announced the discovery of a new natural gas reservoir in the El Mangrullo area in the Neuquén province, near the cities of Plaza Huincul and Cutral Co, 130 km from the provincial capital.

Brazilian oil workers said they managed to reduce oil and fuels output from state-run oil company Petrobras for a second day after launching a strike for higher pay and against a planned auction of the country’s largest-ever oil discovery (Reuters).

The head of Brazil’s oil regulator said that her agency is unlikely to recommend an auction of oil exploration concessions in 2014, raising doubts of a revival of an annual auction cycle after a five-year hiatus, Reuters reported.

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Local & LatAm News

In Brazil on October 19, 2013 at 10:34 am

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THE LATIN PACIFIC

latam

A new section in Brazil Weekly, aiming top provide information on the latest Latam developments, mainly on the Pacific coast.

Latin American countries other than Brazil could order more than $10 billion worth of space and defense products in the next few years, according to a Boeing Co. executive for the region. Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru are key markets that will drive that demand, Roberto Valla, vice president of international business development for the Americas at Boeing’s defense, space and security unit (Bloomberg).

Carlos Slim bites the Dutch dust (Rotterdam Week).

Dutch companies Van Oord and BAM International are to build a new APM container terminal in Costa Rica (Rotterdam Week).

Foreign Direct Investment flows to Latin America rose by 6% in the first half of 2013 (Rotterdam Week).

Peru and Panama have the strongest Latam economic growth (Rotterdam Week).

After Chile and Mexico, Colombia is the next country set to join the OECD (Rotterdam Week).

Damen supplies Mexican navy (Rotterdam Week).

OMA to design new government center for Bogotá (Rotterdam Week).

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

Atlantico Business Development

  • business diplomacy
  • economic intelligence
  • political risk assessment
  • market scans

more here.

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!

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

praiagrande

Render of the twin 42-storey Jardim do Mar residential towers for Praia Grande, SP.

ADVERTISE NOW

ON BRAZIL WEEKLY

AND GET HUGE DISCOUNTS!

Brazil Weekly now offers huge discounts to companies wishing to promote their business on our website.

Rates for ads with picture, link and a bit of text in one of the three columns on our front page now start at only 499 Euros for a 26 weekly edition period or only 999 Euros for a 52 weekly edition period (excluding taxes and money transfer costs).

Contact us for more info.

AMAZON

A new northern front is opening in the battle for a share of Brazil’s burgeoning soy and corn exports as a highway decades in the making finally opens, offering a shortcut through the Amazon jungle to northeastern waterways. The so-called BR-163 connecting Mato Grosso state’s soy belt to two key river ports will boost grain exports by some 3 million tonnes next year, offering a bit of relief to congested ports in the southeast, where most shipments originate. At one of those northern ports is a new terminal owned by global trader Bunge. At another is a decade-old facility run by rival Cargill, which is angling to quadruple exports through the area in the coming years (Reuters).

RIO

Jaconé, in Maricá municipality, is an area traditionally dependent on fishing and tourism. However, there are plans to develop the area into a major port complex, including a shipyard and an underground storage facility for gas and oil. The project, a joint venture between the company DTA Engenharia and Petrobras, is still waiting for the green light. Before this can occur, Maricá’s municipal chamber will have to annul the area’s protected status (Folha).

SAO PAULO

Demonstrations on Brazil’s National Teacher’s Day ended in violence and acts of criminal damage in both São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. In São Paulo, there was once again a strong black bloc presence at the protests, the first since the state government last week re-authorised the use of rubber bullets by the police in an attempt to prevent attacks on property. A task force was also created, aimed at identifying and prosecuting those involved in acts of vandalism (Folha).

The governor of São Paulo Geraldo Alckmin underlined his intention to create a task force dedicated to an around-the-clock investigation of the PCC (Primeiro Comando da Capital), considered to be the country’s largest criminal group. The move comes just three days after the São Paulo Public Ministry accused 175 people of being a part of the outfit that acts both inside and outside of the state’s prisons (The Rio Times).

The new edition of the Legal Guide for Foreign Investors in Brazil is already available on the website of Investe São Paulo. The publication was developed by Cesa – Center for Studies of Law Firms to help international investors understand the Brazilian legislation. The book, produced by Investe SP with the support from the Official Press of São Paulo will be distributed free of charge and can be downloaded in English and Portuguese versions (InvesteSP).

A fire destroyed a major terminal belonging to Brazilian sugar giant Copersucar, burning some 180,000 tons of raw sugar, according to a company statement. The fire swept through six of the company’s warehouses in the southern port of Santos, injuring four people. It has been put under control, according to port authorities. Copersucar is the world’s largest sugar and ethanol company, accounting for nearly a fifth of world’s sugar exports. Its loss in the fire is about 10 percent of Brazil’s monthly sugar exports. The fire is the biggest in the history of the port, which shipped 12.8 million tons of sugar in the first eight months of this year (Xinhua).

SOUTH

President Dilma Rousseff said her government will help fund a subway project in southern Brazil, part of $23 billion dedicated to transportation-spending projects spurred earlier this year by angry Brazilians. Rousseff said the government will contribute 1.8 billion reais ($827.2 million) toward a 4.8 billion reais subway in the city of Porto Alegre. The government also has earmarked funds for a 2.6 billion reais subway line in Rio de Janeiro state, and 5.2 billion reais for a project in Sao Paulo which includes a bus line (Bloomberg).

Politics & Government news

In Brazil on October 11, 2013 at 10:41 am

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POLITICS

An unlikely couple has surfaced to challenge Dilma’s presidency next year: Marina Silva joins Eduardo Campos (The Economist). We think this alliance beats all levels of opportunism and will do both partners more harm than good.

Three days after announcing her adherence to the electoral project of Eduardo Campos (PSB – the Socialist Party of Brazil), former senator Marina Silva reiterated to Folha that it was a fact that the Pernambuco Governor was making a run for the presidency, but said that both are “possibilities” and they know it.

The opening of Brazil’s participation in the Frankfurt Book Fair was marked by a strong speech delivered by contemporary writer Luiz Ruffato, in which he argued that Brazil was born under the auspices of genocide, that so-called racial democracy in the country was done through rape and that impunity and intolerance reign in Brazil (Folha).

The streets of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo saw some of the most violent protests since June on Monday night. There were clashes between protestors and the police, as well as acts of vandalism. Two groups gathered at Avenida Paulista and at the Municipal Theatre in São Paulo, before later coming together at Praça da República in the city centre. The demonstration was a show of solidarity with the teachers on strike in Rio de Janeiro. Among the demonstrators were ‘black bloc’ activists, and students and members of various social movements. Police launched at least six tear gas grenades in order to disperse protestors. Masked demonstrators responded with fireworks (Folha).

Hundreds of indigenous people hailing from over thirty different tribes across the country made their way Brasília for a week of protests against the proposed constitutional amendment PEC 215. Outside Congress under a banner announcing “Indigenous People Occupy Brazil,” the group aimed to have the bill, seen as a serious threat to indigenous land rights and awaiting congressional approval, quashed (The Rio Times).

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INTERNATIONAL

The U.S. Federal Reserve should communicate clearly how it will phase out economic stimulus over the coming months to minimize market instability and prevent problems for emerging economies, Brazil’s Finance Minister Guido Mantega said. The stimulus reduction should also be carried out “very gradually,” Mantega said, noting that the nomination of Janet Yellen to replace Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke appears to be a step in that direction (Reuters).

Allegations of Canadian spying on Brazil’s Ministry of Mines and Energy surfaced when Rio-based journalist, Glenn Greenwald, revealed new documents obtained by former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden during the Globo TV program “Fantástico.” Greenwald presented documents from the Canadian intelligence agency, the Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC), containing detailed records of the Brazilian Ministry of Energy and Mines’ phone calls, emails and Internet usage, gathered through the use of a computer program named Olympia (The Rio Times).

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OPINION

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DEFENSE & SECURITY

Brazil plans to host an international internet governance meeting in April next year, with participation of representatives of governments, civil society and industry. The announcement came after Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff met in capital Brasilia, Fadi Chehade, CEO of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a Los Angeles-based non-profit, private organization that oversees certain Internet-related matters. Chehade hailed Brazil as spearheading changes in internet governance and oversight at a global level (Xinhua).

CITY BRIEFS

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

SOCIAL

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Do we need intercultural communication or should we just be yourself? Read the column at Rotterdam Week.

Business & Economy News

In Brazil on October 11, 2013 at 10:41 am

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ECONOMY

The International Monetary Fund has taken a polite tone today to address the disappointing growth prospects of the Brazilian economy, but spread the reasons for this over 249 pages of a document on the global landscape. These are the arguments: growing deficit in goods and services trades with the rest of the world, the difficulty of investing in infrastructure, inflation above target demanding more interest rat to curb consumption and to the contrary to what the Brazilian government preaches, a high public debt. The exotic accounting maneuvers practiced by the National Treasury in the last four years are also looked at by the Monetary Fund. Next to Venezuela and China, Brazil is cited among the economies where there are “growing risks to the budget and debt due to quasi-fiscal activities.” This means that spending is decided by the government, but this does not appear in official statistics; a typical case in Brazil is the use of Brazilian Development Bank, BNDES (Folha).

Economists raised their forecasts for Brazil’s economic growth this year to 2.47 percent, from 2.40 percent previously, Reuters reported.

Although economic growth is stagnant, workers’ wages, especially among those with lower income and qualification, are growing quickly in Brazil. Data of Pnad 2012 (National Household Sample Survey) show that per capita income grew 8% last year. Workers’ income – wages – led the rise. They were responsible for 74% of the increase. It is occurring in the low G.D.P. year, in which the economy has grown 0.9%. That means that the rise of Brazilian wages doesn’t correspond to an increase in productivity – companies are using their profit margin to pay higher salaries (Folha).

In August 2013, the number of salaried employed persons in industry fell 0.6% over that of July, in the seasonally-adjusted series. It was the fourth consecutive negative rate in this type of comparison, with cumulative decrease of 1.3% in the period. August registered the biggest decrease since April 2009 (-0.7%). Also in the seasonally-adjusted series, the quarterly moving average index recorded negative change of 0.3% in the quarter which ended in August, compared to the result of the previous month, and remained on a downward trend as observed since last April. Industrial employment faced decrease of 1.3% in the comparison with August 2012, the 23rd consecutive negative result in this type of comparison and the most significant one since December (-1.4%). Considering the cumlative index of the first eight months of 2013, salaried persons in industry fell 0.8%. The annualized rate, the cumulative index of the last twelve months, decreased 1.0% in August and remained recording slight reduction of the decrease observed since February (-1.5%) (IBGE).

Brazil’s Central Bank just made borrowing costs more expensive in the country, and borrowing costs aren’t done rising yet. Even as inflation falls below 6% for the first time in months, the Central Bank raised interest rates to 9.5% from 9.0% on Wednesday. Higher wages, coupled with supply constraints in Brazil, have made inflation a pest. That makes it harder for consumers to budget. It makes it harder for corporations to budget because they’re not confident what next year’s, let alone next quarter’s pricing structure will be on important items they buy and sell. The Central Bank — which seemed to have abandon the inflation targeting regime of ex-Central Bank chief Henrique Meirelles three years ago — now has inflation in its sights. They’ve lost the inflation battle Meirelles won. Now they’re going back to the old defensive playbook (Forbes).

By some estimates, Brazil is not getting better. The undersea Saudi Arabia off the coast of Rio and Sao Paulo states, while still impressive, has not lived up to its hype. Brazilian oil giant Petrobras still has to import gasoline. Brazil’s biggest oilman cheerleader, Eike Batista, lost his Forbes billionaire status last month because his oil firm, OGX Petroleo, is tapping water from a stone. And now the company that was once the hottest initial public offering in Latin America back in the summer of 2008 is about to be become the largest private default in Latin American corporate history. But Batista is only part of the Brazilian bubble story (Forbes).

Brazil will see the lowest rate of economic growth in 2014 among the BRICS, a bloc of emerging nations, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said. The IMF’s World Economic Outlook report revised down its growth forecast for Brazil from 3.2 percent to 2.5 percent next year, the lowest compared with other BRICS members — Russia, India, China and South Africa. The figure is also below the global average of 3.6 percent for 2014 and nearly half the average estimate of 5.1 percent for emerging economies.

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BUSINESS

LLX Logística SA , the Brazilian port operator formerly controlled by Brazilian tycoon Eike Batista, received a 900 million real ($413 million) loan from Banco Santander SA, and Banco Bradesco SA (Reuters).

Two brothers from Brazil will pay $5 million to settle civil charges that they reaped $1.8 million in illegal profits by trading ahead of an announcement that Berkshire Hathaway Inc and 3G Capital planned to acquire ketchup-maker H.J. Heinz, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said (Reuters).

Mergers and acquisitions in Brazil’s thriving hotel industry are increasing ahead of soccer’s World Cup and the Olympics, as smaller players struggle to survive and leisure travel surges among the nation’s thriving middle class. Local and foreign hotel and resort chains view consolidation as a means to cut costs and improve processes across the sector, as well as garner partners with know-how. That said, industry players agree on one point: that room for smaller players is rapidly decreasing (Reuters).

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OIL & GAS

Brazil’s national oil worker’s federation could start an indefinite strike on Oct. 17 if a pay dispute with state-run oil company Petrobras is not resolved, Reuters reported.

The Petrobras P-55 platform left the Rio Grande Shipyard 1 (Erg-1), Rio Grande (RS), after the modules had been joined together and the platform had been commissioned, with the completion of tests and inspections to obtain the necessary certificates. The P-55 semi-submersible is one of nine new units to be installed in the oil fields in 2013, helping to increase oil production and achieve the production target of 2.75 million barrels per day which is forecast for 2017. With the capacity to produce 180,000 barrels of oil and treat 4 million cubic meters of gas per day, the P-55 platform will come on stream in 2013 and is one of the world’s largest semi-submersibles and the largest built in Brazil.

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Regional Brazil & Latam News

In Brazil on October 11, 2013 at 10:39 am

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THE LATIN PACIFIC

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A new section in Brazil Weekly, aiming top provide information on the latest Latam developments, mainly on the Pacific coast.

Foreign Direct Investment flows to Latin America rose by 6% in the first half of 2013 (Rotterdam Week).

Peru and Panama have the strongest Latam economic growth (Rotterdam Week).

After Chile and Mexico, Colombia is the next country set to join the OECD (Rotterdam Week).

Damen supplies Mexican navy (Rotterdam Week).

OMA to design new government center for Bogotá (Rotterdam Week).

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!

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.

FIFA WORLD CUP 2014 & 2016 OLYMPICS

FIFA’s general secretary, Jerome Valcke, said that the organization is not worried about possible protests and the political climate next year, when Brazil holds elections in October, because he thinks people will be more interested in the World Cup than in the election campaign (Folha).

Brazil’s architecture and engineering association, Sinaenco, has ranked Belo Horizonte as the best prepared city to host next year’s FIFA World Cup. Criteria included the state of stadiums, urban mobility projects and transport. Belo Horizonte, whose Mineirao stadium was among the first of Brazil’s 12 World Cup venues to open earlier this year, was given 12 ranking points, eclipsing the northeastern cities of Fortaleza (11) and Natal (10). Rio de Janeiro, which will host the final on July 13, was fourth with 10 points and Sao Paulo fifth with nine. The lowest ranking went to the Amazonian city of Manaus with five points (Xinhua).

PROJECT OF THE WEEK

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Render of the City Office, multiple use complex for Campina Grande.

 

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NORTH EAST

An estimated nine million tourists will flock to Salvador and Bahia this year to get a taste of local Carnival culture or relax on one of the city’s famous beaches, but the boom in Brazil’s Northeast is serious business. Bringing in an estimated R$5 billion a year, the country’s third most visited city is keen to make the most of 2014′s World Cup opportunities and develop the tourism industry to its full potential (The Rio Times).

Spanish infrastructure firm Acciona has won a 2.3 billion Brazilian real ($1 billion) contract to build a metro line in Brazil’s Fortaleza with Cotenco Engenharia. The new 12.4 kilometre line will reach 12 stations and carry 400,000 people a day. The consortium will also install four tunneling machines which the local state government bought for construction of the line, Reuters reported.

RIO

Formerly an aristocratic neighborhood that became a commercial hub in the early 20th century, along with Flamengo’s expansion came the careless demolition of most of the neighborhood’s old colonial homes. Along the beach, Rio’s original, pre-Copacabana luxury apartments do, however, remain, whilst further inland the shady, palm-lined streets are home to occasional flourishes of art deco architecture (The Rio Times).

SAO PAULO

The Mayor of São Paulo, Fernando Haddad (PT), on Wednesday identified the irresponsible use of the car, and its supremacy to the detriment of other means of transport, as the greatest errors in public policy regarding transport in the city. Haddad made his criticisms on the first day of Folha ‘s Urban Mobility Forum. For Haddad, the effect of all this has been to privatize the surface of the city, with a means of transport he defined as ‘stodgy.’ “All investment in transport has directly benefited the car,” he said. “The Marginal Tietê and the Marginal Pinheiros [sections of the SP-15 highway] are proof of this.”

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

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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.

Government & Politics News

In Brazil on October 4, 2013 at 9:31 am

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POLITICS

The three main candidates facing President Dilma Rousseff in the 2014 presidential election criticized the government’s economic policy and sent a signal to the private sector in an effort to win the business trust in their ability to lead the country (Folha).

But in a decision that could boost President Dilma Rousseff’s chances of re-election next year, Brazil’s electoral court ruled that her main potential rival failed to gather enough signatures to register her new party in time. Environmentalist Marina Silva has until Saturday to decide whether to run on the ticket of an existing party to make her second bid for president next October. The court ruled 6-1 against the creation of her party, called the Sustainability Network, because it fell short of the required 492,000 signatures. Silva blamed electoral notaries across Brazil for failing to validate 95,000 names on time (Reuters).

More than a year has passed since President Dilma Rousseff announced an ambitious plan to raise billions of dollars to lay much-need railroad tracks across this continent-sized nation. Not a single mile has been laid, however. Investors are balking at the push to build some 10,000 km (6,000 miles) of track because they worry that government policies might not make it worth their while (Reuters).

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INTERNATIONAL

President Dilma Rousseff met with her Paraguayan counterpart Horacio Cartes in Brasilia, both agreeing to resume full cooperation ties and strengthen their historic regional alliance. At a joint press conference after the meeting, Rousseff said it was Brazil’s third bilateral meeting with Paraguay, which is home to the third largest community of Brazilians living abroad and which shares with Brazil the Itaipu hydroelectric dam on the border (Xinhua).

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OPINION

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DEFENSE & SECURITY

Human Rights Minister Maria do Rosario said recent indictments of 10 police officers in Rio on charges of torturing and killing a construction worker highlights the need to reform Brazil’s police force. Rosario made the remarks at a political event in the capital Brasilia, calling for reforms which she said are necessary to make sure the police force serves communities and prevent human rights violations (Xinhua).

For tech companies in Brazil, the government’s decision to target their operations in response to U.S. spying is about as smart as sending an angry email in the heat of an argument. President Dilma Rousseff’s plan to force Internet companies to store user data inside the country will not fix Brazil’s security concerns and could instead send costs soaring and hurt future investments in a key emerging market for companies like Google, Facebook and Twitter, industry executives and analysts say (Reuters).

CITY BRIEFS

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

SOCIAL

The Committee on External Relations and National Defense approved the bill (PLS 399/2011) that provides automatic validation, in Brazil, of diplomas of graduation, masters or doctorate courses awarded by foreign higher education institutions respected for their academic excellence. In order to do that, the government must periodically publish a list of courses which will be acknowledged as world class level (Federal Senate).

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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