Fifth Damen PSV World Opal for World Wide Supply

damenpsv2Damen Shipyards Group delivered the fifth Platform Supply Vessel in a series of six to World Wide Supply of Norway on December 5th. The World Opal is a Damen PSV 3300 CD. The first ship, World Diamond, was delivered in July and the last in the series ‘World Sapphire’ is due to be delivered mid-December. Continue reading “Fifth Damen PSV World Opal for World Wide Supply”

Brazil’s GranEnergia to open Rotterdam office

granenergiaGranEnergia of Rio de Janeiro will open an office in Rotterdam, the Rotterdam Investment Agency announced on its twitter account. GranEnergia, the logistics and energy arm of Brazilian holding company GranInvestimentos, is controlled by the Gradin family. In October GranEnergia announced it will invest $500 million on three offshore oil repair platforms in the coming years. The first platform will start serving state-run Petroleo Brasileiro SA, known as Petrobras, in the Campos Basin in 2014. Continue reading “Brazil’s GranEnergia to open Rotterdam office”

Understanding Latin America’s Shortage of Innovative Entrepreneurs

latamLatin America and the Caribbean is a region of entrepreneurs. The share of business owners per capita is larger than in other regions at similar income levels. Still, according to a new World Bank report, “Latin American Entrepreneurs: Many Firms but Little Innovation,” the region’s future will depend on having more “transformational” entrepreneurs than it has today. Continue reading “Understanding Latin America’s Shortage of Innovative Entrepreneurs”

World Bank to improve public services in Acre State, Brazil

brazilianflagMore than 700,000 people living in the State of Acre, in the remote Northwest of Brazil’s Amazon Region, will benefit from a program to improve public sector efficiency, particularly in the areas of education and gender equality. The US$ 250 million Strengthening Public Policies for Improved Service Delivery Development Policy Loan was approved by the World Bank Board of Directors. Continue reading “World Bank to improve public services in Acre State, Brazil”

The Netherlands among top countries in OECD’s global education survey

logooecd_enSome Asian countries as well as Switzerland and the Netherlands outperform the rest of the world in the OECD’s latest PISA survey, which evaluates the knowledge and skills of the world’s 15-year-olds. The OECD’s PISA 2012 tested more than 510,000 students in 65 countries and economies on maths, reading and science. The main focus was on maths. Math proficiency is a strong predictor of positive outcomes for young adults. It influences their ability to participate in post-secondary education and their expected future earnings. Continue reading “The Netherlands among top countries in OECD’s global education survey”

Equities set to rise further in 2014

equitiesEquities are set to rise further in 2014 after the world returns to normality, with higher global growth and the end of easy money in the US. These are the key predictions of Robeco’s Chief Economist Léon Cornelissen in his outlook for markets next year. Stocks are Robeco’s preferred asset class for 2014, although returns may not be as strong as in 2013, when the MSCI World Index rose almost 16% in the first 10 months of the year in euros on the back of stimulus from quantitative easing (QE) programs. Continue reading “Equities set to rise further in 2014”

Better Urban Transport and Access to Public Services in Rio

rioMore than 11 million people living in Rio de Janeiro’s Metropolitan Area will benefit from new policies designed to better integrate different modes of the city’s transport system. The Enhancing Public Management for Service Delivery in Rio de Janeiro Program, a US$ 500 million policy loan approved by the World Bank Board of Directors will also support improvements to the planning and monitoring of public expenditures and a special program to expand women’s access to social and economic opportunities. Continue reading “Better Urban Transport and Access to Public Services in Rio”

The Aligment Factor launched on Brazilian market

reputacaoThe Portuguese version of Rotterdam School of Management Professor Cees van Riel’s highly acclaimed book entitled “The Alignment Factor – Leveraging the Power of Total Stakeholder Support”, published last year, has now been presented in Brazil as well with talks in Itaú, São Paulo and Belo Horizonte. Entitled “Reputação: o valor estratégico do engajamento de stakeholders”, this book is the first title in Portuguese about reputation, alignment and the strategic role of communication. In it, Van Riel points out specifically the strategic relevance of communication in the construction of long-term relationships and alignment with stakeholders, so that the professionals in the area must develop further competences. Continue reading “The Aligment Factor launched on Brazilian market”

Economic Climate Index for Latin America remains stable

latamThe Ifo/FGV Economic Climate Index for Latin America (ECI) – developed in partnership between the German Ifo Institute and the FGV taking as a data source the Ifo World Economic Survey (WES) – repeated in October the result of the last survey in July (4.4 points). The stability was determined by the combination of worsening in the Ifo/FGV Present Situation Index (PSI) (to 4.0 from 4.5 points) and improvement of the Ifo/FGV Expectations Index (EI) (to 4,8 from 4.3 points). Despite the improvement in expectations, both indicators were below the historical average of the last ten years, remaining in the zone of unfavorable assessing. Continue reading “Economic Climate Index for Latin America remains stable”

SBM reports strong revenue growth

sbmYear-to-date 2013 Directional revenues are up 25% to US$2.6 billion, IFRS revenues up 40% to US$3.4 billion. FPSO Stones adds US$2.1 billion to Directional Backlog which at US$24.4 billion is highest in company history. FPSO OSX 2 is delivered and paid as per contract. FPSO Cidade de Paraty successfully achieved a contract milestone for start-up of gas compression and processing. Deep Panuke MOPU is in production since August although Production Acceptance Notice (PAN) has been delayed.  Continue reading “SBM reports strong revenue growth”

Damen delivers Fourth PSV ‘World Emerald’

damenpsvDamen Shipyards Group has recently delivered the fourth Platform Supply Vessel in a series of six to World Wide Supply of Norway. World Emerald is a Damen PSV 3300 CD. The first ship, World Diamond, was delivered in July. The fifth PSV ‘World Opel’, will be handed over in a few weeks and the last in the series ‘World Sapphire’ is due to be delivered mid-December. Continue reading “Damen delivers Fourth PSV ‘World Emerald’”

LatAm container handling growing at lower pace

latamThe region’s sluggish exports and slower growth prospects for the world economy carried over from late 2012 have accentuated the slowdown in port activity during the first half of 2013, according to ECLAC figures. Panama’s Colon is still leading the region’s container ports, followed by Santos (Brazil) and in third place Balboa (also Panama). Both Panamian ports lost a bit of ground, while Santos kept growing. The first trio is closely followed by Mexico’s Manzanillo, with a growth of almost 10%. Continue reading “LatAm container handling growing at lower pace”

New Dutch designed and propelled Rio ferries

rioferryBakker-Sliedrecht, Sliedrecht, The Netherlands, has won a contact to provide the drive systems for seven double ended catamaran ferries being built by the State of Rio Janeiro, Brazil.

The 78.4 m long x 14.8 m beam aluminum ferries will each have a capacity of 2,000 m. They will be used to boost capacity on the Rio de Janeiro – Niterói route in preparation for the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games. Designed by CoCo Yachts Holland BV, the vessels are being built at China’s Afai Southern Shipyard, Guangzhou. Continue reading “New Dutch designed and propelled Rio ferries”

Unilever continues to grow in slower markets

unilever logoGrowth continued to slow in emerging markets as macro-economic headwinds and the consequences of currency weakness affected consumer demand across a significant number of the emerging countries. The developed markets have not recovered and remain flat to down, with little sign of any improvement so far. In this context Unilever continue to see high levels of competition in many markets and promotional intensity remains high. Continue reading “Unilever continues to grow in slower markets”

Brazilian long-term challenges remain, says OECD

brazilianflagBrazil has moved up the ranks of the world’s largest economies while making economic growth ever more inclusive. Renewed economic dynamism will allow it to continue converging with more advanced economies and ensuring that disadvantaged groups share in the benefits of future growth, according to the OECD’s latest Economic Survey of Brazil. The report points to areas where Brazil can build on past achievements and pave the way for stronger growth in the years to come. Continue reading “Brazilian long-term challenges remain, says OECD”

Shell in successful bid for giant field in deep water Brazil

petrobras2A 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. Continue reading “Shell in successful bid for giant field in deep water Brazil”

As Brazil’s protests become a fading memory, the presidential campaign seems increasingly “old school”

By Arnout Nuijt

brazil-protests-june2013It’s been months now since we saw a completely unpredicted, rare and wild explosion of mass demonstrations and protests against the authorities in Brazil. The protests were not aimed directly at Dilma’s present PT-led government, but at all parties, state governments as well as municipalities, in short Brazil’s corrupt and inefficient political system.

But as middle class families took to the streets in most major cities throughout the country, things turned ugly rather quickly. Radical and criminal elements started rioting and badly trained police in many cases responded with heavy violence. Brazil’s middle classes, that for a brief and happy moment had conquered their fear of the street and had felt safe in numbers, now disappeared again behind their walls and doors. Continue reading “As Brazil’s protests become a fading memory, the presidential campaign seems increasingly “old school””

Foreign Direct Investment Flows to Latin America Rose by 6% in the First Half of 2013

latamForeign direct investment (FDI) to Latin America displayed moderate growth in the first half of this year, compared with the year-earlier period in 2012, according to the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC). The 13 countries of the region that provided data received 102.951 billion dollars, which was 6% higher than the first six months of the previous year.

The main recipient was Brazil, which received 39.014 billion dollars between January and August 2013, which was 10% lower than the sum received in the year-earlier period. This fall was concentrated in the iron and steel, food and beverage and financial services sectors (which had undergone major business acquisitions in 2012). Continue reading “Foreign Direct Investment Flows to Latin America Rose by 6% in the First Half of 2013”

Brazil Weekly: Odebrecht bets on Mexico

flag-brazil-XLThe October 4th Edition of Brazil Weekly is ready for you, with Marina Silva’s party barred from elections, Google, FB and Twitter facing high Brazil cost, foreign diploma’s accepted, Shell producing oil at new location, TAM saves on airco use, the Soan Highway, Odebrecht bets on Mexico, trade surplus increasing, Moody’s sees lower economic outlook, Curitiba stadium works halted and of course much more…

Moody’s downgrades Petrobras as it turns 60

petrobras2As  Petrobras turned 60 years old on October 3rd, Moody’s Investors Service downgraded its global foreign currency and local currency debt ratings to Baa1 from A3. The downgrade reflects Petrobras’s high financial leverage and the expectation that the company will continue to have large negative cash flow over the next few years as it pursues its capital spending program. The outlook remains negative. “We see Petrobras’s leverage to be nearing peak levels in 2013 and 2014, significantly higher than those of its industry peers and only likely to decline in 2015 and beyond. Successful execution on its ambitious capital program and delivery on aggressive production targets will be key to reducing leverage in the next few years and to stabilizing the rating outlook,” said Thomas Coleman, Senior Vice President. Continue reading “Moody’s downgrades Petrobras as it turns 60”

Shell produces first oil from phase 2 of Parque das Conchas, offshore Brazil

shellShell and its partners have begun production from the second development phase of the Parque das Conchas (BC-10) project, located off Brazil’s south-east coast. The BC-10 project (Shell share 50%, Petrobras 35%, ONGC 15%) is comprised of several subsea fields which are tied back to a floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel, named the Espírito Santo. Continue reading “Shell produces first oil from phase 2 of Parque das Conchas, offshore Brazil”

Brazil’s Sapura Diamante launched by IHC Merwede

sapura diamanteIHC Merwede has successfully named and launched the pipelaying vessel SAPURA DIAMANTE in a ceremony at the company’s shipyard in Krimpen aan den IJssel, The Netherlands. The naming of the innovative offshore vessel was carried out by Mrs Christina Lucia Duarte Pinho, the Executive Manager of Petrobras E&P Service. Continue reading “Brazil’s Sapura Diamante launched by IHC Merwede”

First order for Huisman Brazil

huismancranesHuisman, the worldwide specialist in lifting, drilling and subsea solutions, has received a first order for their new production facility in Brazil. The new order includes three sets of five cranes, which will be manufactured as soon as construction of the Brazilian production facility is completed in 2014. The sets of cranes are scheduled for delivery between Q3 2015 and Q1 2017. Continue reading “First order for Huisman Brazil”

Unilever to drive mobile presence in key markets

unilever logoLondon/Rotterdam – Unilever has signed a new deal with mobile marketing company Brandtone, which will enable its brands to use the power of mobile and big data to build long-term one-to-one relationships with consumers, particularly in emerging markets, where mobile is a key tool to reach them – and to do so at scale. India, Indonesia, China and US are to be a focus of Unilever’s new mobile marketing initiatives.

As part of the deal, which was announced at the Mobile Marketing Association’s SM2 event in New York, Unilever will support Brandtone’s expansion into four new markets: India, China, Indonesia, and the US. Unilever will also build on the existing relationship with Brandtone in South Africa, Brazil, Kenya, Nigeria, Russia and Turkey. Continue reading “Unilever to drive mobile presence in key markets”

Mr Eike Batista’s incredible X-factor

By Arnout Nuijt

eikeIn April 2010 I visited the EBX head offices in Rio together with a couple of foreign business reps. They were both seasoned fellows, gentlemen who had been everywhere and seen it all. For reasons of discretion, let’s call them the Accountant and the Banker. We were curious about EBX, the expanding group of companies owned by – what the international press described as – the billionaire businessman Mr Eike Batista. We were not just curious, there was also a certain pressure from local and trade reps, diplomats and others: go talk to Eike!

Mr Batista was building ports, had ventured into mining, energy and recently oil exploration. But the ports wouldn’t not just be ports, they would be Superports. One was planned south of Rio (the Sudeste) and one to the north of the Marvelous City (Açu). The latter was dubbed as Brazil’s future ‘Rotterdam”. So a visit to Mr Batista’s holding company, EBX, and its ports and logistics subsidiary LLX, was sort of inevitable. Continue reading “Mr Eike Batista’s incredible X-factor”

Brazil Weekly – Dilma up in the polls again

brazilianflagThe September 13th Edition of Brazil Weekly is ready for you, with Brazil to protect itself against spying, Brazil’s billionaire’s list, Americans spied on Petrobras, cheaper jet fuel to come, 16% bigger harvest, a new Mercedes factory, the Rondonópolis grain terminal, Wagner Moura in Hollywood, Rio Governor to check out, gold mining in the Amazon, retail sales up again, and will you pay for Brazil Weekly?

Weekend Break in Ouro Preto

By Arnout Nuijt

When you are in Brazil’s third economic center, Belo Horizonte, and you have a weekend to spare, there is a range of old colonial towns to visit. One of the most famous is Ouro Preto, or Black Gold, a historic mining center and former capital of Minas Gerais. Once nicknamed Vila Rica or rich town, it is now a Unesco protected site. Ouro Preto is located about a 100 kilometers south of BH, but a taxi ride will take – depending on traffic – around 1.5 hours. The first leg of the journey is along a great modern highway, the one that goes down all the way to Rio de Janeiro. The latter part of the drive is a winding road through a hilly, Tuscany like landscape.

At first sight Ouro Preto is magic. You will recognize the town immediately from the many pictures in Brazil’s tourist brochures or guidebooks, as it is a must to visit and one of the many highlights of visiting Brazil. Arriving feels like visiting an old friend. The town looks are smashing. Ouro Preto is a better preserved Portuguese town than any you can find in Portugal itself, or so it seems. Even the newer buildings are made in old colonial style, including a gas station.

Though Ouro Preto can be very busy with tourists in high seasons and on some Continue reading “Weekend Break in Ouro Preto”

Brazil Weekly – September 6th Edition: Rio real estate prices down

brazilianflagThe September 6th Edition of Brazil Weekly is ready for you at with minimum wages set to rise,  how to avoid spying, exports still up, easy innovation money,  a Coca Cola takeover, more investment in fertilizers,  stock exchange to be overhauled, oil field auction set for Oct 21st, Brazil’s housing bubble,  a new virus lurking in the Amazon, first Free Trade Zone inaugurated and of course much more…

Brazil to grow just 1,67% – Brazil Weekly poll

brazilianflagBrazil Weekly readers have spoken. For the last few months we have been running a poll on Brazil’s expected GDP growth in 2013.

By the beginning of 2013 officials and foreign observers still worked with the assumption that Brazil’s economy would grow well again this year, some 3-4%. But soon both Brazil’s government and several other parties started lowering their expectations for month after month. A central bank survey of around 100 economists said in August 9th that Brazil’s gross domestic product will expand just 2.21% this year and 2.50% next year, down from the previous week’s estimates of 2.24% and 2.60% respectively. Today, barely two weeks later, the BCB published newer figures and they have been lowered again: for 2013 they now expect 2.20% GDP growth and for 2014 a mediocre 2.40%.

So what do readers or Brazil Weekly think? More than enough votes have been cast to give a clear picture. Furthermore, while we Continue reading “Brazil to grow just 1,67% – Brazil Weekly poll”

Brazil Weekly – August 23rd Edition

The August 23rd Edition of Brazil Weekly is ready for you with: Judge Barbosa to run for president,  a new Ambassador to the Netherlands,  4000 Cuban doctors hired, Mirages retired, central bank tries to stop real fall, Brazil’s bus industry, VW’s Kombi production halted, airlines face headwinds, Rio fines litter, medical tourism on the rise and of course much more…

Brazil’s Next 10 Hottest Business Cities – 2013 Edition

By Arnout Nuijt

Ever heard of Uberlândia, Joinville, Ribeirão Preto or Londrina? Well, you may soon, as they are among Brazil’s next generation of big business cities.

Rodoviária de Londrina - Ft: Milton Dória - 2004 2013 (FIND THE 2014 EDITION HERE) – No doubt the biggest and most important business centres of Brazil are the megacities of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. Further afield, most other state capitals full fill their role as the country’s other main economic centres: Belo Horizonte, Salvador da Bahia, Recife, Fortaleza, Curitiba and Porto Alegre. These are the cities that are dominating Brazil’s economic development. On top of that most of these capitals will be in the world’s spotlight as host cities of the 2014 World Cup and one, Rio, will even host the Olympic Games of 2016.

But Brazil is big and there are plenty of other fast developing cities that have become important business hubs over the years and will be ever more important in the future. They did not get there with soccer tournaments or because held their state’s government, but by generating strong growth in private sectors such as agribusiness, oil & gas, industries, IT and ports & logistics.

Readers of Brazil Weekly have been asked to give their opinion about the order of importance of these next big business cities in a poll that ran throughout the past year. Well, here they are, lined up after your interests and voting. So for a minute forget São Paulo, Rio and those other 2014 World Cup host cities, as here come Brazil’s Next 10 Hottest Business Cities: Continue reading “Brazil’s Next 10 Hottest Business Cities – 2013 Edition”

City Brief: Sao Paulo

By Arnout Nuijt

Writing a City Brief about Brazil’s biggest city, its economic powerhouse and home of the country’s cultural, business and political elite, is not easy. São Paulo is simply to big to grasp, as is its impact on Brazil, South America and, no doubt, the rest of the world. The economic heart of the country beats soundly in this urban center of around 20 million people (10% of the national population). Within the city proper around 11 million people are residing. The city is the capital of Brazil’s most important state, also called São Paulo, that, if independent, would be part of the G20 by itself. In fact, the metropolitan region is among the world’s top ten mega cities. Yes, there are endless poor neighborhoods, where migrants from other parts of the country and their descendants slug it out, but you will also find some of the most luxurious and sophisticated housing estates in the world, home to Brazil’s elite. São Paulo is a so called global city. A trend setting Arts Biennial complete the picture.

There are several things you should know about São Paulo when you come down for business, which is the main reason people visit the city. First there is its amazing history, in which São Paulo, though no doubt the most dynamic region of Brazil, experienced a series of political setbacks though managed to get the upper hand in economic terms. For centuries São Paulo was a small colonial town, founded by Jesuit priests on the highlands behind Santos and São Vicente, two of the oldest Portuguese settlements on the coast. From the town groups of settlers fanned out in all directions to explore the interior.

In a very early stage some Paulistas (the nickname of people from São Paulo state, those from the city are called Continue reading “City Brief: Sao Paulo”

Weekend Break in Guarujá

By Arnout Nuijt

guarujahotelWhen you are visiting São Paulo for business you will inevitably get tired of your many meetings and not to mention the heavy traffic in this city of 11 million. Even when business goes well, you may need to unwind and relax. So, where to go when you are in an endless megacity like São Paulo? With a little effort you can get to the coast, where you have many options. But to get to Ubatuba or Ilha Bela, two of São Paulo state’s most wanted resort towns, just takes too long for a weekend. Driving down there costs at least four hours each way. As you will leave the city at the earliest on Friday afternoon and you will have to be back for your next week’s round of meetings by Sunday night, this is not a good option. So, in order to have maximum profit of your weekend, cut down on the travel time and head for Guarujá!

Guarujá is a relatively large resort town on Santos Bay, built to accommodate Paulistana holidaymakers and rich folk who want to enjoy living on the beach. Depending on traffic, it’s a one to one and a half hour drive from São Paulo. A taxi will Continue reading “Weekend Break in Guarujá”

Why you shouldn’t get too excited about Brazil’s new middle class

Bolívar Lamounier is presently director of Augurium, a São Paulo based political risk consultancy. He graduated in Sociology and Political Sciences at the UFMG (1964) and holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California, Los Angeles (1974). He was among other things member of the commission in charge of drafting Brazil’s constitution in 1985;  a member of COPS (Conselho de Orientação Política e Social) of FIESP, the Federation of Industries of São Paulo State, from 1989 a 2001; a program coordinator on constitutional reform at the University of São Paulo in 1992-1993, and chairman of CESOP (Centro de Estudos de Opinião Pública) at the University of Campinas, from 1993 to 1999. At the moment Professor Lamounier is a member of the Academic Committee of the Club de Madrid, an organization composed of former presidents and prime ministers with the aim of promoting democracy internationally. Mr. Lamounier is also the author of many scientific works and articles. In 1997 he was elected to the Academia Paulista de Letras. His latest book, published in 2010 and coauthored with Amaury de Souza, analysed Brazil’s new middle class and is called “A Classe Média Brasileira: ambições, valores e projetos de sociedade”. Brazil Weekly spoke to Bolívar Lamounier in São Paulo.

Professor Lamounier, thank you for talking to Brazil Weekly. Why did you decide to write a book about Brazil’s middle classes? Well, of course we were concerned with the issue of sustainability of this new class. When the debate about it came up, my colleague Amaury de Souza and I felt that there was too much enthusiasm. That is why we decided to address the issue of sustainability. If you think about a new middle class, in fact it is about upward social mobility that we are talking, especially in Brazil, a country without clearly marked class lines, by European standards at any rate. Continue reading “Why you shouldn’t get too excited about Brazil’s new middle class”

City Brief: Belo Horizonte

By Arnout Nuijt

Belo Horizonte, in short “Belô”, “Beagá”, or “BH” is the capital and main urban center of Brazil’s Minas Gerais State. The city has a population of around 2,5 million inhabitants, but there are approximately 5,5 million people in the Metropolitan Region. That makes BH the third most populous urban region of Brazil after São Paulo and Rio. Yet Minas Gerais State and its capital Belo Horizonte are often overlooked by foreign visitors and business missions – unless they are in the mining sectors. In fact the city and state have a lot to offer and presently the city feels like bursting out of its seems.

Minas Gerais State churns out almost half of Brazil’s mineral production, especially iron ore but also gold and diamonds. From the air or along the highways, huge open air mining operations can be seen around the city. Both city and state are widely regarded as Brazil’s third most important in economic and business terms. Politically speaking the mineiros, as the locals are called, have always been a force to be reckoned with, often providing presidents of the republic or acting as political powerbrokers. It is high time for Belo Horizonte to enter the world stage! Continue reading “City Brief: Belo Horizonte”

City Brief: Brasilia

By Arnout Nuijt

Brasilia is a unique city in Brazil and the world. It is the biggest of a long line of planned capital cities in the country, among which Belo Horizonte, Palmas, Boa Vista and Goiânia. Internationally the city is often compared to Canberra, Australia’s federal capital, but Brasilia is much larger and more utopian in concept. And where Canberra may have been conveniently located between Australia’s main two urban centers Sydney and Melbourne, Brasilia on the other hand is situated right in the middle of Brazil, or, to many, right in the middle of nowhere.

Brasilia in 2012 has a population of about 2,6 million (3,7 million in its metropolitan area), making it the fourth largest city in Brazil. Founded only 52 years ago, Brasilia has the honor of being the largest city in the world that did not exist at the beginning of the 20th century.

Juscelino Kubitschek, aka as JK (pronounce zyota ka), President of Brazil from 1956 to 1961, ordered the construction of Continue reading “City Brief: Brasilia”

City Brief: Rio de Janeiro

By Arnout Nuijt

Rio de Janeiro may be on paper Brazil’s second urban and economic center after Sao Paulo, to many – and not just its inhabitants – the city is number one. With its 6,3 million cariocas (and no less than 12,6 million people in the metropolitan area), Rio is the capital of the State of Rio de Janeiro, home to around 16 million people. Set in a gorgeous scenery, Rio is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. The Marvelous City or Cidade Maravilhosa as the locals call their home, was Brazil’s colonial and later national capital from 1763 until 1960, the year when Brasília became the new federal government center. What followed was pure downturn for Rio, a process that was only revised by the recent oil and gas boom.

Some government agencies and state-owned enterprises however remained in the city. Among them were CVRD (now Vale, the world’s second biggest mining company), Petrobras, Eletrobras, federal investment bank BNDES and several military facilities (most notably the navy and air force HQs). The city has bounced back from decades of decay and is now a booming global business city again. On top of that Rio was picked as the host city for the 2016 Olympic Games, the first city in South America to do so.

Rio is now the continent’s center for oil and gas exploration, pharmaceuticals, media, creative industries, cultural events Continue reading “City Brief: Rio de Janeiro”

Can Brazil Conquer Africa’s Booming Markets?

By Arnout Nuijt

A recent article in The Economist gives an optimistic picture of Brazilian companies heading en masse for Africa’s booming economies, “laden with expertise and capital”, thus creating a new “Atlantic alliance” between Brazil and Africa. We hate to be critical, but is this really happening or is it wishful thinking?

Yes, Africa is booming and Brazil is so close and so well adapted to tropical circumstances, that a huge opportunity for doing business with African nations has arrived. Brazilian companies indeed should take advantage of Africa’s new wealthy middle classes, its plethora of mining opportunities and its own supply of innovative products fit for tropical circumstances, such as vehicles and household appliances. But let’s get back to the facts. Total Brazil trade with the world was 383 billion in 2010, of which Sub-Sahara Africa took a modest 3,18 %. Continue reading “Can Brazil Conquer Africa’s Booming Markets?”

Royal Dutch Business

By Arnout Nuijt

pvofiespThe biggest Dutch business mission ever organised descended on Brazil last week. Over 150 companies, fielding around 250 representatives, visited the country’s cities most relevant to Dutch business. The mission was led by the heir to the Dutch throne, His Royal Highness the Prince of Orange, and included several other officials. Among these were a brandnew Minister of Trade & Development and Secretary for Education, as well as the Prime-Minister of Aruba, one of the countries inside the Kingdom of The Netherlands.

The delegation consisted of representatives from several sectors of the Dutch economy, like higher eduaction and science, aviation technology, agribusiness, design and architecture, metallurgical industries and others and presented a clear break from the traditional message that the Dutch are good at ports and water management. This mission portrayed Holland correctly as having a knowledge based economy. Another novelty was the absence of a traditional line-up of CEO’s of the country’s biggest companies. Instead the delegation was dominated by SME’s, small and medium sized companies. Of course reps of some of the larger entreprises were present, but most of these are already well established in Brazil for decades.  Continue reading “Royal Dutch Business”