January 24, 2020
1. Foreign investment in Brazil increased in 2019
In 2019, Brazil received the largest volume of foreign investment in the world. According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), throughout the last year, foreign direct investment (FDI) in Brazil amounted to USD $75 billion, behind only investments made in the United States, China and Singapore. In 2018, Hong Kong, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom were ahead of Brazil in the investment ranking. The growth in foreign investment is seen as an achievement of the administration’s economic team, especially because the global flow of investments dropped 1% throughout 2019. During the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Economy Minister Paulo Guedes highlighted the administration’s commitment to reforms in macroeconomic issues, which can lead to more foreign capital invested in the country. Despite the favorable economic situation, confused internal politics and exaggerated situations created by the administration result in unnecessary obstacles for investments. Read this week’s political analysis at Brasília Report.
2. President Jair Bolsonaro travels to India
On Thursday, President Jair Bolsonaro set out for India. Bolsonaro was invited by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the BRICS summit in November. Bolsonaro is scheduled to take part in the Republic Day celebrations in New Delhi on Sunday. The trip will also include meetings with Indian President Ram Nath Kovind and with executives and representatives of productive sectors. The presidential entourage includes representative Eduardo Bolsonaro – the president’s son – Agriculture Minister Tereza Cristina and Science and Technology Minister Marcos Pontes. Bolsonaro says he plans to close trade deals in the agribusiness, oil and gas, bioenergy, health and infrastructure sectors. According to data from the Foreign Affairs Ministry, trade between Brazil and India amounted to USD $7 billion in 2019.
3. Brazil on alert for coronavirus
On Thursday, the Ministry of Health said that patients suspected of infection by the coronavirus have not contracted the disease. There were five people with similar symptoms to patients in China. The patients were not tested for the disease because their symptoms do not fit the list of patterns established by the World Health Organization (WHO). According to officials of the Ministry, Brazil is at Alert level 1, which means that health authorities are aware of risks of contagion in Brazil. The final stage of alert is Alert level 3, when there is a report of the virus within the country.
G1: Ministério da Saúde afirma que está em alerta inicial para coronavírus e descarta 5 casos suspeitos
Estado de S. Paulo: Brasil entra em alerta para transmissão de coronavírus; 5 casos suspeitos são descartados
4. Administration will ask to join international deal authorizing foreign companies in public bidding
President Jair Bolsonaro and Economy Minister Paulo Guedes announced that Brazil will make a formal request to join the Government Procurement Agreement (GPA) of the World Trade Organization. The deal allows foreign companies to join public bidding processes alongside domestic companies. The GPA is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, and has 28 signatories, including the United States, Canada, Japan and the European Union. Negotiations for a country to join the deal can take a few years. According to Guedes, the plan is to increase the number of service and product suppliers in Brazil, leading to prices that are more competitive as well as reducing corruption in bidding processes.
O Globo: Guedes em Davos: Brasil abrirá licitações públicas a estrangeiros para fazer ‘ataque frontal’ à corrupção
5. Brazil drops position in corruption perception rankings
Brazil dropped one position in the world ranking of corruption perceptions. The information was published by Transparency International in its Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI). The study assesses corruption perceptions in the public sector through interviews with authorities. Developed countries such as Finland and Denmark top the ranking. Brazil had its worst score: 35 points, the same as in 2012. The country is tied at 106th place along with Egypt, Macedonia, Algeria and Albania, and far behind other Latin American countries such as Uruguay (21st place), Chile (26th) and Argentina (66th).
Click here for the Brasilia Report, a weekly analysis prepared by JeffreyGroup Senior Advisor in Brasilia, Gustavo Krieger.