Since last October, when Brazil’s Ministry of Labor and Employment reduced investment restrictions on foreign individuals, investments have more than doubled, and most of them have gone to the tourism sector.
According to the Ministry’s general coordinator of Immigration, Paulo Sérgio, the amount rose from US$ 17 million to around US$ 42 million.
“This is productive investment, contributing to the formation of firms that will generate employment, work, and income. He [the foreigner] invests, transfers these funds to the country through the Central Bank, incorporates these resources into the assets of a company here in the country, and, through this, we are generating a large number of new jobs,” he affirmed.
According to the coordinator, 320 foreign individuals have already received authorization to invest in the country. Each one of them generates at least 10 jobs. The state that has received the largest total investment from foreign individuals is Rio Grande do Norte, with US$ 10 million.
“In 2005 the largest volume of resources invested was in the Northeast, mainly in the tourism sector. They are often foreigners who come to the country, take an interest, and want to open a small hotel, a restaurant, or some other business activity connected with entertainment and tourism,” he informed.
According to the secretary of Tourism of Rio Grande do Norte, Nelson Freire, domestic tourism increased 20% in the state in the first half of the year, in comparison with the same period last year, while foreign tourism grew more than 50%.
“The foreigner invests, generates employment and income, and injects hard currencies, such as the euro and the dollar, into the local economy,” he affirmed, adding that Rio Grande do Norte created around 120 thousand direct jobs during the period and did around US$ 416 million in business.
Bahia is the state that received the second largest amount invested by foreign individuals, with US$ 7.6 million, followed by São Paulo, Ceará, and Rio de Janeiro.
Since the end of last year the minimum amount a foreign corporation is required to invest in Brazil has been lowered from US$ 200,000 to US$ 50,000, allowing small firms to open branches in the country.
Companies that set up business in Brazil will have to create at least ten new jobs within two years after they begin operating. These measures were believed to mainly benefit the tourism and hotel sectors of the economy.