The largest investment event in Latin America brought together
representatives from 56 countries for panels and meetings over two days.

On Friday (Oct. 11) ended the Brasil Investment Forum, the largest event aimed at investment attraction in Latin America. Over two days, in São Paulo, the event brought together almost three thousand participants, including high-level government representatives and Brazilian and multinational companies from 38 business sectors. Professionals from 56 countries attended the event, highlighting C-Level executives from China, United States, Italy, Spain and France, in addition to Brazil.

The Forum took place for the third consecutive year and was organized by the Brazilian government, through the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex-Brasil), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MRE) and the Ministry of Economy, in partnership with the
Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

The event was opened by the President of the Republic, Jair Bolsonaro, and by the President of IDB, Luís Alberto Moreno. Also participating in the event were Chief Minister of Staff Onyx Lorenzoni and Ministers Ernesto Araújo (Foreign Affairs), Paulo Guedes (Economy), Sérgio Moro (Justice), Bento Albuquerque (Mines and Energy), Tereza Cristina Dias (Agriculture, Livestock and Supply), Tarcísio de Freitas (Infrastructure) and Marcos Pontes (Science and Technology). The event was widely covered by the national and international press with the presence of 119 media representatives.

“This year, Brasil Investment Forum has consolidated as an event of great relevance for the close network between the private sector and the government. There was a broad agenda of parallel meetings in which partnerships and initiatives to improve the Brazilian business environment were discussed. The panels were also high-level and showed what has been done and the challenges and opportunities that still exist for the development of our economy,” said Sergio Segovia, president of Apex-Brasil.

During BIF 2019, dozens of meetings were held between businesspersons and representatives from eleven Brazilian ministries and the IDB, as well as eight panels and four parallel sessions on topics such as the energy sector reform, Brazil’s international insertion agenda, agribusiness, productivity, the future of labor, defense, infrastructure investments, financial system, international business standards, new technological frontiers, privatization and tax simplification, and the role of multilateral banks.

The event also counted with a dedicated area for direct assistance to investors from 24 Brazilian state governments and with the presence of Governors Antônio Denarium, from Roraima, Marcos Rocha, from Rondônia and Mauro Mendes, from Mato Grosso, as well as Vice-Governors Carlos Brandão, from Maranhão, Lincoln Tejota, from Goiás and Paco Britto, from the Federal District.

Cooperation Agreements between Apex-Brasil and ANEEL, PPI

The president of Apex-Brasil, Sergio Segovia, signed, during the event, Technical Cooperation Agreements with the National Electric Energy Agency (ANEEL) and with the
Investment Partnership Program (PPI) from the Civil House.

The agreement with ANEEL was signed by the general director of the Agency, André Pepitone, and with the PPI it was signed by PPI’s Special Secretary, Martha Seillier. The partnerships foresee the dedication of mutual efforts to attract foreign capital to the electric power and infrastructure sectors, through activities related to intelligence, promotion and investment facilitation. Foreign investors already established in Brazil will also be supported through the agreements.

Investment Announcement

During the event, the Boston Scientific Corporation (BSC), a North American manufacturer of medical equipment and devices, announced the investment in a new plant in Brazil, in Contagem (MG). Apex-Brasil assisted the company in this investment, providing information and arranging the contacts with government agents regarding the plant’s opening procedures. During the announcement event, a Protocol of Intent was also signed with Apex-Brasil, providing the Agency’s support to the company along this investment and in future initiatives.

The Boston Scientific Corporation turnover is around US$ 9.8 billion per year, with US$ 1 bn per year invested in Research and Development (R&D). The company develops high technology medical equipment and devices for several segments, with a portfolio of more than 13 thousand products in cardiovascular, neurological, urologic, digestive and respiratory devices.
BSC has 32 thousand employees working in 130 countries and serving approximately 30 million patients a year worldwide.

In Contagem, Boston Scientific’s first global plant in the Southern Hemisphere, an aortic valve system used in the treatment of aortic stenosis will be produced, a product with high technology and earned-value, that uses the implant via catheter (avoiding open-chest surgery, which has a higher associated risk). 98% of the production is expected to be exported. The company also invested in another unit in Chapecó (SC). The two enterprises will generate approximately
600 jobs.

Breakfast with CEBRI

In partnership with the Brazilian Center for Institutional Relations (CEBRI), Apex-Brasil held a breakfast on Friday morning (Oct. 11) to discuss the engagement of private enterprise and Government policies for Brazil’s entry into the OECD and the impacts this will bring to the country’s economy.

Representatives of 29 companies were present, including presidents, directors and institutional and governmental relations. Companies such as Siemens, Dow Chemical Company, IBM, Bayer and Exxon Mobil participated in the event, opened by Ambassador José Alfredo Graça Lima, Vice President of CEBRI and the Business Director of Apex-Brasil, Augusto Pestana.

Round Table with the Atlantic Council

Apex-Brasil held a round table with members of the American think-tank Atlantic Council, to which Apex-Brasil is affiliated. The round table brought together members of the Brazilian government, the private sector and civil society for a discussion and feedback on the first draft of the US-Brazil 2.0 report: Enhancing the Bilateral Economic Relationship, a study that will be launched soon by both institutions. The report will deepen the Five Key Economic Avenues for Strengthening US-Brazil Trade and FDI, launched in April 2019 assessing the US-Brazil economic relations to date, the next logical steps, and outlining the five main areas of opportunity for further studies, in order to address the opportunities for close work between the two countries.

Agreement between the Ministry of Justice, BNDES and IDB

The Ministry of Justice and Public Security signed an agreement with the National Bank for Economic and Social Development (BNDES) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to promote investments in public security. The document was signed on Oct. 10 by
Minister Sergio Moro, BNDES President Gustavo Montezano, and IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno during BIF 2019.

The agreement seeks to stimulate possible credit lines to finance programs and projects, as well as strengthen the planning, governance and management mechanisms of the Single Public Security System (SUSP).

The Minister of Justice, Sérgio Moro, was a speaker at a special session of the Brasil Investment Forum 2019, this Friday (Oct. 11), in São Paulo. On the occasion, the former chief of the Carwash Operation spoke on the topic of Legal Security and Anti-Corruption Agenda and highlighted the strong relationship between justice, public security and business environment in the country.

In his presentation, Moro emphasized the government’s fight against corruption. “Corruption is like sand in the gears. It keeps public investments and fair competition at bay. The market wants predictability and security,” he said. 

The minister detailed the initiatives being adopted to reduce the crime rate in the country, such as the Anti-Crime Package. “Crime has grown in Brazil for 20 years, even during periods of economic prosperity. In other words, there is not a clear correlation between the increase in GDP and the decrease in crime. But this is not enough, one of the big problems is impunity, which we are fighting,” he said.

“There is a long way to go, but we need the support of the private sector, either to make the investments that the state is no longer able to make, or because the presence of the private sector leads to a gain in efficiency,” Moro said.  “We must advance institutionally as a country against corruption, against organized crime and against violent crime,” he said.

BIF hosted more than 2,000 participants from 45 countries and 37 sectors of the economy. The audience includes government authorities, entrepreneurs, Brazilian and foreign investors, startups and high-ranking executives from large corporations.

Watch the full presentation of Minister Sérgio Moro at BIF:

The second day of the Brasil Investment Forum dedicated a panel to discuss the new directions of the financial system in Brazil, the country’s leading role in the Fintechs field, and the measures that should be taken to grant even more security to private investors.

How to allow the conditions for Brazil to modernize in an inclusive, competitive and transparent manner was the main focus of the discussions that took place in the panel “Democratization of the Financial System: the BC Agenda”, which brought together representatives from the public and private sectors during the second day of Brasil Investment Forum (October 11) in São Paulo.

Henrique Bredda, manager of the Alaska Fund, mediated the panel, urging participants to discuss the directions the country needs to take and what is being done so that the financial system favors the country’s growth and makes Brazil even more attractive to international investors. The panel had the participation of the president of the Central Bank of Brazil, Roberto Campos Neto, Sérgio Furio, president of Creditas, David Vélez, founding partner of Nubank, Willem Sutherland, CEO of ING Bank and Octávio de Lazari Junior, CEO of Bradesco.

Campos Neto highlighted that Brazil intends to modernize in the coming years, making the Brazilian system more inclusive, competitive, transparent and giving more financial education to the population. “In the coming years, microcredit should be stimulated, as well as cooperatives. We will encourage those modalities of access to credit, in addition to working to remove the historical and bureaucratic waste of making transactions in different currencies in Brazil,” he said. “Another subject that the Central Bank is looking at is instant payment. We want a system ready to execute this by the end of 2020. We are in a metamorphosis. But this time we want to transform ourselves with private money, not public money. And we are going to give the conditions so that the private sector can make this happen,” said the president of the Central Bank of Brazil.

The advance of fintechs in the Brazilian market was the main theme brought by the CEO of Creditas, Sérgio Furio. He highlighted the increase in credit consumption by the Brazilian middle class. “Currently it is much cheaper to consume credit in Brazil, because interest rates have fallen and, with the advancements in the financial system and fintechs, it has become easier,” he said. “There doesn’t have to be a dichotomy between banks and fintechs. The two companies have different ways of acting and the Brazilian Central Bank saw an opportunity to regulate fintechs and give a new lease of life to the Brazilian financial system, doing the right thing,” he said.

David Vélez, founding partner of Nubank, assessed the importance of Brazil having more players in the financial system. He mentioned the reason that made him decide to undertake:
the difficulty of opening a bank account when he arrived in Brazil. For him, the focus on the client is the success formula that led Nubank to conquer one million clients in just two years. The goal was to reach this level in five years. Nubank currently has more than 15 million clients. “I believe that more competition brings better prices and more advantages to the consumer. It took us three years to get the necessary financial license, but we got it and we have as propose to create a new relationship with the consumer. We are growing this way. The Brazilian market has many opportunities for those who are willing to debunk myths,” he said.

The importance of transparency and regulatory security was the focus of the speech of Willem Sutherland, CEO of ING Bank, the fifth largest bank in Europe. According to him, ING has been investing heavily in disruptive technologies aimed at offering online services and fintechs, maintaining the simplicity of its products and cost predictability for consumers and investors. “Minister Paulo Guedes (Economy) rightly mentioned yesterday here at BIF that there is a lot of capital available in the world. And listening to the panels in the last two days of the event, you can see that the country is on the right track. It is necessary to have confidence in the local stakeholders so that the investors feel safe to bring their capital here. Transparency and regulatory security are two key elements,” he said. “I believe the country has moved in the right direction, increasing transparency and attractiveness for international investors,” he said.

The new technologies and the advances that they bring to consumers, as well as its impact on the banks’ business model were the highlights brought by Bradesco’s CEO, Octávio de Lazari Junior. “Discussion of new technologies is not fashion, it is fact. And it is very healthy. We are all preparing for a new business model in Brazil and in the world, in which the profitability of banks will be lower, but new business opportunities will arise. This is very healthy for Brazil and for the Brazilian people and it is important that this market opening is being encouraged by the Central Bank”, said Lazari Junior.

The president of the Central Bank of Brasil, Roberto Campos Neto, closed the panel stressing that the changes are important because they are part of a government project in which the state will only provide the necessary conditions for the private sector to promote the changes that society needs, serving consumers with economic freedom. “The role of the government is not to say what has to be done, it is to promote the healthy regulation of the market so that companies can quickly meet the wishes of Brazilian consumers,” he said.

Check the full panel:

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ernesto Araújo, was one of the keynote speakers at the Brasil Investment Forum 2019, which began this Thursday (10/10) in São Paulo. For an audience of more than two thousand entrepreneurs and investors, Araújo spoke about the new political and economic environment in the country.

“We want you to be our partners in this project to transform Brazil into a new country, which we are already carrying out”, Araújo said. “We are working to improve the business scenario, social participation in politics and the democratic environment in an unprecedented way in Brazil. On the subject of environment, we are working with a new philosophy of environmental preservation that is not restricted to protection, but that moves towards the generation of jobs and opportunities,” he added.

“Brazil is at the beginning of a new cycle of growth, based on private investment and economic freedom. In the case of the Amazon, for example, we want to transform the region into a new economic hub for sustainable development, based on private investment,” Araújo said.