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Brazil – Infrastructure and energy companies meet

Some seventy Italian and Brazilian entrepreneurs met in Brazil to discuss partnership opportunities in the infrastructure and energy market. The event, organized by “Banco do Brasil S.A.” and the Italian Embassy in Brazil in conjunction with the Brazilian Chamber of the Construction Industry (CBIC), was attended, among others, by Brazilian interim Minister of Planning, Development and Management, Dyogo Henrique de Oliveira; the Executive Secretary of the Investment Partnership Programme, (PPI), Wellington Moreira Franco; the President of Banco do Brasil, Paulo Rogério Caffarelli, the President of CBIC, José Carlos Rodrigues Martins, and Italy’s Ambassador to Brazil, Antonio Bernardini.

Italy participated with representatives of 23 major Groups in the field of engineering, construction, finance and road and rail concessions as well as machinery and equipment manufacturers. On behalf of Brazil, the meeting was attended by 16 medium-sized construction and engineering companies. It was the first event of this sort, enabling Italian entrepreneurs to learn more about the new regulations governing concessions and the partnership opportunities offered within the framework of the “Projeto Crescer” (Project Growth) recently announced by the Federal Government of Brazil.

The PPI Executive Secretary Moreira Franco illustrated the principal opportunities that could pave the way to new investments in the infrastructure sector, such as ensuring the legal certainty of registered contracts, strengthening regulatory agencies, the technical quality and the international aspect of tenders, as well as guaranteeing appropriate competitive conditions following the approval of the environmental feasibility of projects, in addition to provisions to assure technically and financially balanced contracts. “We see that the companies bidding for concessions – in all areas – are basically always the same. We would like for all parties, in total transparency, to stand a real chance to compete. Companies, whether small, medium-sized or large, local or foreign, need to have access to information, data and addresses associated with relevant decisions. This would be the only way for them to feel that their investments are safe,” said Moreira Franco. Minister Dyogo Henrique de Oliveira said the meeting was mainly focused on an objective analysis and a discussion on existing business conditions with a view to encouraging new businesses to compete for future concessions. The minister also underlined the importance of winning back investor confidence:” We look to relaunching the Brazilian economy with confidence and optimism. We are confident about the figures published, the goals to be achieved and the relationship between entrepreneurs and the State. The Government as a whole was given a very clear direction to follow, in order to re-establish a business environment capable of fostering economic growth,” the minister concluded. The meetings between Brazilian and Italian entrepreneurs are designed to capitalize on the knowledge Brazilian companies have of the country’s business market as well as on their widespread national presence. Conversely, Italy’s aim was to bring along large Groups with an international and governance experience and with capital to invest in public-private partnerships and concessions.

Paulo Rogério Caffarelli, the president of Banco do Brasil S.A., highlighted the country’s far-reaching infrastructure plan and the opportunities for new partnerships to relaunch competition, attract the interest of private investors and finally lay the ground for the much awaited strengthening of Brazil’s capital market. “Today’s meeting was mostly focused on business issues. Sixty B2B meetings helped entrepreneurs from both countries come face to face.” Italy’s Ambassador to Brazil, Antonio Bernardini, commented on the value of these meetings, which represent a unique opportunity for Italian companies to become familiar with the financial and consulting services provided to businesses participating in Brazilian tenders: “We would like these bilateral meetings to be a fruitful occasion for Italian and Brazilian enterprises to meet and work on concrete projects,” said the Ambassador.