Companies from Brazil are seeking investment abroad for tourist and real estate projects in the northeast of the country, as well as buyers for holiday real estate in the region, renowned for the beauty of its coastline.
These are the objectives of an agreement signed between the Brazilian Export and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex) and the Association for Real Estate Development in Northeastern Brazil (Adit Nordeste).
"The project includes all states in northeastern Brazil," said the president of Adit, Felipe Cavalcante. The idea is to engage in commercial missions and international trade shows, to promote workshops and road shows abroad, as well as to bring in representatives from international investment funds so they can get to know the region.
According to Cavalcante, 40 companies comprise the newly established association, which should include 60 companies by the end of the year. These companies have projects of various sizes in the fields of tourism and real estate in general.
"Current ongoing projects in northeastern Brazil amount to between 5 billion reais (US$ 2.3 billion) and 6 billion reais (US$ 2.8 billion)," claimed the executive.
Since they vary in size, the enterprises appeal to all sorts of budgets: from large investors interested in investing on resorts construction, to regular tourists willing to own a small holiday apartment by the sea.
Our primary targets will be European countries such as England, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Holland and the Scandinavian nations, but in the mid-term, the idea is to attract Arab investors as well. "The Arabs are an interesting option, since the sector is fully compatible with their investing profile," said Cavalcante.
According to him, in the mid-term, the association should begin approaching the Arab market by presenting the northeast as a location turned to becoming one of the world’s largest tourist destinations in years to come.
Cavalcante has even contacted a representative for Nakheel, the company in charge of constructions such as those of artificial islands "The Palms", in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates.
In order to boost the confidence of investors and real estate buyers, Cavalcante claimed that the companies are going to guarantee the legal security of the enterprises, including environmental and ecological zoning. "The real estate properties are going to receive ‘stamps’ ensuring their legal compliance," he said.
R$ 2.4 million (US$ 1.1 million) will be invested in commercial actions forecasted in the agreement with Apex. The agency expects to attract at least US$ 8 million worth of investments in 2007, and US$ 16 million in 2008.
One of the companies that intends to capitalise its business through foreign investment is Método Engenharia, which is currently building a resort in Aracaju, the capital city of the northeastern state of Sergipe, and is willing to start another one in Fortaleza, the capital of Ceará, early next year.
"We have been seeking foreign investment, and I was approached by parties interested," stated Roberto Rocha, who is the director of the hotel and hospital business unit at the company.
Método, according to Rocha, has even been approached by a company from Dubai to build a hotel and business center in the Emirates, but the deal did not follow through.
Método participated in the construction of some buildings considered beacons in the architecture of São Paulo, among them Hotel Unique, designed by architect Ruy Ohtake, and Sesc Pompéia, by Lina Bo Bardi.
The participation of the northeast of Brazil in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Brazil rose from 13.8% to 14.1% between 2003 and 2004, according to figures recently disclosed by the Brazilian Institute for Geography and Statistics (IBGE).
The GDP of the nine states of the Northeast reached 248.4 billion reais (US$ 115.8 billion) in 2004, according to the IBGE. The region includes the states of Bahia, Sergipe, Alagoas, Pernambuco, Paraíba, Rio Grande do Norte, Ceará, Piauí and Maranhão.
The region is among those attracting the largest volume of tourists in Brazil. The region is hot all year round and its large coastline – all of the states in the region are bathed by the Atlantic Ocean – includes some of the most beautiful beaches in the country.
Apart from that, the number of international flights to the region is on the rise, mainly from Europe. European tourists are already buyers of holiday homes in the region.
Anba – www.anba.com.br