Category Archives: Uncategorized

Brazil Plans to Boost Tourism by Dropping Visas for Americans

Brazil plans to eliminate visitor visas for Americans, as President Jair Bolsonaro seeks to turn around the lagging tourism sector.
Brazil is Latin America’s largest economy but has long punched below its weight in tourism. The country currently receives 6.6 million foreign tourists a year, roughly half that of New York City alone.
Brazil is also seeking to eliminate visas for Canadians, Japanese and Australians.
Other plans to overhaul tourism policy include doubling the country’s spend on foreign tourism advertisements to more than US$34 million by 2023, an existing target of doubling international visits to 12 million annually by 2022 remains in place.

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Brazil Expected to Lead Emerging-Market in 2019

According to a survey by Bloomberg, the new year will usher a rebound in emerging markets, with Brazil leading the charge.
Equities, currencies and bonds will likely outperform their developed-nation counterparts in 2019, the survey of 30 investors, traders and strategists by Bloomberg showed. Brazil was the top pick for all three asset classes, with Indonesia another standout.

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Credit Line open for Individuals Solar Projects

The Brazilian Northeast Bank, Banco do Nordeste (BNB), announced that individuals can now access its FNE Sol credit line for residential solar energy projects.
FNE Sol finances all components for centralised, micro and minigeration systems using solar photovoltaic (PV), wind, biomass or small hydropower sources.
This means that residential clients, including condominiums, will be able to finance up to 100% of their investment with BNB, if the value does not exceed BRL 100,000 with a loan repayment term of up to eight years and a grace period of six months.

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Paraíba, the largest wind power complex in Latin America

Iberdrola will build the largest renewable energy project in Latin America in the northeast of Brazil:
The complex of Paraíba, will be the largest land-based wind farm in Latin America once it enters into operation in 2022/2023. This large renewable facility will be located next to the town of Santa Luzia, in one of the windiest areas of the Americas, and will consist of a total of 18 wind farms, of which three are already in operation -Canoas, Lagoa I and Lagoa II- and 15 others are in different stages of development, Iberdroal announced in a press release.
Paraíba will reach a total installed power of 565.5 MW thanks to a total of 181 wind turbines with the following characteristics:
– 136 SG132 wind turbines, with 3.4 MW unit power, one of the most modern and efficient wind turbines on the market, with 65-meter long blades.
– 45 wind turbines of model G114, of 2.1 MW of unit power.
This project will favour the creation of local employment thanks to a forecast of hiring more than 1,200 workers during the construction works.

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Trump trade war delivers farm boom in Brazil

The Bella Vita luxury condominium tower rises 20 stories over the boomtown of Luís Eduardo Magalhães in northeastern Brazil. Its private movie theatre and helipad are symbols of how far this dusty farming community has come since it was founded just 18 years ago.
Nearby farm equipment sellers, car dealerships and construction supply stores are bustling too.
The reason: China, a growing trade war between the United States and China is re-ordering the global grains business. In response to Trump administration tariffs on Chinese goods, Beijing this year imposed levies on U.S. agricultural products. Among them was a 25 percent tariff on soybeans, the single most valuable U.S. farm export. U.S. growers sold $12 billion worth to China last year alone.
China, the world’s largest importer of soybeans, has scaled back purchases of U.S. grain to feed its massive hog herd.
It is turning instead to Brazil, which has ridden the wave of Chinese demand for two decades to become a global agricultural powerhouse. Brazilian soybean exports to the Asian country jumped 22 percent by value between January and September, compared to the same period a year ago.
Brazilian producers are not only selling more grain, their soy is fetching $2.83 more per bushel than beans from the United States, up from a premium of just $0.60 a year ago, thanks to stepped up Chinese purchases.
Brazil’s farmers produce much more grain than is needed at home. Foreign customers are responsible for the country’s agricultural boom. Nearly 80 percent of Brazil’s soy exports now head to China.
The city of Luís Eduardo Magalhães is a testament to the importance of this international trade. Located in the state of Bahia, with farms stretching in every direction, the formerly unincorporated rural area in less than two decades has swelled to 85,000 people.
Major employers here include fertilizer factories, seed producers and processors of soy and cotton. The area “relies 100 percent on agriculture,” said Carminha Maria Missio, a farmer and president of the local growers union.
The local real estate market is surging too. Another new luxury condo tower is slated to open next year. Single-family homes are sprouting throughout the city. Prices for prime farmland are up 37 percent since 2012, according to consultancy Informa Economics IEG FNP.
Brazil’s total soy area is expected to expand to a record 36.28 million hectares this season due to robust Chinese demand, according to a Reuters poll of analysts.

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More plans for big solar parks unveiled

Brazilian conglomerate Grupo Rio Alto is planning to deploy another 210 MW of solar plants in the state of Paraiba. It has announced in a press release it intends to expand the capacity of its Coremas solar complex from 93 MW to 300 MW.

The complex, located in the desert of Paraiba, Southern Brazil, currently consists of  three units: the Coremas I, II, and III, of around 30 MW each, which were selected in the first three renewable energy auctions held by the Brazilian government between 2014 and 2015,

The company stated that the planned new seven facilities are approved by local authorities and ready to build, and that these projects are intended to compete in Brazil’s future auctions for solar and renewables.

The project is being financed by local banks Banco do Nordeste and Banco BTG Pactual, while also being financially backed by the European Union, and Nordic Power Partners, a joint venture between the IFU (Danish Sovereign Fund) and EE (European Energy).

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Protected areas could help boost Brazil’s national economy, study finds

Brazil’s protected areas such as the Amazon and Caatinga are known globally for the incredible biodiversity treasures they hold. In 2016, there were approximately 17 million visitors in Brazilian protected areas and according to a new study published this week, greater investment in the environmental management of these areas could help yield even more economic gains for the country.

The book Quanto Vale o Verde: A Importância Econômica das Unidades de Conservação Brasileiras (broadly translated as “How much is green worth: the economic importance of Brazil’s protected areas”), published by Conservation International (CI-Brazil) in partnership with the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) and the Federal Rural University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRRJ) and partially funded by WWF, shows how protected areas could help generate revenue and employment opportunities for people and Brazil’s national economy.

The study outlines the potential contribution of protecting green areas to the national economy. This includes forest products, public use of protected areas, carbon stocks, water production, soil protection, and tax revenues at the municipal level.

According to the leader of the WWF Forests Initiative, Marco Lentini, the study is a landmark step toward recognizing the importance of protected areas for the well-being of Brazilian and global society. “Not only from an environmental point of view—the role of these areas in retaining greenhouse gases, regulating the climate and conserving water resources is extraordinary—but also from an economic point of view, since products like wood, chestnut and tourism can become an important source of sustainable income for the populations of the Amazon.

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FGTS threshold to finance homes increased to 1.5M reais

Brazil’s National Monetary Council (CMN) raised the price threshold of homes eligible to be financed by a worker severance fund to 1.5 million reais, in a move that may benefit the country’s largest homebuilders.

The increase from the current cap of 950,000 reais comes in addition to other changes in regulations. Industry groups such as Abrainc, an association of homebuilders, expect the new regulation to bring an additional 80 billion reais to the pool of funds available to finance homes in the country.

The workers severance fund FGTS offers home loans as one of several ways it invests money and generally offers lower rates than regular loans.

Brazilian homebuilders are in the midst of recovering from a drop in demand during Brazil’s deepest recession in generations.

“The new threshold will allow companies to sell current inventory, easing new launches,” said Luiz Antonio França, head of Abrainc.

Celso Petrucci, chief economist for the real estate industry group Secovi, said the new regulations were expected to help raise activity in the sector.

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Brazil Residential Sale Prices Stable in June

According to the latest FipeZAP Residential Sales Index, which tracks Brazil residential real estate prices in the country’s twenty biggest cities, prices in Brazil’sresidential sales sector remained relatively stable in June showing a nominal decrease of -0.06 percent.

According to FipeZAP,  six of the twenty cities surveyed showed increases in June: Distrito Federal (0.37 percent), Goiâna (0.31 percent), São Paulo (0.21 percent), Santo André (0.18 percent), Recife (0.16 percent), and Contagem (0.01 percent).

However, none of the cities that closed June positively were able to outpace the IPCA/IBGE inflation rate.

Of the fourteen cities that showed declines in residential sale prices from May to June, the biggest drops were seen in Niteroi (-0.66 percent), Salvador (-0.55 percent), Campinas (-0.46 percent), and Rio de Janeiro (-0.42 percent).

As usual, Rio de Janeiro registered the highest average residential real estate sale prices in the country. In June, the Cidade Maravilhosa had an average listing price of R$9,556 per square

Of the twenty cities surveyed, the cities with the lowest average residential sale listings were Vila Velha at R$4,708, Goiânia at R$4,134, and Contagem at R$3,498 per square meter.

The FipeZap Index monitors real estate sale prices across twenty Brazilian cities and is a monthly gauge of real estate prices. It is prepared jointly by the university research center, Fipe (Economic Research Institute Foundation) and the Brazilian online real estate platform, Zap Properties.

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Dozens of blue macaws to be reintroduced to Brazil

About 50 of the last Spix’s macaws, the blue parrot made famous in the hit animation movie “Rio,” will be reintroduced to the wild in Brazil from captivity in Europe, officials said Saturday. Brazilian Environment Minister Edson Duarte is due in Brussels on Sunday to sign the agreement with Belgium and Germany for bringing the birds back in the first quarter of next year.

The Spix’s macaw originates from north-east Brazil but is considered extinct in the wild, with only scores remaining in captivity. The medium-sized parrot sports feathers in a variety of shades of blue. It was last seen in the wild in 1990, according to the Association for the Conservation of Threatened Parrots (ACTP), which partners the Brazilian government on the project to revive the species.

The current batch of survivors being repatriated from Europe will initially stay in a special centre due to open in Berlin, where they will be prepared for the transition.  They will then move to a 72-acre reintroduction centre in a conservation area of Brazil’s north-eastern state of Bahia, with the first being released into the wild in 2021.

Brazil’s environment ministry said that international breeding programs for the birds in captivity have seen the population grow from 79 in 2012 to 158 this year.  Destruction of habitat and capture for trafficking are the main reasons for the near disappearance of the parrots.

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