Brazil, a New Horizon

Strong Brazilian representation worldwide 

Brazil is the 8th largest economy in the world, with a Gross Domestic Product – GDP (2018) of around R$ 6.8 trillion, equivalent to US$ 1.8 trillion. It is the largest economy in Latin America. In 2018, Brazilian GDP per capita was about US$ 8,700. In 2017, it was the 7th largest recipientcountry for foreign direct investment globally (UNCTAD, 2018), at US $61 billion. The Brazilian economy has been resuming growth trends. The agenda to implement social security and tax reforms made advances in 2019 and should be consolidated in 2020. The Government continues to work towards Brazil’s accession to the OECD and the negotiation and signing of new international agreements, such as the Free Trade Agreement with Chile and the Association Agreement between MERCOSUR and the European Union.

Privatization, Divestment and Market 

In tandem with adjustments to fiscal policies, privatization and divestment are seen as relevant avenues.

Activities relating to the privatization, divestment and market program presented by the Brazilian government include IPOs; minority interest sales in both state-owned and subsidiary companies; granting of concessions; sale of public real estate, equity interests; privatization of the state credit and state market; concessions in transportation and energy infrastructure. It is estimated that approximately R$ 303.2 billion will be collected for the public coffers, forecast for 2019 alone, with technical studies ongoing. As of July, 2019, it yielded $14 billion ($54 billion).

Get to know about the Investment Partnership Program (PPI) provides for the privatization of 17 public companies, including, at a later date, parks and prison complexes on www.ppi.gov.br.

It is important to mention the recovery of the main state-owned companies, from December 2015 to December 2018, showing R$ 70 billion profit.

How to do business and invest in Brazil? Visit www.investexportbrasil.gov.br.

Diplomacy at the service of a Brazil with new opportunities

Brazil can rely on its Ministry of Foreign Relations (MRE) for initiatives to support international business, integrated with other ministries and agencies that promote foreign trade, foreign investment, as well as tourism:

Home to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Itamaraty Palace was designed by Oscar Niemeyer and the landscaping was conceived by Roberto Burle Marx.
Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs Collection

Promotion of services and industry

The promotion of services is handled by Itamaraty’s Department for the Promotion of Services and Industry. It involves, on the one hand, the negotiation of agreements in the areas of services (transport, postal, professional), investments and e-commerce and, on the other, the disclosure of export and investment opportunities in the tertiary sector of the economy.

Regarding investments, the Brazilian Government, based on subsidies from international organizations and, above all, from extensive consultations with the Brazilian private sector, has developed its own investment agreement model, called the Investment Cooperation and Facilitation Agreement (ACFI). Brazil has already signed such an instrument with Angola, Chile, Colombia, the United Arab Emirates, Ethiopia, Malawi, Morocco, Mexico, Mozambique, Peru, Suriname and Guyana, as well as an Investment Cooperation and Facilitation Protocol with Mercosur’s founding partners (Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay).

The agreement offers legal protection to foreign investors and investments: national and most favored nation treatment obligation; regulation of the direct expropriation of assets and compulsory compensation; and freedom to transfer financial assets abroad, among other measures. It innovates by establishing cooperation between governments and in providing constant and practical support to investors (facilitation) as key elements of fostering investment. As such, the ACFI creates the Joint Agreement Management Committee, which is responsible for enabling ongoing consultations between the Parties. The Brazilian model also institutes the National Focal Point/“Ombudsperson”, which promotes facilitation, understood as transparency on accessing information and bureaucratic procedures related to the realization of foreign direct investments (FDI).

Notwithstanding the protection mentioned above, the ACFI does not contain any clauses in the traditional Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements (IPPAs). Examples of such clauses are the investor-state dispute settlement mechanism (ISDS), indirect expropriation and portfolio investment coverage (ACFI only covers FDI).

The topic of e-commerce has been prominent on the international stage, especially in matters related to privacy protection, prevention of transnational illicit acts, cyber-security, taxation and consumer rights. In this context, the World Trade Organization (WTO) discussions gained momentum and encompassed topics such as data flow for commercial purposes, electronic signature, participation of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), processing of digital products, facilitation of e-commerce, package commerce, inter-operability and regulatory transparency.

For Brazil, the search for the balance between high ambition levels and greater participation is the main challenge of the new phase of discussions about e-commerce. The country is committed to defending the freedom of the internet and the free flow of data, safeguarding the protection of consumer privacy and concerns about intellectual property and cyber-security issues.

In relation to industry promotion, MRE’s activities are divided into three major blocks: (i) competitive intelligence, attraction of industrial and infrastructure investments and internationalization of Brazilian industries; (ii) promotion of industrial product exports, including representation on various Federal Government economic-trade committees dealing with financing and guarantees; and (iii) coordination of mechanisms for external economic-trade institutional dialogues, infrastructure cooperation working groups and business councils.

In the field of competitive intelligence, attraction of industrial and infrastructure investments, as well as the internationalization of Brazilian industries, qualified studies and information are prepared to guide the decision-making of foreign policy players regarding Brazil’s international investment position. In coordination with Apex-Brasil, we seek to support the participation of Brazilian companies at international fairs and events that present opportunities for both foreign investment in Brazil and internationalization for our industries. For the infrastructure sector particularly, MRE supports the realization of foreign investment attraction missions for the Investment Partnership Program (PPI) from its inception. Embassies and Consulates provide important services in publicizing, contacting potential investors and following up on demands from foreign companies that have already become PPI project partners.

In the promotion of industrial product exports, the network of Commercial Sectors (SECOMs) of Brazilian Embassies and Consulates abroad, coordinated by the Secretariat of State, acts in partnership with Apex-Brasil to create a solid and coordinated presence of Brazilian companies at trade fairs and expos. The 120 SECOMs have, among other tasks, the role of privileged dialogue with the business community of the country or region where they are located, serving as an indispensable point of contact for Brazilian exporters. In Brasilia, Itamaraty’s activities within the Export Financing and Guarantees Committee (Cofig) aim to support important and strategic operations for Brazil, with significant impacts on relevant industrial sectors, such as aeronautics and defense.

Coordination of external economic-trade institutional dialogue mechanisms, infrastructure cooperation working groups and business councils is an important channel for institutional and business dialogue to discuss background issues that affect the industrial sector. At these junctures, regulatory improvements, advances in the business environment, and other variables that define industry investment strategies are discussed. Some examples of dialogue in which Itamaraty assists are in coordinating joint economic-trade commissions, business meetings, such as CNI-Keidanren (Brazil-Japan), the Brazil-France Economic Forum, the Brazil-United States CEO Forum and the Brazil-Germany Economic Meet.

Contact:

Department for the Promotion of Services and Industry

Director: Minister Luiz Cesar Gasser

Tel: + 55 61 2030 9882

E-mail: dpsi@itamaraty.gov.br

Promotion of agriculture

In recent decades, Brazil has developed a highly competitive and sustainable tropical agriculture. Currently, the sector accounts for over 40% of national exports, contributing significantly to the balancing of external accounts. The importance assumed by the sector led the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to improve its trade promotion system, increasing the level of attention given to Brazilian agriculture through the creation of the Agribusiness Promotion Department (DPAGRO) in January 2019.

Despite the good performance of Brazilian agribusiness in foreign trade, there are several obstacles to national exports. Market access for agricultural products is complex, as it involves not only tariff issues, but also sanitary and phyto-sanitary barriers and, increasingly, aspects related to image. Faced with these challenges, DPAGRO incorporates three lines of action for the promotion of Brazilian agribusiness products.

The first line of action concerns agricultural trade policy and aims to eliminate tariff and non-tariff trade barriers. The second line, associated with promoting the image of agribusiness, aims to identify and combat unfounded information that may undermine consumers’ perceptions of Brazilian products. In turn, trade promotion aims to gather information on target markets and promote the exportation of Brazilian products.

To achieve its trade promotion goals, DPAGRO employs Itamaraty’s extensive network of trade promotion sectors, with offices in 120 posts abroad. The SECOMs set up in Brazilian Embassies and Consulates are fully qualified to identify opportunities for national producers, collect information about local markets, hold Brazilian product promotion events and support business participation in trade fairs, trade missions and business round-tables.

One of the main examples of Itamaraty’s work in promoting Brazilian agribusiness products is associated with a typical Mina Gerais product: coffee. In 2018, in the context of International Coffee Day (October 1st) Celebrations, events held in Berlin, Dubai, London, Los Angeles, Miami, Moscow, New York, Paris, Seoul, Sydney, Tokyo and Shanghai brought together buyers, distributors, journalists and consumers in all these cities to try out the diversity and quality that Brazilian coffee offers. In 2019, the initiative will be replicated to promote other products, such as cachaça and national wines.

Contact:

Department for the Promotion of Agribusiness

Director: Minister Alexandre Peña Ghisleni

Tel: + 55 61 2030 6735

E-mail: dpagro@itamaraty.gov.br

Promotion of technology and innovation: “Innovation room”

Brazil brings together a large consumer market, skilled human resources and innovation incentive instruments that provide favorable conditions for the expansion of technology businesses. Attracting investments in the technology sector makes it possible to use more solutions for Brazilian economic agents, which increases the competitiveness of the Brazilian economy as a whole. In addition, the interaction of research centers of foreign companies with agents from our innovation ecosystems brings new knowledge and strengthens the diffusion of innovation culture, as well as ensuring opportunities for the co-creation of local technologies.

Based on this diagnosis, the “Innovation Room” was created, which aims to avoid the duplication of efforts within the Federal Government and reduce costs for the attraction of foreign research and development (R&D) centers in Brazil, by creating a single door, Apex-Brasil, to assist investors and develop a “customized” package of government incentives at the federal, state and municipal levels. Itamaraty is part of the Steering Committee of the initiative along with the Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovations and Communications (MCTIC), Ministry of Economy (ME), National Bank for Economic and Social Development (BNDES), Studies and Projects Financier (FINEP), National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq), the Brazilian Industrial Research and Innovation Company (EMBRAPII). The initiative meets the express demand of the National Industry Confederation (CNI), based on the diagnosis that, before making a decision about opening businesses in Brazil, foreign companies should seek information from various government entities, which made the country less attractive.

Itamaraty and Apex work together to prospect international investors for the Innovation room in the three priority areas: information and communication technologies, energy (oil, gas and renewable energy) and agribusiness. Most of the 14 companies already served by the mechanism are from the United States, China, and Germany, already producing concrete results.

The “Innovation Room” mechanism seeks to take advantage of the opportunity created by expanding the R&D centers of large companies to countries other than their origin. Between 2012 and 2018, there were more than 800 projects to install R&D centers under these conditions worldwide. Brazil hopes to establish itself as a relevant destination for these investments.

Contact:

Department for Technological Promotion

Director: Ambassador Achilles Emilio Zaluar Neto

Tel: + 55 61 2030 9164

E-mail: dct@itamaraty.gov.br

Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs Collection

Promotion of energy and infrastructure

In the area of non-renewable energy, such as oil and natural gas, and mining, the foreign ministry, Itamaraty, carries out trade promotion and investment attraction actions abroad, always with the support of the Brazilian embassy and consulate network to convey information to strategic interlocutors and organize events that foster business opportunities for Brazilian companies and foreign direct investment in the country. Itamaraty’s commercial promotion activities take different forms, including:

  • Regulatory updates: The purpose of this front is to inform foreign stakeholders of regulatory developments in the energy and mining sectors, so that the potential investor can understand the role of Brazilian institutions and the set of rules, laws and guidelines governing the operation of the sectors. By maintaining transparency with foreign stakeholders about the regulatory framework and its updates, it seeks to foster legal certainty and predictability;
  • Disclosure of investment opportunities: sharing information about current or future bids to be held in Brazil in the non-renewable energy and mining areas. Dissemination actions performed with foreign investors increase the visibility of the event and have the potential to foster participation interest.
  • Promotion of specific actions: the network of foreign embassies and consulates regularly conducts trade promotion and investment activities in the areas of non-renewable energy and mining. These are seminars, roadshows, business round-tables, among other formats, for selected local audiences, aimed at presenting to potential stakeholders the characteristics of the Brazilian oil and gas and mining markets and opportunities for trade and investment.

In the area of renewable energy promotion, events are held to publicize investment opportunities in the electricity sector, in particular the wind and solar photovoltaic segments, which are often attended by leaders of sector associations, such as the Brazilian Association of Photovoltaic Solar Energy (ABSOLAR) and the Brazilian Wind Energy Association (ABEEólica).

In addition, the promotion of bio-energy is subject to various actions. Foreign delegations are received on missions involving the government and the private sector to foster trade relations, through providing support in the design, structuring and implementation of public policies that facilitate the development of a bio-fuels market. Events are also promoted to support private sector entry into countries interested in introducing or expanding the participation of bio-fuels in their energy matrix.

Contact:

Department for the Promotion of Energy, Mineral Resources and Infrastructure

Director: Minister Alex Giacomelli da Silva

Tel: + 55 61 2030 9950

E-mail: dper@itamaraty.gov.br

Promotion of sport and tourism

Sport

In recent decades, foreign clubs and teams – notably in Africa, the Middle East and Asia – have hired the coaches and other technical committee staff of soccer teams from countries considered world powers in this sport. In this context, Brazilian football, admired for its particular style, the so-called “soccer art”, has an unparalleled competitive advantage due to the prestige of our coaches, staff and players. While the most popular hires in the press are internationally respected coaches, countless others unknown to the general public, including Brazilians, have also benefited from the growing demand for highly skilled labor.

In addition, several countries have shown an increasing interest in sending full-time amateur and professional football players or teams to Brazil on exchanges and training camps of varying duration.

It is important to highlight that, in Brazil, there was never been a structured commercial promotion policy for football services dedicated to opening new markets or expanding into existing ones, despite the high quality of Brazilian professionals. This absence certainly limits the potential for income generation and jobs for the providers of those services.

Currently, the General Coordination of Tourism and Sport (CGTE) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is working, in partnership with APEX, on the formulation and implementation of a policy for the commercial promotion of sports services, especially soccer.

Tourism

In the field of tourism, CGTE, in coordination with the Ministry of Tourism and other relevant bodies, guides the official Brazilian position in meetings, conferences, agencies, negotiations and global, regional and bilateral forums under its remit.

CGTE also acts in proposing guidelines and coordinating, possibly along with the Brazilian Cooperation Agency (BAC), cooperation activities and international exchange in the areas of tourism and sport.

In addition, CGTE participates in the coordination, organization and preparation, with the Ministry of Tourism, EMBRATUR, Apex-Brazil and a network of overseas posts, of trade missions for government representatives, companies and entities in exhibitions, fairs and other events promoting commercial tourism.

It is worth mentioning that CGTE proposes and negotiates, in coordination with other governmental areas, agreements with other nations in the areas of tourism. Brazil and China, the latter being the country that has the most international tourists today, are negotiating the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on Tourism. The Memorandum is expected to contribute to the increased flow of Chinese visitors to Brazil.

Contact:

General Coordination of Tourism and Sport

Director: Minister Rubem Guimarães Coan Fabro Amaral

Tel: + 55 61 2030 8166

E-mail: cgte@itamaraty.gov.br

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