This week, Deputy Secretary Bruce Andrews traveled to Brasilia, Brazil to participate in the ninth U.S. - Brazil CEO Forum. Launched in 2007, the U.S.-Brazil CEO brings together U.S. and Brazilian business and government leaders to discuss how to strengthen bilateral economic and commercial ties between the two countries.
Before the Forum, Deputy Secretary Andrews spoke with Sergio Lamucci from Valor Econômico on how the CEO Forum strengthens the countries commercial and economic relationship. Collaboration and closer ties between U.S. and Brazil increases trade between the two biggest economies in the Americas. Deputy Secretary Andrews specifically noted that the defense and health sectors have great potential for growth.
The original article
was written in Portuguese and ran in Valor Econômico on June 18, 2015. The article has been translated below.
Brazil Continues to be Attractive to U.S. Companies, says Andrews
By Sergio Lamucci
June 18, 2015
Brazil continues to be very attractive to American companies, despite the difficult economic situation, according to comments yesterday by U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce Bruce Andrews, who highlighted opportunities in sectors such as defense and health. Andrews is going to Brasilia to participate today and tomorrow for the U.S.-Brazil CEO Forum, which brings together executives of large Brazilian and American companies in the lead up to President Dilma Rousseff´s visit to the U.S.
According to Andrews, the event is important to promoting dialogue between business leaders and governments of the two countries, allowing the private sector to identify the most significant issues in the relationship.
In Brazil, Andrews will meet with Brazilian authorities for conversations on facilitating trade and regulatory convergence, areas defined in February as priorities by the U.S. Department of Commerce and by the Brazilian Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade. Trade negotiations will be one of the main topics discussed during Rousseff´s visit. "There is a great opportunity to facilitate trade in order to reduce costs.”
According to Andrews, the current, weak performance of the Brazilian economy has not undermined American companies´ interest in the country. “Brazil is a major U.S. trading partner. Last year, there was US$73 billion in trade between the two countries,” he said. “It is the seventh largest economy in the world. Even with the current challenges, it is a fantastic market.”
Andrews identified defense and health sectors as areas in which there is great potential for growth between the two countries. Collaboration on defense will also be highlighted during Rousseff´s visit to the U.S. Two months ago in the lead up to the President´s visit, the government sent the Brazilian Congress the Defense Cooperation Agreement signed by the two countries in 2010, which when ratified, should facilitate the exchange of information in this area.
With respect to the health sector, Andrews characterized it as an “incredibly dynamic” market, in which Brazil spends 9% of GDP. He pointed out that there are major opportunities to help the country manage these costs, sell goods and services, and improve results in this area.
The Deputy Secretary of Commerce said that the CEO Forum is taking place at a good time, roughly ten days before Rousseff´s visit to the U.S., which will take her to New York on the 29th, Washington on the 29th and 30th, then San Francisco on July 1st. “We expect a very productive visit. From the trade diplomacy point of view, the ties between our companies and countries will help strengthen the relationship as a whole,” he said, for which topics such as climate change, defense cooperation and trade are very significant.
This will be the ninth session of the CEO Forum, created in 2007 to strengthen the relationship between the private sectors of the two countries. The most recent meeting took place in March 2013. The long gap since the last meeting was due to the cooling of relations between Brazil and the U.S. after revelations that Dilma Rousseff had been spied on by the American government, which led the President to postpone her visit to Washington in 2013.
Andrews is going to Brazil in place of Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, who had a bicycle accident on Saturday. He will be accompanied by Caroline Atkinson, U.S. Deputy National Security Advisor for international economic affairs. Top executives of seven U.S. companies are going to Brasilia. They are: Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), a food processing and trading company; Praxair, in the chemical sector; International Paper, in paper and pulp; AES, in electricity; Rockwell Automation, in industrial automation; Harris Corporation (telecommunication equipment); and, Baker & McKenzie (corporate law).
The Brazilian companies that will participate in the Forum are Ambev, JBS, Bradesco, Eurofarma, Dasa, Coteminas, Gerdau, Stefanini, Kroton Educacional and Petrobras.