2019 Global Economic Outlook: World Bank Report

The World Bank released its 2019 Global Economy Outlook in January this year. In this post I try to highlight the key facts and information from their press released and patially from the report as well.

Global Summary

  • International trade and manufacturing activity have slowed down.
  • Intensifying trade tensions could result in even weaker global growth and disrupt global interconnected value chains.
  • Borrowing costs for emerging and developing economies have increased.
  • Uprising in commodity exporters has stagnated and activity in commodity importers is decelerating.
    • Energy prices have fluctuated, mainly due to supply factors.
    • Other commodity prices have also weakened – particularly metals – posing further challenges to commodity exporters.
  • Past increases in public and private debt could heighten vulnerability to swings in financing conditions.
    • Debt vulnerability (debt-to-GDP ratio) is rising in low-income countries.
  • Maintaining low global inflation may become a challenge as long-term factors that helped reduce inflation in past decades may lose momentum.
East Asia and Pacific remains one of the world’s fastest developing regions. Regional growth expected at 6% in 2019.
  • China 6.2%
  • Indonesia 5.2%
  • Thailand 3.8%
Europe and Central Asia. Financial stress in Turkey is weightening down regional growth, expected at 2.3% in 2019.
  • Turkey 1.6% (due to high inflation, high interest rates and low market confidence)
  • Poland 4%
Latin America and Caribbean. Regional growth is expected at 1.7% in 2019.
  • Brasil 2.2% (assuming fiscal reform is quickly put in place).
  • Mexico 2%
  • Argentina -1.7% (as deep fiscal consolidation leads to loss of employment and reduced consumption and investment)
Middle East and North Africa. Regional growth expected to rise to 1.9% in 2019. Domestic factors such as policy reforms are promoting growth in the region. Oil exporters expected to pick up slightly and GCC countries expected to grow 2.6%.
  • Iran -3.6% (due to sanctions)
  • Algeria 2.3%
  • Egypt 5.6% (as investments is supported by reforms and consumption picks up)
South Asia. Regional growth expected to accelerate tp 7.1% in 2019, by strenghtening investment and robust consumption.
  • India 7.3%
  • Pakistan 3.7%
  • Sri Lanka 4%
  • Nepal 5.9%
Sub-Saharan Africa. Regional growth expected to accelerate to 3.4% due to diminished policy uncertainty.
  • Nigeria 2.2% (assuming that oil production will recover)
  • Angola 2.9% (assuming that oil sector recovers)
  • South Africa 1.3% due to constraints on domestic demand and unlimited government spending.

The United States remains stable due to fiscal stimulus and better than expected domestic deman, with GDP growth projected at 2.9% in 2019. Growth in the European Union, on the other hand, is weaker than expected at 1.6%, due to slowing exports and as monetary stimulus is withdrawn.

Source: World Bank Press Release

[Podcast] Christine Lagarde’s call for action – IMF World Economic Outlook

In today’s podcast we are going to be speaking about the IMF World Economic Outlook, which is a publication that was release by the International Monetary Fund in October of 2018. I actually want to focus this conversation a little more on the press conference that was delivered in the World Economic Forum on January 21st of 2019, where a panel was held with directors of the IMF – the Managing Director Christine Lagarde, she is very well known, but she also had the support of an economic counselor, who is the director of their research department, in order to deliver the sort of information that we are going to review today. What I think was very interesting – the highlight of this study, of course – will be Lagarde’s message because she introduced us to the study. She gave us an overview of what is actually happening in the global economy. But she had a very strong call for action and, of course, when that comes from Christine Lagarde I think that we need to focus and pay attention. She is a powerful woman, she is running the IMF, and it was very interesting to see her out there and deliver this message.

In the beginning she tried to make this analogy between cross-country skiing with the global economy. It was quite interesting, it was kind of cute to see her – such a powerful woman – come down and say: “here,” – in a very educational manner – “this is what we expect from the economic environment. We want predictability, less risk. We want things to run smoothly, just kind of like cross-country skiing”, which is a personal practice. So that was quite interesting.

But Lagarde did not have a very exciting message to tell us. She actually had some unfortunate news for the global economic environment. She told us, here, we have to deliver this message that we are downgrading the growth forecast since october 2018, because risks are on the rise and we have some bad news on the trading front, so we have some threats in the trading environment which is sort of escalating all sorts of problems and risks in the global economy and for that reason they had to announce a further downward revision of the forecast that was published in October. This is pretty much because of the significantly higher risks.

Higher trade tariffs and rising uncertainty over future trade policies. That is a big issue that is one of the key sources of global economic risks. Lower asset prices, higher market volatility, which these three combined are tightening financing conditions and that is including for advanced economies. And this is in a scenario of high debt burden in both private and public sectors are carrying a high debt load right now.

But she does give us the message that we are not facing a global recession right around the corner. This does not mean that a major downturn is happening. But what is happening is that a sharper decline in global economic growth is happening, there are many issues, including geopolitical worries as well.

But she says that this scenario actually shows us a very clear message for policy-makers. One is that they need to address remaining vulnerabilities. And two, is that they need to be ready if a serious slow down were actually to materialize. So, if a recession is actually to materialize, policy-makers need to be ready. Third message is that policy-makers need to harness existing growth momentum, and she is very emphatic. She says, yes, there is growth momentum, so we need to take advantage of that and harness these sorts of opportunities.

Policy-makers also need to work on reducing high government debt, and she is making a point here that this opens space to fight future downturn in the global economy. So, economies need to be ready if that comes to take place.

As far as monetary policy, they should be data dependent and exchange rates should be allowed as shock absorbers, and I thought that that was kind of interesting because of the whole conversation behind exchange rate manipulation. Next message is about economic reforms. They need to be in place in order to push growth, specially in labour markets and infrastructure investments.

So, these were the messages that she believes that this risky scenario is showing us. But she also makes a point in saying that if we must deliver the promise of the digital revolution, it has to be inclusive to all people, including measures to help workers that are displaced because of the automation of work, and we also need to create opportunities for women and young people.

She has a very important point here on International Cooperation. She said that for efficient and effective collaboration in the international system we have to increase our efforts in resolving the shared problems and that meaning, we need to fix the global trading system. There is a call for action here for the G-20 saying that they have to deliver results. This is a call for the World Trade Organization reform. I think this took place in Buenos Aires. She says that we need to collaborate in fighting corruption and tax evasion, and also, collectively address climate change.

Now, one very interesting message, I think she nailed in closing her speech talking about something that she calls New Multilateralism. And that was brilliant, because she runs away from the term globalization. Because people have been feeling very uncomfortable about the globalization topic, and globalization issues. Countries are becoming more nationalist driven, and she puts this here that is not becoming a unit, it is staying multilateral but acting together. And I thought that that was quite brilliant. She gives us a new perspective on globalization. Kind of running away from the term, but still sticking to togetherness. Kind of nice. And that includes macroeconomic policies and structural reforms that need to be applied to many economies in the world.

Now, going back to the report. In October of 2018, the IMF had this projection of global growth at 3.7% in 2019 and they reduced that to 3.5% in 2019 and then they also reduced to 3.6% in 2020. Now this is for global growth. The growth in advanced economies is forecasted at 2% in 2019 and 1.7% in 2020. And then emerging markets and developing economies at 4.5% in 2019 and 4.9% in 2020.

Both in the report and the press conference, they really put emphasis on the rising trading tensions and then the policy uncertainty that raise concerns about the global economic prospects, because these factors could actually lead firms to postpone or forgo capital spending, and then hence slow down economic growth and investment and demand.

One very interesting point in the report – and this is where I am going to close this podcast with – is the point that the IMF is now keeping an eye on increasing market power. They also think that this is a risk for economic growth. They said that the concerns about corporate market power is growing pretty much for two reasons. One is because, in the past decades, there has been some macroeconomic trends that can be somewhat the fault of corporate behaviour. Low investments, despite of rising corporate profits, declining business dynamism, low productivity growth and falling labour income. This is quite interesting because they pretty much raise a flag here saying, here, we have to review the behaviour that is happening in the private environment, we have to follow up on actions that are going to change this sort of trending behaviour. And, I mean, if we are talking about Corporate Diplomacy, there is a lot to be talked about on here – activities and strategies that need to be built in order to respond to such a claim that corporate market power can actually account for these macroeconomic trends that are not so positive for the overall economy.

And then the second reason about the rising concern in the market power of corporations is that the rise of tech giants has raised questions about whether this trend – of the tech giants becoming more powerful – and if this trend continues, the IMF is saying that we need to rethink the policy that is needed in order to maintain fair and strong competition. I thought that it was very nice to put in the context of Corporate Diplomacy. So, there is a lot that could be explored in this report. This increasing market power session in this report itself is evidence that government is becoming aware and it actually wants to tackle the sort of increase in power for private environment. And all sorts of strategies that have to be built, not because the private environment needs to win in the game. We actually want a balanced governance strategy nowadays.

Brazilian government reduces import tariffs on ICT and capital goods

The Brazilian Foreign Trade Chamber (CAMEX) issued Resolutions No. 14 and 15/2018, reducing to zero percent the import tax on capital goods (780 items) and computer and telecommunications goods (50 items). The tariff reductions that entered into force on February 28th under the Brazilian Ex-tarifário regime are temporary and will be in place until December 31st, 2019 as established by the new resolutions.

The Brazilian Ex-tarifário regime consists of the temporary reduction of the tax on imports of goods when there is no equivalent national production. The special customs regime is intended to promote a reduction in the cost of investments and to produce a multiplier effect on employment and income on differentiated segments of the national economy. Camex Resolution No. 66/2014 established the rules for the concession of the Ex-tarifário regime.

Technical Trade Barriers Brazil: The case of organic imports

National regulation for organic production in Brazil was implemented on January 1st of 2011, demanding all imported organics to be certified according to the specifics of Brazilian norms. This new regulatory framework brought a particular condition of technical barriers to trade in the country, as it makes it unfeasible for foreign brands to locally certify their organic manufacturing processes due to the complex demand of tracking all raw material used in production, extending it to the need of multiple certification packages far down the supply chain.

For US brands, for example, the inability to conform to such measures becomes particularly proven by the fact that the largest and most recognized certifying agency in Brazil (IBD) has only two certified US producers in their database – both in the very primary base of agricultural production.

This article is an attempt to initiate a debate on possible alternatives to stimulate market transformation and perhaps openness to organic imports. In this sense, we propose the following four potential strategies for local market development:

Strategy 1: Conform to certification norms

Though in itself the national regulation structure is one of extremely difficult comformity, the program is setting the bar at a high quality assurance standard for organic farming and industrialization practices – not at all prejudicial to a conscious consumer demand. Files containing the regulatory framework for organic certification in Brazil are available for download in this link.

Strategy 2: Adopt a market driven approach

Adaptation is a premise of international markets, so if no other option seems to be feasible, then foreign companies must adapt the product to local market features.

Brazil is a potential market with roughly 200 million consumers, which makes it unquestionable that the cost-benefit relation of investing in marketing and package redesign is no higher then either certifying or interfering in regulation. Plus, in order to be commercialized in accordance to current regulations, organic products must show the BR certification logo on the package, so some level of adaptation would occur either way. In fact, one strong argument behind the defense of current regulatory practices is on policy reciprocity, being that brazilian brands very frequently must conform to foreign market conditions.

Based on Decrete 6323, Chapter II, Section III – Of the Technical Regulation of Production. Art. 9o. Paragraph 2o. The norms for products from sustainable organic extrativism will be applied only to those which have as its objective the identification as an organic product.

The suggestion here is finding a substitution for the branding term organic, yet making sure it doesn’t fall into the specifics of organic regulation. This will most likely drive the consumer to rethink the concept. Some adapted branding examples are: Sustainable Production, Sustainable Culture, etc. In short, developing a local marketing strategy that compensates for the lack of organic certification.

We do however, have to observe the following Decrete 6323, Chapter IV, Section III. Of Publicity and Advertising. Art. 23. It is forbidden, in the publicity and advertising of products that are not produced within organic systems of production, the use of expressions, titles, marks, images or any other mode of information capable of inducing the consumer to error in regards to the organic quality of products.

But we should also notice that there is room for interpretation in the text, and specially when crossing this passage with the one previously mentioned – of not objectively identifying (i.e. cathegorizing) the product as organic or even as a product sourced from an organic system of production (i.e. if you don’t meet the specifications in the law, then you’re not producing from such a system). This strategy implies the creation of a new market concept for toxin free production.

For some particular cases, what is present today in Brazil is a market opportunity to focus on the consumer who is lactose intolerant, and/or in the phases of substituting animal products for a plant based diet. And lastly, a peculiarity of the brazilian market is that imported brands are often placed as premium products, and brands from developed markets are often a reference to high quality standards, and therefore pricing is not a limitation when companies still have room for similar profit margins expected from organics per se.

Strategy 3: Diplomatic articulation for regulation revision

Though a time intensive, unsure and expensive process, participation in regulation revision if foreseen in the following passages:

Law 10831, Art. 11, Paragraph 1. The regulation will contemplate the participation of representatives of the agricultural sector and civil society with recognized participation in any stage of the organic production chain; and

Law 10831, Art. 11, Paragraph 2. The regulation of this Law will be revised and updated when necessary and, in the maximum, every four years.

These revisions are executed through a specific mechanism, as per Decrete 6323, Chapter III, Section II – Of the Commissions. Art. 34. Responsibilities of CNPOrg (National Comission). II. Propose regulations that have as objectives the improvement of the organic production chain at the national and international levels, considering proposals sent by CPOrg-UFs (Comissions from each state).

These are the comissions to which proposed formulations must be addressed. An interesting suggestion is to provide an international mechanism  under the structure of an Economic Complementation Agreement for thorough transfer of technology and technical capacitation of local producers, allowing significant improvements in national quality and productivity, specially targeting the country’s national family farming programs.

Needless to mention, Brazil is a developing economy that is greatly damaged by a lack of good public governance practices, and local producers, broadly capillarized into a network of small traditional farming communities, would significantly suffer the social impacts of fierce corporate competition.

Strategy 4: Mobilize a dispute or agreement under the WTO TBT

Claiming that the brazilian government is violating the World Trade Organization’s Technical Barriers to Trade Agreement is an option. In this link you will find a copy of the agreement with key highlights in consideration to this particular case. However, the text can be interpreted in such a broad and subjective manner, that under the agreement you will find arguments for both in favor and against current regulatory practices in Brazil, as likely as in many cases of TBT disputes in the WTO system. So, ultimately, this option is more reliable if an inclusive counterproposal for standardized practices is put in place.

Author: Juliana Michelon Alvarenga. BSc. International Relations, MBA Business Intelligence. [julianama@aldeotaglobal.com]

Brazilian import tax reduction for ITC and industrial equipment and machinery

Through its International Trade Chamber (CAMEX), the Brazilian government has released new resolutions reducing the import tax rates of 217 different types of industrial equipments and machinery not produced nationally.

As an attempt to promote domestic industrial and production growth, capital goods such as engines, pumps and machines, and several products for the ITC sector have had their import tax rates reduced from 16% down to 2% through the special customs regime Ex-Tarifário.

The special regime allows temporary import rates reduction of manufactured items which are not produced by the national industry. Private initiative can also file requests for specific products.

The complete list of the applicable NCMs and further legislation are available in the Portuguese language through the following links:

Accession of the Russian Federation to the World Trade Organization

Russia’s accession to the WTO cleared a major hurdle when the WTO Working Party on its accession approved, ad referendum on 10 November 2011, the package spelling out Russia’s terms of entry to the organization. The Working Party will now send its accession recommendation to the 15 – 17 December Ministerial Conference, where Ministers are expected to approve the documents and accept Russiaas a WTO Member. [1]

All unrestricted WTO documents on accession of Russian Federation.

As part of the accession accord, Russia has agreed to undertake a series of important commitments to further open its trade regime and accelerate its integration in the world economy. The deal offers a transparent and predictable environment for trade and foreign investment.

From the date of accession, the Russian Federationhas committed to fully apply all WTO provisions, with recourse to very few transitional periods (see details below). The Russian Federation’s commitments will include the following:[2]

  • Market access for goods
  • Market access for services
  • Export duties
  • General commitments on market access
  • Industrial and agricultural subsidies
  • Pricing of energy
  • Sanitary and phytosanitary measures (SPS) and technical barriers to trade (TBT)
  • Trade-related investment measures
  • Protection of trade-related intellectual property
  • Transparency
  • Functioning of the Custom Union betweenRussia,KazakhstanandBelarus

There is considerable concern about the disparity in incomes in Russia. The richest Russian regions are 67 times richer than the poorest Russian regions in nominal terms and 33 times richer when price differences between the regions are taken into account (World Bank, 2005). The richest regions include the European North, Moscowand the resource rich regions of Siberia and the Far East. The poorest regions include the North Caucuses, Southern Siberia and Central Russia.[3]

All text is reposted Ipsis litteris from its official sources for information purposes only.

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.

Economic rise of Brazil and segmentation of investment opportunities

Brazil has lived a unique economic situation in the past decades, after an economic boom at the end of the sixties and beginning of seventies (known as the economic miracle), when the country passed from an agricultural based economy to an industrial based economy. Such transformation and growth came with high inflation rates, and after the first and second oil crisis the country over went great period of stagnation at high inflation rates until the nineties, when many economic reforms brought inflation control and market opening.

Around 2000, Brazil started to grow more vigorously, maintaining its inflation rate under control. This scenario allowed the country to receive considerably economic indicators, such as the reduction of poverty of its population from 35.2% to 21.4%. Millions of people rose to middle class, creating with this a rise in consumption of goods as the primary factor of stimulation to the country’s growth, minimizing the impact of financial crisis from the developed world in its economy and, according to data published by the World Bank, managing to achieve economic growth at the rate of 7.49% in 2010.

Along with the economic growth and rise of the population to middle class, Brazil diversified its trading partners, establishing significant commercial relations in the Middle East and Asia, lessening its dependence on the US and European markets, and limiting the impacts of international crisis in its own economy.

Another relevant factor of today’s growing interest from international players in the Brazilian market is the upcoming international events to be hosted in the country such as the 2014 Worlds Cup and 2016 Olympic Games, attracting considerate investments, improvement in its infrastructure, stimulating economic dynamics and opening doors to international tourism. Such scenario brought many opportunities for entrepreneurs in many sectors. We have listed below the most significant ones:

Sectors connected to domestic consumption
Because of growing purchasing power and easier access to credit, Brazil shows higher consumption indicators and so increasing opportunities in retail.

Infrastructure, logistics and telecommunications
With growth of exports and of its economy, new opportunities are found in the concession of roadways, public transportation, and distribution logistics such as with current expansion and consolidation of national railroad systems in response to the need of transporting growing internal production from rural areas to cities and ports. Also, because of upcoming international events such as 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games, and also growing digital inclusion of lower income population, investment opportunities for expansion and implementation of necessary telecommunications infrastructure for growing access to broadband networks.

Renewable energy technology
Brazil is known for its majorly clean energy matrix due to favorable natural conditions for hydroelectric generation. However, in order to expand and diversify its energy matrix and technical capacity, recent public policies and governmental funding programs have stimulated market development for other renewable energy technology such as thermal and wind for the past decades and currently extending its policies to stimulate solar and ocean technology development.

Heavy machinery for manufacturing and civil construction
With easier access to credit and governmental incentives for industrial production and value-added exports, manufacturing units are increasingly undergoing infrastructural and technology improvements such as incrementing production growth through modernization of manufacturing facilities and expansion of production capacity. Much of current demand for heavy industrial machinery is being met with imports, because of scarce in-country machinery production.

Agribusiness
As world population grows especially in Asian countries such as China, incapable of meeting its internal food demand, and also considering the Brazilian historical capacity for agricultural production and commodities exporting, business opportunities in the food supply chain are found today with less technical barriers like the ones seen in European and North American markets. Also, ethanol production is attracting increasing investments because of current growth in the use of biofuels in Brazil and in the developed world, as it lowers the dependency of such countries in the oil industry.

Visit of Asia-Oceania Ambassadors

Curitiba received the visit of Ambassadors from the Asia-Oceania group last Thursday, March 29th. Their agenda began with a breakfast event at the local trade association (ACP), and we were there to reception the delegation. The visit was coordinated by Mr. Brett Hacket, the Ambassador of Australia in Brazil, followed by the Ambassadors of Korea, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand and Thailand. Each one of their speeches was carefully listened to and the intentions and opportunities of bilateral cooperation between Brazil and each one of these countries are listed below, from the perspective of the foreign Ambassadors.

It is evident that Brazil is becoming a center point for international relations in Latin America, but it is impressive how foreign delegations come with exclusive intentions of selling products and services to Brazil. This is only natural, of course, but from a strategic point of view for the internationalization of markets, it is not sustainable (if this is the correct and convenient word to mention). Not all manufactured products will have opportunities in the Brazilian market (or foreign markets as a whole). Countries have internal industrial capacity themselves. From a broad perspective, countries should not only consider selling products or services, but instead, transfering manufacturing facilities or business units as part of constructing economic complementary strategies for the globalization of international markets.

Australia, Ambassador Brett Hacket:
Mr. Brett Hacket started his speech by stating that “The World has discovered Brazil.” In terms of opportunities for bilateral cooperation between Australia and Brazil, Mr. Hacket outlined Infrastructure, manufacturing and agriculture as key sectors. In technology, research and innovation, he believes that the center of bilateral relations must be education. The Australian government has made available one thousand places within their higher education institutions for the program Science without Borders, and this number is foreseen to double within the next couple of months.

Republic of Korea, Ambassador Kyong-Yong KIM:
The Minister of Foreign Relations, Mr. Kyong-Yong KIM spoke about the FTAs (Free Trade Agreements) that his country has in the region, as an advantage for business between Brazil and his country, also undergoing negotiation for FTA with Japan and China. The main areas of interest are science and technical, and industrial cooperation. The Minister also mentioned that Brazil is very important in the context of landrace for agriculture.

Philippines, Ambassador Eva G. Betita:
Brazil and the Philippines hold a combined 300 million consumer market for manufacturing trade exchange. Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) is offered in the Philippines. Vale, a Brazilian company in the mining industry is present in the country for copper and gold extraction. International Terminal Container Services, a company from the Philippines is present in the port of Recife, Brazil. The Ambassador also mentioned how Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) is an experience that has led to governance improvement in her country. She also expressed how the Philippines has shown growing interest in the Brazilian market and made many visits, but the country is still waiting for the return from the Brazilian side.

Indonesia, Ambassador Sudaryomo Hartosudarno:
According to Mr Hartosudarno, Brazil and Indonesia already have significant relations in the tourism sector, because of the inflow of Brazilian tourists in the region, in special visiting Bali. He also outlined the Indonesian industry on Oil Palm and musical instruments as relevant activities from bilateral cooperation.

Malaysia, Ambassador Sudha Devi Vasudevan:
Mrs. Vasudevan mentioned the internal reforms in Malaysia and the cultural similarities between her country and Brazil. She mentioned as relevant sectors for cooperation manufacturing of parts for industry of oil and gas, ICT and multimedia, pharmaceuticals, construction material, palm oil, tourism and education services. Also, Malaysia has FTAs with Japan, Australia, New Zealand and China.

New Zealand, Ambassador Jeffrey Mcalister:
Investments and services are more important for bilateral cooperation between Brazil and New Zealand. The main sectors are agriculture, livestock, dairy, forests, gastronomy and equipment. There is a high flow of Brazilian students to New Zealand, but they wish to put more of these students in high education institutes and not just only for language studies as it is today. For this, NZ is also preparing for the Science without Borders program. Currently, NZ and Brazil are negotiating a revision on their flight schedule, trying to establish a direct flight between both countries. Mr. Mcalister also showed his concerns on the growing of protectionism in Brazil and mentioned that a FTA has been proposed between New Zealand and Australia, and Mercosul.

Thailand, Ambassador Tharit Charungvat:
Thailand is an exporter for rice, rubber, sugar and tapioca, among other products. Relevant sectors is tourism and the airport of Bangkok means possible experience exchange. Thailand has twelve expositions in order to put buyers and sellers together in one place, and has a very attractive currency exchange rate for the Brazilian currency Real.