In 2010, the Brazilian civil construction industry should grow from 7% to 8%. The rate is higher than the expansion of the country's GDP, which should increase by 5% next year. One of the reasons for such growth, aside from foreign investment in the sector, is the federal government's My House, My Life housing program.
That federal program should put an end to the apathy of real estate buyers due to the crisis, and should contribute to the strong growth in 2010.
Data from the Brazilian Central Bank show that the civil construction sector employs 1.9 million registered workers, or 5% of all formal jobs in Brazil.
From 2003 to 2008, the sector created 808,000 new formal jobs, a growth rate higher than the economy's. In 2009, the sector has already created 210,000 jobs, or 18% of all new formal jobs in the country. The civil construction production chain accounts for 16% of the GDP.
Brazil is already a member of the select few countries with certified beaches. The beach is Jurere Internacional, in the island of Florianópolis, capital of the state of Santa Catarina. The beach is the first in South America to bear the Blue Flag seal, a social-environmental certification awarded by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE).
The Brazilian Ministry of Tourism informs that, across the world, 3,200 marinas and beaches are certified by this non-governmental organization, currently headquartered in Denmark. The FEE is a network of 59 countries in all continents. International spots such as the Algarve region (Portugal), Ibiza (Spain) and Côte D´Azur (France) are some of the places where the blue flag flutters in the wind.
An article from Agência Brasil news agency reveals that the underground economy has increased its share of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP, the sum of all goods and services produced in the country) by 0.9% in June this year, compared with December 2008.
The figure was culled from a survey conducted by the Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV), which measures the underground economy ”“ a segment that encompasses both informal activity and illegal procedures adopted by sectors of the formal economy, such as tax evasion and non-compliance with law.
According to the survey, in Brazil, the underground economy is influenced by four factors: greater growth of formal economic activity, which generates demand for informal goods and services; higher tax burden, which encourages migration from the formal to the underground economy; greater perception of corruption, which also contributes to the expansion of the underground economy; and exports, which have the opposite effect, i.e., the larger the export volume, the smaller the underground economy.
The Dubai World default should not affect the emirate's foreign trade, in terms of supply and demand. To the director of the representative office of the Bank of Brazil in Dubai, Renato Gerundio de Azevedo, there may be repercussions when it comes to obtaining credit for export and import operations.
"Due to what happened, there might be restrictions on credit or loan expiration dates," said the executive. "may lead to the adoption of a more conservative stance until (Dubai World's situation) is defined", he added.
According to him, even though there is awareness of the limited impact that the holding company's default may have in foreign trade, "financial markets are conservative." "It is too early to know whether there will be a reduction (in trade flow), it cannot be predicted," he said.
The director of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Hassan Al-Hashemi, declared during a visit to the Arab Brazilian Chamber, in São Paulo, that commercial operations decreased as of the onset of the international financial crisis, but that now business is back to the pre-crisis levels. "Things are better than we expected," he claimed.
Hashemi, the senior executive of Foreign Relations at the Dubai Chamber, Maysa Humadi, the Sales vice president of the Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza), Mohammad Al Banna, and the Jafza sales manager for Europe, Mansoor Al Bastaki, participated last Tuesday, December 1st, in a seminar on business opportunities in Dubai, held at the World Trade Center, in São Paulo. The event was organized by the Brazilian Export and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex), with support from the Arab Brazilian Chamber.
The leading black pepper producing and exporting state in Brazil, Pará has plans of increasing foreign sales of the spice by at least 15% in five years. Black pepper already is the second item in the export basket of the state of Pará, and generated US$ 90 million in revenues in 2008.
The forecast this year is for sales of pepper from the state to exceed US$ 100 million. Data supplied by the government of Pará show that from 1999 to 2008, revenues have totaled US$ 783 million.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply, black pepper is the leading agricultural product in the Pará export basket. Only iron ore and wood trade compare with pepper sales in the region.
In the international market, Brazil, which once was the leading exporter, currently occupies the 3rd position, after Vietnam and India, and accounts for 15% of the sales volume. The state of Pará accounts for 90% of the Brazilian production, which totals to 40,000 tonnes of black pepper each year. Production in the state concentrates in the municipalities of Castanhal, Tomé-Açú and Baião.
The sector generates roughly 25,000 direct and 100,000 indirect jobs. During harvest time, which lasts three to four months, 50,000 workers are employed. The remainder of national production comes from the states of Espírito Santo and Bahia, and domestic consumption totals 5 to 6 tonnes per year. The leading consumers of Brazilian black pepper, with 35,000 tonnes exporter per year, are the United States and the European Union.
This year, Brazilian exports to Yemen grew 50% from January to October, compared with the same period of 2008. In the first ten months of the year, foreign sales from Brazil to the Arab country generated revenues of US$ 290.5 million, equivalent to nearly 4.2% of everything that Yemen should import this year, which amounts to approximately US$ 7 billion.
Exporters believe that Brazil is capable of expanding its export to Yemen even further. For such, the country needs to diversify its export basket and add value to the products shipped to the Arab country, whose economy should see growth of 3.8% this year, and possibly 5% in 2010.
Presently, foreign sales to the Arab country are quite concentrated: meats and sugar, even though grain is growing significantly in the Brazilian export basket to Yemen.