Rio de Janeiro based Iko Poran Association extends its activities to new destinations, including South Africa, Costa Rica, Uganda, Peru and many more. One of the highlights of the new destinations are the animal conservation volunteer projects in South Africa. There is a program for Big Five Monitoring, volunteers are tracking elephants, buffalos, lions and big cats in the Africa Bush. See also the video below:

Published in Business
Monday, 15 May 2017 20:11

Brazil a Failed State?

A reader has asked the “philosophical” question in the title. As he points out, the economy is in shambles, corruption continues rampant, inflation threatens to run away, protests seem futile because no politicians seem to do anything except cover their backsides and pad their bank accounts.

Published in Economy

Durham-based NOF Energy, the UK business development organisation for oil, gas, nuclear and offshore wind sectors, has announced Brazilian organisationSistema FIRJAN as its latest Global Partner.

The agreement was reached with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston, Texas.
The two organisations received support from UK Trade & Investment Brazil, which helped to facilitate the MOU following an inward market visit to the UK in February this year.
Sistema FIRJAN is a non-profit, private organisation, working in partnership with the State of Rio de Janeiro, with more than 7,500 associated companies and in excess of 7,700 employees working for the business community statewide.
This new partnership will support the development of Rio de Janeiro's energy sector through engagement with NOF Energy and its membership, which is made up of established and experienced UK supply chain companies.

Sistema FIRJAN President, Eduardo Eugenio Gouvêa Vieira (left) and Joanne Leng MBE, Deputy Chief Executive of NOF Energy (right) sign the MOU agreement

The two organisations will reportedly work closely together to share industry intelligence and economic information that will benefit member companies in addition to organising trade visits between the two markets.
NOF Energy has been developing links with South America and, in particular, Brazil for a number of years and has established strong links with local industry and organisations.

This is the fourth Brazilian organisation to join NOF Energy's global partner network alongside The Federation of Industries of Rio Grande do Sul State (FIERGS), Rio Negócios and Federacao das Industrias do Estado de Sao Paulo (FIESP).
NOF Energy has forged partnerships with more than 30 international business development organisations and economic development departments of overseas governments to form its Global Partner network.
Joanne Leng MBE, Deputy Chief Executive of NOF Energy, said: "Sistema FIRJAN is a very important organisation for the Brazilian energy sector. This agreement with further support our members' ambitions to trade with the South American energy sector while enabling Brazilian companies to enhance their access to the skills and innovative technologies developed by UK suppliers."
Eduardo Eugenio Gouvêa Vieira, Sistema FIRJAN President, said: "We are proud of this newest partner. It all started in February 2014 when a mission of UK government from Rio de Janeiro, leaded by us in partnership with Rio state government, went to the UK.
"The group visited Newcastle and Aberdeen and during the time there, FIRJAN made several contacts and started a discussion with NOF about the possibility of cooperation between the two organizations in the oil and gas segment, to exchange experiences".
Jamie Hardesty

Published in Economy

China's Premier Li Keqiang arrived in Brasilia on Monday to sign agreements on infrastructure, energy and aviation that experts say could reach 100 billion dollars. The South American tour also includes Colombia, Peru and Chile and aims to restructure China's resource-driven trade with Latin American countries by including more value-added products.
PM Li Keqiang will be meeting with President Rousseff Tuesday in Brasilia and sign a raft of agreements before flying to Rio do Janeiro (Pic Xinhua)

Li is scheduled to meet Brazilian President DilmaRousseff in Brasilia on Tuesday, sign the agreements and meet the press.
He will also address Chinese and local corporate leaders about Beijing's plan to upgrade its trade with Latin America's largest economy through better financing and targeted industries. Li will then fly to Rio.
"I expect to deepen political trust and economic cooperation with Brazilian leaders with an focus on industrial capacity, equipment manufacturing cooperation and infrastructure construction," Li said upon his arrival at the airport in Brasilia.

High Speed Railways

China previously had said deals expected to be signed with Brazil include a feasibility study for a rail link from Peru's Pacific coast to Brazil's Atlantic coast. The project seeks to lower transport costs of Brazilian products to China. It also would fit into China's plan to export globally its expertise on high-speed railways.
Under the Program of Investments in Logistics, Brazil will invest 65.8 billion in construction and expansion of its aging highways and railways. A total of 20.8 billion will be used to double Brazil's 5,700 kilometers of highways, while 45 billion will be used to build 10,000 kilometers of railways, according to Xinhua News Agency.
Chen Duqing, China's former ambassador to Brazil, said the construction projects mean big opportunities for Chinese companies as Brazil strives to upgrade its infrastructure, especially the transportation system.


"It is imperative for the country to modernize its transportation network, so as to improve efficiency and encourage spending. Chinese companies are usually at a more advantageous position for these infrastructure construction biddings because they come with a financing plan," Chen said.
The investments are to be made through the private sector, with the government selling highway and railway concessions to private companies.

Political trust and economic cooperation with focus on industrial capacity, equipment manufacturing cooperation and infrastructure, anticipated PM Li

Brazil's transportation system consists mainly of main road and railway networks, where the railway capacity accounts for only 24%. Railway networks are used mainly in the south, the southeast and northeast of Brazil, more than 35% of which was built 60 years ago.
Chen said logistics are a main problem because high costs have increased Brazil's agriculture prices and reduced their competitiveness with overseas producers.
The country relies heavily on road transportation for grains, sometimes impossible to transport during rainy periods. Railways and waterways are cheaper and faster, but underdeveloped.

According to the Brazilian Association of Cereal Exporters (ANEC), the average price for shipping soybeans from Brazil has been nearly 98 dollars per ton over the past three years, which is five times higher than in the United States and considered the most expensive in the world.
However former ambassador Chen said Chinese companies must get involved in Brazil to learn about local laws and rules before completing deals.
Brazilian daily newspaper O Globo reported a change of interest among Chinese investors for value-added industries.
"There is a kind of evolution of Chinese investment in Brazil. We have already been in a third wave. It started in the energy sector with China's State Grid, and now there is much interest in railways," O Globo quoted GuilhermeBilli, head of the trade-promotion sector at the Brazilian embassy in Beijing.
The State Grid Corporation of China has invested more than 1bn dollars to construct and manage power transmission projects in Brazil. Chinese investors are also very interested in railways and "all the large railways groups in China want to operate in Brazil," added Billi.
China has been Brazil's largest trade partner since 2009, accounting for 18% of the country's foreign trade. Despite a slight decrease, bilateral trade last year was 78 billion, according to Brazilian authorities.

Published in Economy

China will invest 50 billion dollars to help overhaul Brazil's aging infrastructure, the government announced on Thursday, ahead of an official visit by Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang next week. Brazil has repeated that it was determined to overhaul its dilapidated roads, railways, airports and ports.
Premier Li arrives Tuesday in Brasilia on an official visit and will also visit former capital Rio. He then flies to Colombia, Peru and Chile.
President DilmaRousseff fighting to revive the economy said she wanted greater trade cooperation with Beijing and would look to strike a free trade accord.

"There are 50 billion in new projects," said Jose Graca Lima, Brazil's Undersecretary of State with special responsibility for Asia and Oceania. "We shall have to await the end of the visit to expand upon which projects," he said.
Battling a fifth straight year of poor growth and engulfed in a political graft scandal involving its state oil giant Petrobras, Brazil is seeking to revamp sagging infrastructure ahead of next year's Rio Olympics, the first Games to be held in South America.
Li arrives Tuesday in Brasilia on an official visit and will also visit former capital Rio. The Chinese premier will then fly to Colombia, Peru and Chile on a South American swing aimed at consolidating Beijing's influence in the region.
China has been Brazil's chief trading partner since 2009 and one of its main sources of foreign investment. Bilateral trade jumped by thirteen between 2001 and 2013 when it reached 83.3 billion dollars.
Brazilian exports moreover outstripped imports from China by 8.72 billion in 2013 as the largest South American economy benefited from high Chinese demand for commodities. That demand has since dipped, putting a brake on Brazilian growth.
Brazilian President DilmaRousseff, fighting to revive a tanking economy hampered by poor competitiveness and infrastructural neglect, said on Wednesday she wanted to see greater trade cooperation between Brasilia and Beijing and would look to strike a free trade accord.
The Chinese cash infusion is set to cover various sectors, including auto parts, transport, energy, ports, hydroelectric power and railways.
The two countries also hope to bring to fruition an ambitious scheme creating an inter-oceanic railroad stretching across Brazil to Peru, allowing Brazilian exports to be shipped to China. The proposed rail link would stretch some 3,500 kilometers from the port of Santos to the Peruvian Pacific port of Ilo.

Published in Investments

Brazil's central bank has announced plans to reduce the amount of money commercial banks keep in reserve, in a bid to boost economic growth.
The bank says the measure will free up some $13bn (£7.6bn), which banks could lend to businesses and individuals.
The Brazilian economy is expected to expand by 1% this year - the fourth consecutive year of sluggish growth.
The central bank announcement comes less than three months before presidential elections.
President Dilma Rousseff will seek a second four-year term in October.
In 2010, when she was elected, Brazilian gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 7.5%.

Growth dropped to 2.7% in 2011, 1% in 2012 and 2.5% last year.

Published in Economy

The Brazilian state of Pará, neighbouring Suriname and in the Brazilian Amazon will receive a $26.4 million loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to stimulate its ecotourism activity in the region in order to generate new employment opportunities and increase household income.
The State of Pará with excellent connections to Suriname, has vast environmental assets and cultural resources that might serve as basis for a strong tourism industry, but this potential has not yet been fully developed. Pará receives only 0.29 of the international tourism that visits Brazil.

Published in Tourism
Monday, 20 January 2014 00:00

Brazil World Cup Tourism

More flights scheduled to meet demand

Aviation authorities in Brazil have authorised nearly 2,000 extra flights to cope with soaring demand during this year's World Cup.

There has been mounting controversy over air ticket and hotel prices charged to fans faced with crossing a country the size of the continental US.
Some companies have already set price ceilings for domestic flights, though maximum prices are still substantial.
Three million home and 600,000 foreign fans are set to travel for the event.

Published in Tourism
Wednesday, 12 February 2014 00:00

2014 World Cup stadium workers threaten to strike

Demanding better working conditions

further delays for football

Workers at a World Cup stadium in the city of Manaus are threatening to go on strike to demand better conditions following a third recent construction-related death at the venue. A walkout could further delay the completion of the Arena da Amazonia just months before the start of football's showcase tournament.

Published in Tourism

How to lose the WorldChampionship Football and still            

win the Cup.



"We lost the trophy, but Brazil won the World Cup," said Aloisio Mercadante, Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff's chief of staff, in a statement.

"Brazil showed that they know how to win, lose, host and celebrate peace with respect and a 'make yourself at home' atmosphere that won the world over."

According to government figures, 1 million foreign tourists visited Brazil during the month-long event, far exceeding its pre-Cup projection of 600,000 visitors coming to the country from abroad.

About 3 million Brazilians traveled around the country during the event, just short of the expected 3.1 million.

Additionally, according to the government, of the million foreign visitors, "95% of them said they intend to return."

"We were saying that we would host the World Cup of World Cups," said President Rousseff in a statement. "Indeed, we staged the World Cup of World Cups.

"We had one problem, our match against Germany. However ... we beat the pessimistic predictions and hosted the World Cup of World Cups with the immense and wonderful contribution of our people."


The government's assessment of the World Cup's impact on travel was significantly more enthusiastic than a report last week in the Wall Street Journal that called the event "a bust for Brazil's domestic travel industry."

Citing figures from the Brazilian Airline Association, that story projected total air travel in Brazil falling 11% to 15% during the World Cup compared with the same period in 2013. The story blamed hiked-up prices and large crowds for scaring off domestic tourists.


Economists who study the impact of large sporting and other events on local and national economies tend to be less sanguine than the governments that host them.

"Every time you get a World Cup tourist you get one less regular tourist," Dr. Andrew Zimbalist, a sports economist and economics professor at Smith College in Massachusetts, tells CNN.

"Generally speaking, the World Cup does not benefit the host's tourism industry."

Zimbalist says it's doubtful Brazil's international tourism profile will experience long-term positive impact as a result of the World Cup.

He points to heightened media coverage around the event that focused on "unsavory conditions" facing the country, such as violence, poverty, pollution and social unrest, as illustrated by public demonstrations against the huge amounts of public funds spent on new infrastructure.

Furthermore, he said, the World Cup won't provide sustained promotion for the smaller of the event's 12 host cities.

The Amazonas city of Manaus is an example.

Zimbalist cited public money spent on a stadium that will eventually become underutilized. Rather than inspire coverage of the beauty of the surrounding Amazon, media reports tended to focus on the new facility and the conflict that surrounded its construction.

"It's very hard to see how that's going to promote tourism in Manaus," says Zimbalist.

More where that came from

Turning mega-sporting events such as the World Cup and Olympics into proxy tourism campaigns remains an uncertain enterprise.




Some cities continue to reap the benefits of hosting.

Barcelona has seen a tenfold increase in tourist numbers since it hosted the 1992 Summer Olympics.

Meanwhile, a decade after hosting the 2004 summer games, Olympic venues in Athens have become decaying ghost towns.

For now, it's unlikely there will be enough time to assess the long-term economic impact of the World Cup on Brazil's economy in advance of the country's next huge event -- the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Published in Sport
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