Basic Political Developments



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Basic Political Developments

  • Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva asked U.S. President George W. Bush for an ``additional effort'' to successfully complete the Doha Round of the World Trade Organization negotiations.

  • Angolan deputy minister of Social Communication, Manuel Miguel de Carvalho "Wadijimbi", met Jan. 29 with the secretary of Social Communication of the Brazilian Presidency, Franklin Martins. The two discussed the possibility of an exchange of experience between social communication institutions of Angola and Brazil.

  • Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva proposed to U.S. President George W. Bush a meeting of world leaders to help conclude global trade talks, a government spokesman said Jan 29. Da Silva phoned Bush and suggested a meeting could take place in Europe in April 2008.

  • Heavily armed police cracking down on gangs ahead of Rio's famed carnival celebrations killed at least six alleged drug traffickers Jan. 30, sweeping through two slums with automatic weapons and armored vehicles. More such sweeps will continue.


National Economic Trends


  • Brazil's broadest price index rose 1.09 percent for the fourth time in five months in January, led by rising consumer food, health and education prices.

  • Brazil's central bank said Jan. 30 it sold about $1.884 billion in reverse currency swaps in an auction, rolling over a similar batch of paper coming due soon.

  • Brazil met its public sector fiscal target again in 2007, according to information provided by the central bank Jan. 30. The government posted a consolidated primary budget surplus of $57.08 billion in 2007. The surplus was equal to 3.98 percent of GDP, exceeding the government's target of 3.8 percent.


Business, Energy or Environmental regulations or discussions

  • Brazil is calling for more Argentine wheat to meet its demands. Argentina’s wheat registry has been closed for several weeks.

  • As of Jan. 31, no Brazilian farms will be permitted to export beef to the European Union, according to a Jan. 30 statement from an EU official. Restrictions on Brazilian beef are expected to stay in place indefinitely amid quality concerns, though farms that work to meet EU standards could be added to an authorized export list. Brazil maintains that the restrictions are not related to sanitary concerns, but rather are protectionist measures.

  • Brazil is poised to become the second largest market in the world for Volkswagen vehicles in 2008, according to the German automaker.

  • Brazilian President Luiz Inacio "Lula" da Silva said Jan. 30 that his country is committed to controlling deforestation in the Amazon.


Activity in the Oil and Gas sector (including regulatory)





Petrobras


  • Petrobras remained the largest exporter among all Brazilian companies in 2007, the government's Secretariat of Foreign Trade said Jan. 29.

  • Iran is in ``talks'' with Petrobras for exploration work offshore in the Caspian Sea, Iran Daily reported, citing a top Iranian energy official.


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Basic Political Developments
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601086&sid=a1JOxD3c0M1Y&refer=latin_america
Brazil's Lula Presses Bush to Help Save Trade Accord (Update2)

Jan. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva asked U.S. President George W. Bush for an ``additional effort'' to successfully complete the Doha Round of the World Trade Organization negotiations.

During a phone call between the presidents today, Lula proposed a meeting of world leaders in Europe in April to spark trade discussions, his spokesman Marcelo Baumbach told reporters in Brasilia. Lula also asked Bush to extend preferential trade terms for Bolivia, saying it is ``essential'' to the South American country.

The 151 members of the WTO have failed to reach an accord to cut agricultural subsidies, lower tariffs on farm and industrial goods and set rules to allow greater foreign investment. The major issue has been cutting farm subsidies in the U.S., EU, Japan and other rich nations. Meanwhile, larger developing countries are criticized for their reluctance to reduce industrial tariffs and open their markets to banks, insurance companies and other services.

U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab said in November it may be possible to reach a trade agreement this year after repeated breakdowns in negotiations since 2001. The deal could add $96 billion annually to the global economy, which the International Monetary Fund forecasts may slow in 2008 due to a housing recession in the U.S.
http://allafrica.com/stories/200801300625.html
Deputy Social Communication Minister Meets With Brazilian Officials
30 January 2008
Angolan deputy minister of Social Communication, Manuel Miguel de Carvalho "Wadijimbi", met Tuesday with the secretary of Social Communication of the Brazilian Presidency, Franklin Martins.

The two discussed the possibility of an exchange of experience between social communication institutions of Angola and Brazil.

The meeting was part of the programme of visit Manuel de Carvalho is paying to Brazil since Monday, at the head of a delegation of directors and other State-run media organs officials, intended to explore ways of bilateral cooperation and learn about the Brazilian reality.

On Tuesday, the deputy minister visited the premises of the Brazilian Firm of Communications (EBC), an organ that runs the communication system that covers services of radio, television and news agency.

The meeting analysed the possibility of an agreement with the Angolan television station (TPA) for an exchange of news and picture servicess.

Manuel de Carvalho's visit started Monday with a meeting with the management of the newspaper, "Correio Braziliense", also attended by representatives of the National Association of Newspaper Owners. He later met with the Brazilian minister of Communications, Hélio Costa.

He is meeting today with the special assistant of the Brazilian minister of Education, Núzio Briguglio, and visiting the National Agency of Communications (Anatel), before touring the "Rede Globo de Televisão" broadcasting station, in Rio de Janeiro.
http://www.reuters.com/article/politicsNews/idUSN2963600220080129

Brazil's Lula proposes trade summit to Bush

Tue Jan 29, 2008 6:31pm EST

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva proposed to U.S. President George W. Bush a meeting of world leaders to help conclude global trade talks, a government spokesman said on Tuesday.


Lula telephoned Bush on Tuesday and suggested the meeting take place in April, when both leaders are expected to be in Europe, Marcelo Baumbach, the president's spokesman, told reporters.
Lula has already discussed the possibility with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, the spokesman said.
Bush said he would study the proposal as well as an invitation by Lula to attend a biofuels conference in Sao Paulo in November, Baumbach said.
There was renewed impetus in the World Trade Organization's Doha round of trade talks, Lula said during the 20-minute conversation and urged Bush to help work toward its successful conclusion, according to Baumbach.
Brazil has been a key player in the talks as leader of the G20 group of developing nations.
The Doha round of world trade talks was launched a little more than six years ago. Many analysts believe the talks could drag on for several more years unless completed before the next U.S. president takes office in January 2009.
Washington is under pressure to offer deeper farm subsidy cuts in the negotiations, and is insisting advanced developing countries like Brazil and India do their part by opening their markets to more foreign farm and manufactured goods.
http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2008/01/30/america/LA-GEN-Brazil-Rio-Violence.php

Rio police kill at least 7 in slum shootouts ahead of carnival


The Associated Press

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil: Heavily armed police cracking down on gangs ahead of Rio's famed carnival celebrations killed at least six alleged drug traffickers on Wednesday, sweeping through two slums with automatic weapons and armored vehicles.
Four suspects were killed in the Jacarezinho shantytown and two more were killed after fleeing to the neighboring Mangueira, the state security secretariat said in a communique. The operation was aimed at seizing drugs and stolen vehicles.
Police earlier said seven were killed and local news media put the figure as high as nine. Authorities gave no reason for the discrepancy.
Carnival celebrations get into high gear Friday night in Rio, one of the world's most crime-ridden cities. Violence often breaks out before carnival, but usually evaporates after festivities begin.
Residents stood by stony-eyed, sometimes quietly hostile as police armored cars rumbled down the shantytown's narrow streets past graffiti proclaiming the area under the control of the Commando Vermelho drug gang.
The commander of Wednesday's raid, Inspector Rodrigo Oliveira, said those killed "were all bandits, all actively resisting" the raid on gangs that steal cars and motorcycles. Police seized 30 motorcycles, four cars and an undetermined quantity of drugs.
A record 1,260 civilians died in clashes with police in Rio de Janeiro state last year, according to the Rio de Janeiro State Institute of Public Safety.
The tally only includes figures reported by police stations that have computers — omitting about one-third of precincts from the total.
While officials have promised that increased security will keep carnival celebrations peaceful, the city's police chief and nine top commanders were fired on Tuesday by Rio de Janeiro state Gov. Sergio Cabral after officers mounted a protest on Ipanema beach to complain about low salaries.
Public security chief Jose Mariano Beltrame characterized the protest as insubordination.
O Globo reported that 40 high-ranking officers sent a letter to Cabral demanding the reinstatement of Police Chief Ubiritan Angelo, and that 30 threatened to quit the force.
Even so, "We will have a very calm carnival as is the custom in Rio," Beltrame told reporters.


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National Economic Trends
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601086&sid=a8PwtNhoDWKo&refer=latin_america
Brazil Broadest Price Index Rose 1.09% in January (Update1)

Jan. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Brazil's broadest price index rose more than 1 percent for the fourth time in five months in January, led by rising consumer food, health and education prices.

The Getulio Vargas Foundation's producer, wholesale and consumer price index, known as the IGP-M, rose 1.09 percent this month, down from December's four-year high of 1.76 percent.

Brazil's central bank on Jan. 23 elected to hold interest rates unchanged for a third meeting to gauge whether a recent surge in prices will threaten the bank's year-end inflation target. Accelerating food price inflation coupled with the fastest economic expansion since 2004 led policy makers to pause in October, snapping the longest easing cycle since Brazil adopted inflation targets in 1999.

The monthly IGP-M has risen at least 1 percent in September, October, December and January, after more than three years below 1 percent.

Consumer inflation as measured by the IGP-M quickened as services and food prices increased more than in the previous month. Consumer food price inflation accelerated to 2.25 percent in January from 1.73 percent in December, the Getulio Vargas Foundation said. Education, literature and recreation prices climbed 1.61 percent compared to a 0.13 percent gain last month.

Wholesale prices followed by the IGP-M increased 1.24 percent in January from 2.36 percent in December, responsible for the overall deceleration in inflation in January.

The annual inflation rate for the first half of January, as measured by the government's benchmark IPCA-15 index, rose above the central bank's 4.5 percent target for the first time since 2006, the national statistic agency said in a Jan. 24 report.


http://www.reuters.com/article/bondsNews/idUSN3020827320080130

Brazil central bank sells $1.88 bln currency swaps

Wed Jan 30, 2008 11:39am EST

SAO PAULO, Jan 30 (Reuters) - Brazil's central bank said on Wednesday it sold about $1.884 billion in reverse currency swaps in an auction, rolling over a similar batch of paper coming due soon.


The bank did not sell all the contracts on offer, which were worth about $2 billion.
The swaps are linked to short-term interest rates and tend to reduce demand for Brazilian reais BRBY on the spot foreign exchange market.
http://www.reuters.com/article/bondsNews/idUSN3045055820080130

Brazil meets 2007 fiscal target, debt ratio falls

Wed Jan 30, 2008 9:27am EST

(Recasts, adds details of annual deficit)


BRASILIA, Jan 30 (Reuters) - Brazil met its public sector fiscal target again in 2007 even as spending rose and reduced its debt-to-GDP ratio for the fourth year in a row, central bank data showed on Wednesday.
The government posted a consolidated primary budget surplus of 101.61 billion reais ($57.08 billion) last year, surpassing its annual target of 95.9 billion reais. The surplus was equal to 3.98 percent of gross domestic product, exceeding the government's target of 3.8 percent of GDP.
The public sector fiscal data encompasses the federal, state and municipal governments, state-owned companies and federal agencies.
The primary budget surplus, which excludes interest payments, is closely watched by investors as a gauge of a country's ability to service its debt.
Including interest payments, Brazil posted an overall budget deficit of 57.9 billion reais in 2007, down from 63.64 billion reais the previous year. The budget deficit was equal to 2.27 percent of GDP last year, the lowest since the government began tracking the data in 1991.
The central bank expects the overall budget gap, referred to in Brazil as the nominal budget deficit, to fall to 1.2 percent of GDP by the end of 2008.
In December, the overall budget deficit totaled 24.02 billion reais compared with 19.445 billion reais in the same period in 2006.
Excluding interest payments, the government also posted a primary budget deficit in December of 11.78 billion reais versus a deficit of 6.453 billion reais in the same month in 2006.
The primary budget balance typically slips into deficit in December because of annual salary bonuses at government agencies and state-owned companies.
Net public sector debt crept higher to 42.8 percent of GDP in December from 42.4 percent in November. At the end of 2006, Brazil's net public sector debt was equal to 44.7 percent of GDP.
By the end of 2008, the central bank expects the debt-to-GDP ratio to be 41.5 percent.


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Business, Energy or Environmental regulations or discussions


http://www.lanacion.com.ar/economia/nota.asp?nota_id=983032&origen=rss

Los brasileños quieren más trigo

Miércoles 30 de enero de 2008
"Brasil debe ser abastecido por la Argentina como siempre lo fue -dijo a LA NACION el ministro de Agricultura del país vecino, Reinhold Stephanes-. Estamos satisfechos con el trigo argentino, pero en este momento pasamos por una situación de escasez y estamos preocupados con el abastecimiento interno. Por eso, Brasil podría procurar suplir esa necesidad en terceros mercados por un período y cantidad limitados, hasta que la Argentina vuelva a abastecerlo normalmente."
En lo que va de 2008, la Argentina tiene compromisos de envío de trigo a Brasil por 3 millones de toneladas. Para esta misma época, el año pasado se habían tomado compromisos por 5,6 millones de toneladas. Por eso, en Brasil -que no es un gran productor del cereal- todavía no descartan recurrir al trigo estadounidense o canadiense para abastecerse. Sin embargo, aun con una eliminación del arancel externo común (del 10%) para importar este producto, esa solución sería prácticamente inviable por el altísimo costo de los fletes.
Por eso, representantes de la molinería brasileña llamaron anteayer a la Secretaría de Agricultura argentina e insistieron ayer en el Centro de Exportadores de Cereales (CEC) para saber qué tan lejos estaba la reapertura del registro, anunciada por el Gobierno casualmente ayer.
"En Brasil dicen que necesitan un millón de toneladas y nosotros estamos dispuestos a venderles la mercadería. Ese volumen se puede atender fácilmente y además el registro se abrió para 2 millones, lo que claramente supera sus necesidades", dijo Alberto Rodríguez, director ejecutivo del CEC.
http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5guEUIv-7Pw9AEiuccga08kLZLAOg

EU to ban Brazilian beef imports


BRUSSELS (AFP) — The European Union will suspend all imports of Brazilian beef from Thursday after Brazil failed to provide sufficient guarantees on their safety, the European Commission said.
Last month the EU warned Brazil, the world's biggest beef exporter, that only beef from an authorised list of Brazilian farms would be allowed into EU nations from the end of January.
Such a list could not be agreed on and therefore "at this stage as we speak, there will be no holdings authorised to export to the European Union," EU Health and Consumer Affairs Commissioner Markos Kyprianou said.
"This move must be seen as a wake-up call to the Brazilian government, which has failed to respond to concerns of the European Union," said MEP Neil Parish, chairman of the European Parliament's agriculture committee.
The EU decided the measures were necessary after inspections last November found Brazil's animal health and traceability systems failed to meet EU requirements on farm registration, animal identification and movement controls.
After the initial EU warning, the Brazilian authorities came up with a list of 2,600 farms they said deserved to be exempt from the export ban.
Such a massive list was unacceptable to the European authorities and hence the blanket ban on Brazilian beef following further investigations.
Kyprianou held out the possibility of a list of authorised Brazilian beef suppliers being gradually drawn up, while warning it would be a lengthy process.
"The timeframe depends on the number, and on the complexities and the problems that we may suspect in each holding," he said.
Last month Brazil slammed as "unjustified" the original EU decision to put restrictions on its beef imports.
It argued that Brazilian beef presented no risk to humans or animals and blamed the EU decision on tougher European regulations imposed in the wake of Britain's "mad cow" disease epidemic.
The original misgivings over the beef, particularly strong in Britain and Ireland, centred around problems of traceability of origin and the control of livestock movements.
The EU is insisting in particular that cows be kept on approved sites for at least 40 days before being sent to the abattoir.
The Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) welcomed the decision.
IFA President Padraig Walshe said it was the result of a determined two-year campaign highlighting Brazil's failure to meet EU standards.
"Brazil had failed on foot and mouth disease controls, movement and traceability, border controls and animal health and food safety issues." he said.
"Kyprianou had no option but to apply a full ban as Brazil had failed to comply with EU requirements," he added.
Three Brazilian states, hit by foot-and-mouth, are already subject to a beef ban by the EU.
Brazil is the world's biggest beef exporter, sending abroad almost 2.3 million tonnes per year, a third of total exports around the globe.
http://www.milenio.com/index.php/2008/01/30/185138/

Podría Brasil ser segundo mayor mercado para Volkswagen


El consorcio partió de la base de que registrará sólo una ligera alza en sus ventas en los mercados automotrices de Europa y en Alemania, que son difíciles y competidos.
Berlín.- Brasil podría convertirse en el segundo mayor mercado mundial para Volkswagen durante 2008, sólo después de China y por encima de la propia Alemania, sede de la automotriz, declaró su director de ventas, Detlef Wittig.
En declaraciones a la revista especializada alemana Automotor und Sport, el ejecutivo pronosticó que Volkswagen registrará un récord de ventas en 2008 en todo el mundo y que sus incrementos mayores se esperan de Brasil, Rusia, India y China.
Wittig se mostró seguro de que la marca logrará en el presente año rebasar las cifras de venta a nivel mundial en cada uno de sus modelos y agregó que todo indica que la empresa no perderá la dinámica que mostró hasta ahora.
El consorcio partió de la base de que registrará sólo una ligera alza en sus ventas en los mercados automotrices de Europa y en Alemania, que son difíciles y competidos.
Las ventas de Volkswagen en 2007 aumentaron en 8.0 por ciento y se situaron en 6.2 millones de vehículos en todo el mundo, mientras en enero de 2008 las ventas se elevaron en 6.0 por ciento.
De acuerdo con Witting, en 2008 la automotriz rebasará la marca de un millón de autos vendidos en China, después de que en 2007 sus ventas fueron de 770 mil 500 autos en ese país.
En Brasil las ventas de Volkswagen en 2007 fueron de 494 mil unidades y en este año se espera un incremento de 10 por ciento, es decir, se rebasaría la marca del medio millón.
http://www.univision.com/contentroot/wirefeeds/noticias/7392860.html

Lula: Brasil está comprometido en controlar deforestación y critica ONG


30 de Enero de 2008, 03:57pm ET

BRASILIA, 30 Ene 2008 (AFP) -

El presidente brasileño, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, afirmó este miércoles que su país está comprometido en controlar la deforestación de la Amazonía, que recientemente registró un fuerte aumento, y criticó a las ONGs ambientalistas.
"Es nuestra obligación no permitir que crezca la deforestación. Si aprendimos cómo disminuirla, no podemos dejarla crecer ahora", aseguró Lula al comentar los recientes números oficiales que indican un rebrote de la deforestación en los últimos cinco meses, después de que había disminuido progresivamente en los últimos tres años.
Lula sin embargo puso en duda tanto los números oficiales que alertan de una significativo aumento de la deforestación, como la alegación de que los culpables serían el aumento de cultivos de soja y de ganado, teoría que sustentan numerosas ONG que venían denunciando ese problema y que han rechazado los productores rurales.
"Yo acepto pelear con esas ONG por eso. Precisan (las ONG) ir a plantar árboles en sus países", dijo el presidente, interrogado por periodistas en la cancillería.
"No podemos culpar (de la deforestación) a la soja, las alubias, el ganado, a los Sin Tierra, a nadie, sin antes investigar lo que ocurrió", dijo Lula.
"El gobierno necesita encender todas las señales de alarma para no permitir que continúe creciendo" la deforestación, dijo el presidente, considerando que Brasil está a tiempo para evitar que el crecimiento desborde el resultado anual.
"Si hay alguien que provocó una quemada ilegal, defiendo que sufra un proceso para perder su propiedad. Las personas tienen que aprender que el país tiene ley y tiene reglas", expresó.
El gobierno brasileño anunció el jueves una batería de medidas y el refuerzo de la fiscalización para contener el preocupante aumento de la deforestación en la Amazonía, entre agosto y diciembre, cuando se calcula que fueron devastados 7.000 km2, de los cuales más de la mitad (4.000 km2) en noviembre y diciembre, los meses más lluviosos y tradicionalmente de escasa incidencia del problema.
Aunque las causas tienen que ser investigadas, la ministra de Medio Ambiente, Marina Silva, destacó que "las actividades típicas de esos estados son la pecuaria y el cultivo de la soja", en un año en que aumentaron fuertemente los precios internacionales de ambos.
Esa declaración generó la ira de productores y gobiernos locales.
Brasil lleva tres años reduciendo la deforestación. En la última medición anual que terminó en julio, Brasil había registrado su mejor índice en décadas, de alrededor de 11.000 km2.

 
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Activity in the Oil and Gas sector (including regulatory)

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Petrobras

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2008-01/30/content_7524666.htm

Petrobras leads Brazil's ranking of exporters

www.chinaview.cn 2008-01-30 10:05:20 Print

RIO DE JANEIRO, Jan. 29 (Xinhua) -- State-owned oil and gas Petrobras remained the largest exporter among all Brazilian companies in 2007, the government's Secretariat of Foreign Trade said on Tuesday.


The company's export amounted to 13.6 billion U.S. dollars last year, up 22.9 percent from 2006 and accounting for 8.4 percent of the country's total.
However, the result was outnumbered by Petrobras' imports in the period of 15.3 billion dollars, representing 12.7 percent of Brazil's overall imports in 2007 and a rise of 46 percent from 2006.
Miner Vale (former CVRD) came the second in the exporters' ranking, with 7.9 billion dollars in 2007, up 31.9 percent from the previous year. In terms of imports, the figure was 395 million dollars, the 45th in Brazil's ranking of importers in 2007.
Aircraft manufacturer Embraer exported 4.7 billion dollars last year, up 44.4 percent from 2006 and a 2.9-percent share in the country's exports in the period, masking it third in the ranking.
Embraer also ranked high among Brazilian importers with 2.9 billion dollars in 2007, up 33.6 percent from 2006.
Seven other companies on the top-ten list of Brazilian exporters are agribusiness and food Bunge, automobile manufacturer Volkswagen, food companies Sadia and Cargill, and automobile manufacturers GM do Brasil, Ford and Daimler-Chrysler.
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601086&sid=ae.L9d8JaiMo&refer=latin_america

Iran in `Talks' With Petrobras on Caspian Project, Daily Says

Jan. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Iran is in ``talks'' with Brazil's state-controlled oil company Petroleos Brasileiros SA for exploration work offshore in the Caspian Sea, Iran Daily reported, citing a top Iranian energy official.

Iran aims for Brazil to become ``the main contractor for exploration and drilling operations and development in Caspian Sea oil and gas,'' the daily said, citing National Iranian Oil Co. Deputy Mohammad Javad Assemipour.



Investment in Caspian waters may reach as much as $500 million, Assemipour said.


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