Bilateral Relations Brazil – Finland

On February, 14 2012, Mr Jyrki Katainen, Prime Minister of Finland was received by Dilma Roussef, President of Brazil, with the second largest ever official delegation sent from Finland to anywhere in the world. They talked about strengthening bilateral cooperation on science, technology, innovation and education.

On Education, Mr Katainen assumed the commitment of providing better access to institutions and research centers in Finland, to students and researchers under the Brazilian national program Science without Borders. Representatives from the Brazilian national institutions that coordinate the program will sign an agreement that adds Finland to the program. It has also been agreed on adding the entrepreneurial sector to the educational opportunity in order to qualify workers already in the job market.

It the press release by the Brazilian Ministry of External Relations, it is said that in order to strengthen bilateral cooperation on environmental issues, the countries are structuring a Memorandum of Understanding.

The bilateral diplomatic relations between Brazil and Finland has in records 6 (six) bilateral treaties, from which two are not valid. The existing agreements are as follows:

  • Agreement on Economic and Industrial Cooperation – celebrated in 1981 and put into force in 1983
  • Agreement on Cultural, Educational and Scientific Cooperation – celebrated in 1988 and put into force in 1990
  • Agreement to avoid double taxation and to prevent tax evasion on matters of income taxes – celebrated in 1996 and put into force in 1997
  • Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the Areas of Climate Change and the Development and Execution of Projects under the Clean Development Mechanism from the Kyoto Protocol – celebrated and put into force in 1997

It is important that private sector, civil society and other interests groups follow up on these governmental agreements. They are important instruments and subsidies for project development initiated by institutions other than governmental agencies.

Governmental subsidies to foreign companies in Belgium looking for access to European markets

On March 5th 2012, in Curitiba Brazil, Thierry Muschang, a Luxembourg PwC Director, presented the beneficial aspects of the project for attracting foreign companies to the Belgium / Louxembourg region, constructed in partnership with IDELUX, a government agency that was represented at the meeting by Joel Marinozzi, the Business Development Manager from the Economic Development Division, while in a mission in Brazil. The meeting was organized by the local Center for International Business (CIN) at the Federation of Industries of the State of Paraná (FIEP) and had the support of the Consulate General of Belgium in São Paulo, Brazil.

Located at the heart of Europe, the region of Belgium/Luxembourg means a strategic gateway to the European markets, very competitive in the international logistics point of view. This advantage is enhanced by the local government subsidies offered to foreign companies and specially start-ups who wish to install a regional office and/or a regional manufacturing distribution warehouse.

South African trade mission to Brazil

The South African delegation on a trade mission to Brazil was receptioned in the city of Curitiba this past week by the local trade association (ACP) in partnership with the Federation of Industries in the State of Paraná (FIEP). The mission received the support of the consulate general of South Africa in São Paulo and the Department of Trade and Industry of South Africa, and was composed by delegates from the wine industry, energy, civil engineering, architecture and tourism sectors.

Many of the delegates, specialy from the construction sector, were involved in the preparation for the World Cup 2010 in South Africa, and had the goal of identifying business opportunities in Brazil in order to transfer know how for the preparation of the upcoming World Cup 2014. Juliana Michelon Alvarenga from Aldeota Global, accompained by Wagner Giovani Silva, a technology manager from SOCIESC, a regional educational institution for technology development, met with a couple of the companies during the business rounds.

During the first meeting with Mr Fumani Dlomu, the director for Avuxeni Construction CC, a company from Highveld that provides electrical engineering services, the subject addressed was the solar energy market in SouthAfrica. According to Mr Dlomu, the sector is expanding and continuous growth is foreseen specially for low income housing programs. The equipment is today imported from China and specially Korea, being the later the equipments with better efficiency than chinese solar technology. He also mentioned that it is very promising to promote transfer of technology to South Africa. Aldeota Global also presented information on the Ex-Im Bank financing alternatives for importing US solar energy systems into Africa.

The last meeting was with The Western Cape Investment and Trade Promotion Agency of South Africa (WESGRO). The head of international trade and development, Mrs Seanne Kube, mentioned her concerns about how tough the Brazilian market is when in their attempts to conquer market share with the South African products. She also spoke about the well developed medicine technology capacity of the country and how the first open heart transplant was sucessfully executed in South Africa.

Aldeota Global also presented a pac to the members of the delegation with a document containing the highlights from the study recently published by The World Bank in partnership with IPEA, the Institute of Applied Economic Research, entitled Bridging the Atlantic, Brazil and Sub-Saharan Africa: South-south partnership for growth. The highlights were on the investment and economic complementarities between Brazil and African countries.

Meeting with US Vice Consul for Commerce, Transportation and Intellectual Property

On March 28th we had the opportunity of meeting with Mrs. Linda Neilan, from the Economic Department of the US Consulate General in São Paulo, Brazil, at the local trade association (ACP), during her visit to Curitiba. Mrs Neilan works in the US diplomatic body with research on Commerce, Transportation and Intellectual Property and began her considerations by refering to the growing bilateral relations between the USA and Brazil as historically significant to the new century, and also pointed the upcoming visit from Dilma Roussef to the United States in the nexts few weeks.

During the meeting, the present parties identified and discussed a few sectors of possible bilateral cooperation promotion, in special to the city of Curitiba, located in Paraná, south region of Brazil. Tourism and education seem to have significant perspectives, considering that Americans have not yet discovered Brazil as a destination, and also in the moment of the Brazilian Federal Program Science without Borders.

In the transportation sector, it is evident that the USA is able to find plenty of opportunities in Curitiba to cooperate in the convergion of the already planned transportation system into a multi modal sytem, being that the city is heavily dependable on its outdated bus model and where the city seems to have not evoluted accordinly to its population growth.

Juliana Michelon, founder of Aldeota Global, presented a bilateral international strategy and overview of opportunities for the US solar market in Brazil. The strategy highlights the current battle that the sector in the US is facing with chinese solar systems imports and presents the Brazil – US bilateral strategy as a hemispheric cooperation strategy, able to provide these two countries with a new position of competitiveness in the international solar market.

Forum Brazil – Africa for Cooperation and Development

Diplomatic delegations, government authorities academic body and financial institutions debated at the hotel Gran Marquise, Fortaleza, Brasil, on May 9-11 2012, on bilateral and multilateral relations between Brasil and Africa. The event was organized by Universidade de Fortaleza, through its post graduate program on business administration.

  • Infraestructure and development of commercial relations were the main objectives of the speeches on May 10th.
  • Necessity of logistic bounding Northeast Brazil and Angola by sea and air transportation.
  • Brazil and Angola recently signed a 2 billion dollar exchange budget account, garanteed by the bilateral oil deposit accounts.
  • Transfer of technology still seems the best investment opportunities for both countries, in relations to the developed world countries.
  • Universal access to electric energy in Africa is still a challenge that Brazil recently solved in its social system. This may be the main know how in need of exchange between Brazil and Africa, through PRODEEM, PROINFA, Luz Para Todos programs from MME – Ministry of Mines and Energy of Brasil.

Brazil – Japan Energy Saving Solutions

On its second visit to Curitiba, the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) had a reception at the Federation of Industries of the State of Paraná for the Japan – Brazil Energy Saving Solutions Seminar. Along with the organization, many Japanese companies presented their portfolio of products and investment interests in Brazil, some of them considering the city of Curitiba as a possible destination for their business expansion in the country. The event was held on July 13th, and was supported by the International Business Center and the local Japan – Brazil Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The Japanese products that were presented included large storage capacity batteries for solar photovoltaic systems (Panasonic Latin America), valves, compressors and cooling systems (Mayekawa), ESCO financial solutions for energy efficiency (Mitsubishi UFJ Lease and Finance), and a compact solar – wind hybrid generator (Sinfonia Technology).

We had the chance of meeting with Mr Nobuo Takagi, from the Japanese Business Alliance for Smart Energy Worldwide, and followed up on the solar project we have for the northeastern region of Brazil. We had presented this project last November, 2011, on the first JETRO mission to Curitiba. On this second occasion, we extended the conversation to speaking about current market conditions for the renewable sector in Brazil, and how the new normative resolution for distributed generation should boost the sector within the next years.

Mercosur FTA negotiations: European Union and Canada

The Brazilian Federal Secretariat for International Trade launched a national public call on the negotiations for Free Trade Agreements between Mercosur and the European Union and Canada.

According to Tatiana Prazeres, the head Secretary of SECEX since January of 2011, the prompt actions of consulting the private sector for opinion position update in the subject is in response to clear orientations given by Minister Fernando Pimentel and other ministers from the Federal Chamber of International Trade CAMEX to conduct such negotiations with plenty offer of acknowledgement and opportunities for manifestation from the private sector.

Through this process, representative associations and entities from the Brazilian private sector will have sixty days, starting from the day that the call was released in the Official Diary of the Union (Oct.26th), to send information on which NCMs they represent, followed by suggestions and justification on the maximum period for tariff elimination. They may also send information on which NCMs should be left out of the FTA.

Free Trade Agreement between Mercosur and the European Union has been undergoing negotiations since 1999, butinterruptedfrom 2004 until 2010, when they regained bilateral interest. Negotiations between Mercosur and Canada are not yet in course, but an FTA between the parties has been under prospection by representatives. Further information can be found in Portuguese in the following official link.