News from Brazil

Politics & Government

In Brazil on January 28, 2011 at 10:05 am

POLITICS

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff is trying to show she is different from former president Lula da Silva. Rousseff prefers strict rules and technical work as opposed to Lula’s political more relaxed way of governing (Mercopress).

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INTERNATIONAL

U.S. President Barack Obama plans to visit Brazil in March in a sign that ties between the two countries are substantially improving after a year of tension over Iran, Folha de S.Paulo newspaper reported (Reuters).

Oliver Stuenkel is back with a new and interesting article: “Shouldn’t Brazil consolidate its regional leadership in South America before seeking a global role? If it is incapable of exercising leadership on the regional level, how does it justify claim to global recognition?”

INTERNATIONALISATION

The first Brazilian company to complete a public project in the country, Odebrecht celebrates 20 years of operations in the United States in 2010. The construction company has completed 55 projects throughout its history and is currently present in Florida and Louisiana. In the country, Odebrecht has also been in California, North Carolina and South Carolina.
Odebrecht arrived to U.S. soil after it won the public bid to build a stretch of the Metromover, Miami’s above-ground subway. Soon after, in 1992, Odebrecht was responsible for building Route 56, a highway in the region of San Diego, California (Odebrecht).

Eike Batista’s EBX Group is consolidating its overseas presence through the creation of EBX International and the opening of an office in New York. As a result of this international expansion, the group — which is headquartered in Rio de Janeiro and has operations in nine states in Brazil — will intensify relationships with investors located in the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East while also enhancing its ability to prospect for new business opportunities (EBX).

Reinforcing its internationalization strategy, on October 7 Braskem inaugurated the new Colombian office, which, together with the Singapore office, is set to begin operating still in 2010. Braskem also expanded the office located in Rotterdam, Holland, which sells thermoplastic resins (Odebrecht).

The CEO of Banco do Brasil, Aldenir Bendine, said this week that an accord will be signed within the next 60 days with Portuguese bank Banco Espírito Santo, with which it will begin a joint venture in Africa. Operations will begin in Cape Verde and Angola (A Semana).

Brazil’s big business companies are rapidly establishing themselves or expanding abroad. Which world cities are most ready to attract Brazilian investment? Of course New York, London and Paris are among the first to receive Brazilian businesses, but other cities are doing fine to: Miami, the US gateway to Latin America, Lisbon with its Portuguese culture and language, Luanda, the dynamic and Portuguese-speaking capital in booming Angola, just across the South Atlantic, Singapore, Asia’s logistics hub and Rotterdam, Europe’s logistical centre of excellence and the Atlantic’s largest port.  Where do you think Brazilian companies are heading?

DEFENSE

The Federative Republic of Brazil is forecast to commit USD82 billion to military procurement between 2010 and 2014 as the South American state continues the implementation of its 2008 National Defense Strategy through the renewal of its military infrastructure and the replacement of outdated equipment. The bow-wave of funding – procurement spending alone is forecast to climb 27 per cent over the four years to 2014 – contrasts sharply with previous governments’ unwillingness to commit significant sums to the armed forces: arguably a response to the years of military dictatorship that ended in 1985 (Janes).

But, in addition to earlier news about the reopening of Brazil’s fighter jet competition, President Dilma Rousseff will reevaluate a 10 billion real ($6 billion) plan to purchase 11 warships as she seeks to streamline government expenses, local newspaper Folha de S.Paulo said (Reuters).

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