June 17, 2013
Brad Haynes – Reuters, 06/17/2013
For soccer fans flocking to Confederations Cup matches in Brazil’s tropical northeast next week, getting tickets to the stadium should be simple – but two in three will not find accommodations in the host city Recife.
Officials are sending visitors as far as 120 kilometers (75 miles) inland to spend the night, a detour on par with staying in Philadelphia for a New York Knicks game.
The tournament starting Saturday, a dress rehearsal for the 2014 World Cup, will lay bare for visitors what may surprise many: despite gorgeous beaches, a tempting climate and legendary hospitality, Brazil’s tourism industry pales next to its neighbors.
January 24, 2013
Guillermo Parra-Bernal – Reuters, 01/24/2013
Brazil’s central bank is committed to bringing down inflation, its president said, as he defended the government against criticism it had abandoned cornerstones of its economic policy.
Policymakers are not ruling out the use of traditional monetary tools to contain rising consumer prices, central bank President Alexandre Tombini told an audience at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland late on Wednesday.
Tombini said the central bank is committed to bringing inflation down to 4.5 percent this year. In the 12 months to mid-January, it accelerated to 6.02 percent from 5.78 percent one month before, putting it near the top of the bank’s target range of 4.5 percent plus or minus 2 percentage points.
April 19, 2012
Fox News Latino/AP, 04/19/2012
Asia is rapidly displacing the United States as the Western hemisphere’s top trading partner, pumping investments into Latin America and fueling the region’s growing middle class.
Asian investors flush with hundreds of billions of dollars in cash now see Latin America as a top business opportunity, and they’re flooding into manufacturing, construction and other industries, particularly in up-and-coming countries such as Brazil, Peru and Mexico. That’s transforming the lucrative relationship that was based primarily on exporting raw materials to Asia, an arrangement that frustrated governments eager to stimulate their own manufacturing.
Government and business officials meeting this week at the World Economic Forum in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico said the investment surge means Asia is poised to overtake the United States and the European Union as Latin America’s top trading partner over the next decade. Asian representatives have been an unmistakable presence at the forum, with South Korean, Chinese and Japanese investors making the rounds at this seaside city’s gleaming white convention hall.
September 15, 2011
The Economist – from the print edition, 09/17/2011
AROUND 11am on September 13th, a “1” followed by 12 zeros lit up on a sign in downtown São Paulo. Brazil’s impostômetro (taxometer) hit one trillion reais ($582 billion) 35 days earlier this year than in 2010. Brazil’s tax take is going up, thanks to a booming economy, crackdowns on evasion and inflation pushing people into higher brackets. But public services remain poor: roads are potholed, airports are crowded and pupils learn less than in many places with lower taxes.
So it is no surprise that the public sector is Brazil’s weakest point in the World Economic Forum’s latest Global Competitiveness Report, released on September 7th. Its government is the seventh most wasteful spender. Its regulatory burden is the heaviest, and its taxes are the most complex. According to the World Bank’s “Doing Business” report, medium-sized Brazilian firms spend 2,600 hours a year paying taxes—over twice as long as the next-slowest country and nearly ten times the average.
Such rankings have encouraged many countries to cut red tape. In Brazil, however, a loose federal structure and a constitution packed with fine regulatory detail obstruct reforms. Harmonising interstate taxes would require all state governors to agree: Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, president from 2003 to 2010, tried and failed. Many measures to cut labour overheads would require a constitutional amendment.
May 2, 2011
Brian Winters – Reuters, 05/02/2011
Over lunch, in the hallways, pretty much wherever you go at the World Economic Forum’s investor conference on Latin America, the question always comes up, usually in a confidential whisper:
Is Brazil a bubble?
Concerns that Brazil’s stellar economic growth could somehow be a credit-fueled mirage have dominated this gathering of more than 700 business and political leaders, as panel discussions dissect the risks of high inflation and other imbalances that could herald a premature end to one of the world’s biggest economic success stories.
January 31, 2011
Matthew Cowley – Dow Jones Newswires, 01/28/2011
Government ministers for Brazil, China, India and South Africa on Friday said the current proposal for the Doha round of global trade talks “should be improved to strengthen its development dimension.”
Ministers responsible for the trade talks from all four countries met Friday on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum currently underway in Davos.
In a joint statement distributed by the Brazilian foreign ministry, the ministers said that while the July 2008 negotiating package “embodies a careful balance of concessions strenuously negotiated since the launching of the Round in 2001, it should be improved to strengthen its development dimension.”
January 29, 2010
Amorim said he met Manouchehr Mottaki on Thursday on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in the Swiss resort of Davos.
Western diplomats have said Iran has effectively turned down a proposal on enriched uranium designed to prevent the material being used to make atomic bombs, and the United States and European allies are pursuing broader U.N. sanctions against Tehran.
Amorim said Brazil was not seeking to mediate in the dispute. “But we have held talks with Iran and other countries… Western countries,” he told Reuters.
April 13, 2009
Antonio Regalado-The Wall Street Journal, 04/13/2009
For the economic elite gathering in Rio de Janeiro on Tuesday at a regional meeting of the World Economic Forum, the city’s hillside slums may loom even closer than usual.
Recent boom years eased inequalities between the rich and poor. But now Latin America has plunged into a recession. That has leaders facing two tasks: boosting economic growth and improving the plight of the region’s poor.
Some answers are starting to emerge. Governments that can afford to are talking up huge public-works programs in an effort to create jobs while improving roads and ports. In Brazil, the government of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva recently unveiled a plan to build one million low-income homes. In nearby Chile, major spending programs are also under way.