Brazilian companies have “Africa fever”, press reports

18 September 2007

Sao Paulo, Brazil, 18 Sept – Brazilian companies have “Africa fever,” and are increasing investment in several countries on the continent, according to a report in Brazilian newspaper Folha de São Paulo.

Companies in sectors such as energy, construction, mining, clothing, footwear and food are boosting partnerships “in one of the most profitable, promising and competitive areas of the global market,” the paper said.

Trade between Brazil and Africa rose from US$3.5 billion in 1997 to US$15.6 billion last year.

The offensive by Brazilian companies aims to recover the market that Brazil had in the 1970s, but which was later abandoned.

Large companies, such as oil giant Petrobras, mining company Companhia do Vale do Rio Doce, and construction companies, Odebrecht, Camargo Corrêa and Andrade Gutierrez are expanding tehir operations, namely in Angola and Mozambique.

“Not taking part in these strategic moves could place Brazilian companies at the mercy of destabilization and conditions for competitive involvement in the world market,” said the chairman of Vale do Rio Doce.

Roger Agnelli notes that Africa was currently the place where access to raw materials was being fought over.

The paper noted the projections of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that the African economy would post growth of 6.2 percent this year, with Angola registering growth of 19 percent.

Brazilian technology for biofuel production is expected to provide a market for companies, namely in Mozambique and Nigeria, whose governments have already shown an interest, the article said. (macauhub)