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Foreigners Invest US$ 13 Bi in Brazil in 4 Months, a 26% Boost

Ironworks gets the lion share of foreign investment US$ 12.7 billion entered Brazil in the form of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the first four months of the year. This represents an increase of 26.2% over the same period in 2007, according to a sector report disclosed by Brazil's Central Bank.

The sector of the economy that received the largest volume of funds was services, with US$ 5.6 billion, followed by industry, with US$ 4.9 billion, and the primary sector, with US$ 1.25 billion.

Within these sectors, the field that attracted the largest volume of capital was ironworks, with US$ 2.24 billion, followed by financial services, with US$ 1.68 billion, trade, with US$ 725 million, mining of metallic ores, with US$ 633 million, and the vehicle industry, with US$ 607 million.

In April alone, the entry of foreign direct investment into the country totaled US$ 3.9 billion, growth of 11.5% over the same period last year. The main origin of funds in April was Spain, followed by the United States, Portugal, Luxembourg and Canada.

For the year, the Central Bank forecast is that the economy of Brazil should receive US$ 32 billion in FDI.

According to an article published by Agência Brasil, the official news agency of the government of Brazil, the current account balance between Brazil and the rest of the world was US$ 3.310 billion negative in April, accumulating US$ 14.068 billion in the year.

The value is already above that forecasted by the Central Bank for the whole of this year, US$ 12 billion. Market analysts forecast a negative total of US$ 20 billion in current account transactions this year.

In April 2007 there was a US$ 1.806 billion surplus, and in the period from January to April that year, the surplus was US$ 2.047 billion.

The Brazilian trade balance surplus was US$ 1.744 billion in April and reached US$ 4.579 billion in four months, against US$ 4.178 billion in March last year and US$ 12.898 billion from January to April 2007, according to Agência Brasil.

The income and service account (transfer abroad of profit, dividends and interest as well as expenses on foreign trips) ended the month with a deficit of US$ 5.331 billion. Unilateral transfers generated a positive result of US$ 8.674 billion.

The estimated Brazilian foreign debt in April reached US$ 200.2 billion, with reduction of US$ 2.5 billion over the volume estimated in March, according to Agência Brasil.

Brazilians Expend 25% More Overseas

Brazilian tourists spent US$ 939 million abroad in the month of April. The figure was disclosed by the Central Bank of Brazil. According to the financial institution, greater expenses abroad by Brazilians were due to the appreciation of the Brazilian real against the dollar, which makes trips abroad cheaper.

The increase in expenses abroad reached 25% in April over March this year, when they were at around US$ 750 million. That is, Brazilian purchases abroad grew US$ 188 million from one month to the other. According to the Central Bank, the figures were also boosted by greater Brazilian income in recent years.

This, however, generated a US$ 500 million deficit to the sector, as expenses of foreigners in Brazil were lower. They spent US$ 439 million in Brazil in April. This is well above the US$ 171 million deficit registered in the same month last year.

In the accumulated result for the year, according to the Central Bank, the deficit in the travel account is US$ 1.43 billion, against US$ 433 million registered in the same period in 2007.

Brazil is working to attract more foreign tourists. The objective of the Brazilian Tourism Institute (Embratur) is to make tourism revenues obtained by the country reach US$ 10 billion a year by 2010.

In 2007, foreigners left in Brazil a total of US$ 5 billion. The target, which is part of a plan called Aquarela, is also to increase the number of foreign tourist from 5.5 million a year to 7.9 million by 2010.

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