BRAZIL FACTOR

A look on Brazil issues

Don´t go short.

Posted by Nadiva Olivier on July 27, 2014

After World Cup season, we are starting the next season: President and State Governor´s elections in Brazil.

To be sure about your vote, try not to judge words or marketing campaign –  look for their Government Plans, although at this time you will find just a few proposals and a lot of critics to the competitors.

1. Judge the candidates’ ideas. Write them down. This is essential to clear analyse the scenario they propose.

2. Don’t go short.  To achieve greatness, you must think beyond how you’d naturally measure success. Think about where you want this country to be in 10 years from now and if the candidates are planning, at least,  with such a vision.  

3. Don’t ask for permission and try a due diligence at their numbers until now. If the candidate did not reach the figures proposed in his/her last election, why would he/she get the new figures now?

4. Look if they propose radical changes. Radical goal can move people exponentially instead of linearly. This is good for motivational purposes – or for convincing you to vote in a certain direction – but the reality of a government is something that demands debates, agreements and a lot of diversified movements.

There is no radical change… unless we are talking about a dictator´s government.

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Strange horizon for immigration in Brazil

Posted by Nadiva Olivier on February 24, 2012

A question placed at bandnewstv.band.com.br is something brand new inside Brazilian Culture: rejection to immigrants. The pool is about reducing or increasing demands for foreigners ? people that want to come to live in Brazil.

The questions and percentage of answers are like that:

- Yes (reducing demands for foreigners) – 17,50%

- No (that means: do not reduce them) – 82,50% -

Date: January 31st, 2012.

This is an awkward situation because one of the facts that stimulate people to come to Brazil is the sweetness of Brazilians. The other reason, of course, is the situation we are living : not an economic paradise but a scenario where the economy is dynamic, the Government is dealing well with their political, economical and other issues and industry is answering in a good mood to challenges.

What are these bad emotions made of? What kind of protection or whatever is arising in our cultural and social horizon? What is the real reason for that?

While we don´t know how to answer, it is important to notice that this window is just starting to close. Hurry up with your initiative to establish a business here!

Note: This post is from Jan31st2012. Today – Febr5th, 2012 – at UOL portal (link below) it was published a report on immigration to Brazil, with emphasis on immigration from neighboring countries to Brazil. However, this is just the beggining. The thing is that Brazil will suffer a big shock of knowledge with the immigration that is just starting and will increase alot – from China, Europe and the United States. http://www1.folha.uol.com.br/mercado/1044123-brasil-recebe-57-mais-mao-de-obra-estrangeira.shtml

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Look the earth from the sky…

Posted by Nadiva Olivier on February 22, 2010

Leonard Boff, a very important Brazilian opinion maker and also a theologist, addressed a letter do Workers Party (PT) which meeting was held recently. He remembered that the election campaign officially will begin in a moment and there is a risk that we sank in a childish discussion between Lula and last President – Fernando Henrique Cardoso. His concern is that the great issue is far away from these por comparisons and is related actually to the environment.

For both contenders when the issue is development and nature, the paradigm is the same, and thew will probably serve to distract voters from real problems that Brazil and the world will face.

A serious electoral competition, the height of the planetary phase of humanity and the importance of Brazil in it, should be the issues and also the future to be built collectively. Who has the best design to our people and their relationship to the nascent global society? Who is proposing an essential contribution to the dramatic scenarios looming on the horizon?

Boff made three suggestions to the Workers Party. He first wrote on the motto of the national meeting – The Great Transformation. This is the same name of a book written by Karl Polanyi (1944) in which he shows how the liberalism turned everything into a commodity. Is this the Great Transformation thought by PT? To be something else, the party must take seriously this irrefutable fact: The Earth has changed because we are already in global warming. The wheel can no longer be stopped, only diminish its speed. If the thermometer of the Earth rises to more than two degrees Celsius over the coming decades, as provided by the best research center, will face Brazil and tribulation in the world of desolation. Many PAC projects (Brasil´s Government programs to accelerate progress) may be canceled. If they do not include climate issues in their program they will show lack of practical intelligence and historical irresponsibility.

Another equally disturbing issue is the unsustainability of the system Earth. As of September 23, 2008 we learned that the Earth has exceeded 30% in its ability to restore the goods and services necessary for life. We are consuming today what we will need tomorrow. If we universalize the consumption level of the middle classes worldwide, including the eighty million Brazilians, we would now have three land equal to this. This model of growth, as it seems behind the PAC, shows its viability in the medium and long term. Not that we stop producing. We produce but within a different paradigm of less predator-Earth system, with an agreement regarding the supportability of each ecosystem and a wide social inclusion, designed with an ethic of care, universal responsibility and the pursuit of the good life for all.

Finally, the Workers Party (PT) must raise the fact that Brazil is certainly the key to the balance of the planet. He is the power of water, the holder of the largest forests, large dioxide sequestration of carbon and regulatory climate, with great biodiversity and vast arable land and can be a table set for the famines of the world, with unmatched ability to generate alternative energy and a highly creative people, who did a test of civilization of the most significant, non-imperialist, and with an enchanting view of the world that allows you, in the midst of contradictions, celebrate their feasts, cheering for their teams and dance at carnivals… crucial characteristics to give a human face to globalization in progress.

Great talk! Will PT listen to it?

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An environmental vision.

Posted by Nadiva Olivier on September 26, 2009

American Hardwood Export Council, an organization that represents “companies and trade associations engaged in the export of a full range of U.S. hardwood products, including – lumber, veneer, plywood, flooring, moulding and dimension materials” – is doing an aggressive effort toward Brazilian furniture industry. The environmental legislation of the country (in force for 70 years) had a consequence: the expansion of forest resources in the U.S. has been greater than its use for 50 years. And they do not have large forested areas. A few years ago, businessman Lawrence Castelan, Florense Furniture (from the south of Brazil) said that he was importing three types of wood from the United States. This is something that is not recent. It is remarkable that Americans export quality wood for emerging countries….

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Which are the best Brazilian songs ever?

Posted by Nadiva Olivier on September 16, 2009

Which are the best Brazilian songs ever? I can say that seven among the 10 best were composed by Tom Jobim, according to a panel of experts. The big winner: his song Águas de Março.

More than 200 Brazilian journalists, musicians and cultural icons were asked to name their three favorite national tunes starting in 1917 when “Pelo Telefone” (On the Phone), the first Brazilian samba, was recorded by Donga. “Which is the all-time best Brazilian song?” was the question presented.

Voters were suposed to analyse: melody, lyrics, some historical reason, and even sentimental motives. Jobim’s “Águas de Março”, from 1972, was the champion, but his name was also remembered for “Chega de Saudade” (3rd place, from 1958), “Retrato em Branco e Preto” (6th place, 1968) and “Garota de Ipanema” (7th place, 1963). Jobim was again considered for “Corcovado” (1960) and “Desafinado” (1958, a tie in 9th place) and “Wave (Vou Te Contar)” (1967, 10th place). Tom Jobim had 32 of his songs cited!

Composer Chico Buarque de Hollanda had the same number of tunes remembered. Surprisingly, Jorge Ben came in second with 22 tunes mentioned. Only his 1963 song “Mas que Nada”, however, won enough votes to be included among the 10 most memorable songs.

Caetano Veloso had 20 compositions mentioned, which gave him the third place in this category.

In 1999, a search for the best Brazilian songs of all times promoted by Globo TV Network found that Ary Barroso’s “Aquarela do Brasil” (“Brazil”) was the favorite. This time the results were less chauvinistic. Jobim, with a total of 110 mentions, came well ahead of the second most cited composer, Chico Buarque, who got 69 nods. Vinicius de Moraes (48 mentions) came in third for his collaborations with Jobim, Chico Buarque, Baden Powell, Carlos Lyra, Edu Lobo and Toquinho. Caetano Veloso and Jorge Ben tied in fourth place with 34 citations.

The fifth place went to Roberto and Erasmo Carlos, a duo famous for their romantic ballads. They were remembered 24 times by the illustrious panel of voters.

Interestingly enough, the most memorable “Águas de Março” interpretation, which serves as reference for all the other versions, is the one sung by the duet Elis & Tom. Elis Regina didn’t like Tom Jobim and didn’t hide her dislike for the maestro whom she called “a bore”, “dim-witted”, and “old fogey” in the backstage, in 1974, when the Elis & Tom LP was being recorded. Elis, however, needed to revitalize a career that was being derailed by bad press from critics who were demanding more sophistication from her. The partnership with old Tom made the trick for her. “Águas de Março” appeared on a super brief venture of alternative tabloid Pasquim into the music business. The nonconformist publication in 1972 decided to release simple compacts—a record with a song on each side of the old vinyl disc—to reveal new talents. To guarantee success for the record, their proposal was to release on the other side of the disc an unpublished tune by a famous composer. The new composers were rookies João Bosco and Aldir Blanc with “Agnus Dei”. Jobim became their godfather in the recording, with “Águas de Março”. There would be only one more release in the collection: that of Fagner being presented by Caetano Veloso.

Women were barely mentioned in this selection. Rita Lee is the first woman to show up in the list. The feisty rocker was mentioned 15 times what guaranteed her an 11th place together with samba composer Cartola. Besides Lee, only Chiquinha Gonzaga and Dolores Duran were remembered. They showed up at the bottom of the list with four mentions each. A big name like Maysa was never mentioned. More recent composers like Marisa Monte, Adriana Calcanhotto, and Zélia Duncan also were snubbed. Talking for her colleagues, Rita Lee offered some explanation for this oversight: “Women are quantitatively less present in several areas. Only recently we started appearing while patriarchy exists for centuries.

Chiquinha Gonzaga is from a time when men would say, “Music is man’s occupation”. Dolores Duran was from a time when guys would say, “Women who compose are whores.” I’m from a time when Tubby’s Boy’s Only Clubhouse used to say, “To make rock you ought to have balls.” Cássia Eller is from a time when people say, “You need to be a macho-woman to make music like a man.” My granddaughter will be from a time when they will say, “Only a woman could make such a good song.”

Ranking of the best: 1st “Águas de Março” (Tom Jobim) /2nd “Construção” (Chico Buarque) /3rd “Chega de Saudade” (Tom Jobim &Vinicius de Moraes)/4th “Carinhoso” (Pixinguinha & João de Barro) /5th “Aquarela do Brasil” (Ary Barroso) /6th “Detalhes” (Roberto Carlos & Erasmo Carlos) /”Retrato em Branco e Preto” (Tom Jobim & Chico Buarque) ” /As Rosas Não Falam” (Cartola) /7th “Asa Branca” (Luiz Gonzaga & Humberto Teixeira) /”Domingo no Parque” (Gilberto Gil) /”Garota de Ipanema” (Tom Jobim & Vinicius de Moraes) /8th “Mas Que Nada” (Jorge Ben) /”Sua Estupidez” (Roberto Carlos & Erasmo Carlos) /9th “Baby” (Caetano Veloso) /”Corcovado” (Tom Jobim) /”Desafinado” (Tom Jobim & Newton Mendonça) /”Panis et Circencis” (Caetano Veloso & Gilberto Gil) /”Pérola Negra” (Luiz Melodia) /”Três Apitos” (Noel Rosa) /”Tropicália” (Caetano Veloso) /10th “Beactress” (Edu Lobo & Chico Buarque) /”Dora” (Dorival Caymmi) /”Eu e a Brisa” (Johnny Alf) /”O Homem da Gravata Florida” (Jorge Ben) /”Inútil” (Roger Moreira) /”Ouro de Tolo” (Raul Seixas) /”Wave (Vou Te Contar)” (Tom Jobim).

Source: http://www.brazil-brasil.com

If you like to listen any of them, tell me and I will send it to you.

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News on Brazil GNP

Posted by Nadiva Olivier on September 9, 2009

sao paulo buildingsThe Brazilian Government will announce the GNP results for 2nd quarter next week. Our economy grew something around 1.8 and 2.0. Brazil has hired the P.R. consultant Fleischman Hillard (NY) – one of the most expensive in the world – to invite national and international journalists, analysts and other VIPs to discuss our perspectives with Brazilian Minister, Guido Mantega. The meeting will be on Monday.

The figures on our GNP indicate the economy is healthy and can grow, although it will be a slow growth, for several reasons:

1 – Despite 2nd quarter figures are higher than last quarter, when compared to same period in 2008 shows negative performance.

2 – Investments (factories, infrastructure, and so on) that had been very high for last 3 years, fell dramatically since the 2nd half of 2008. Brazil is supposed to have lost something like 150 billion reais in investments that did not come here. It means less capacity for growth.

3 – The Government plans heavy investment in infrastructure that includes:

a) 34 billion reais for “trem bala” – a straight railroad line between Sao Paulo and Rio, with tunnels, bridges and so on, to be built in less than 4 years (a world record), which environmental licenses have not been obtained at present;

b) oil – about 100 billion reais are planned to buy equipment to the Petrobras project,

and so on

When talking about infrastructure investments we are talking about trillions of dollars that the Government does not have.

Of course it will be paid by us, with taxes increase.

3 – Central Bank kept interest rate to 8.75 (interest rate among banks). It is the smallest last years. The rate – less expected inflation – is around 4.8 – a record in Brazilian standards despite very high when you compare with other countries (around zero or 1%). The new level indicates that Brazil is on the road to lower levels, following international trends. Brazil has come a long way toward stability but there is still much to do.

The good news is that Sao Paulo industry (almost half of Brazilian industry) begins to show recovery.

The bad news is that the Government has increased the public debt that now amounts to almost 40% of GNP. All the figures are growing in the Government expenditures – salaries, etc.

It means that we can expect new taxes. This is bad because our tax burden is very high – 36/37% and tax on wages is also high – 50% – while in other countries is 10% / 15%.

Last Worldwide bank ranking listed Brazil in 145th position among 181 countries in the tax field. And last but not least, we have the worst tax system you can imagine. Companies go crazy hiring people and investing in IT to face the strong demand of control and routines in the tax system.

In the balance, you can see that we are not competitive and we can expect low growth… but Brazil can always surprise you! Fleischman Hillard is working very hard on that. You can expect good news on Brazil this week, starting with the launch of Forum Mundial Report, today, indicating that our competitiveness is much better: in a sample of 133 countries we are now in the 56th position!

Posted in Brazil Economy | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Single tax, an old ideal in Brazil.

Posted by Nadiva Olivier on July 18, 2009

money-treeGlobalization is eroding the efficiency of conventional taxes, such as value added taxes. At the same time, a new form of taxation, levied on bank transactions, was used in Brazil (1993-2007) and proved to be evasion-proof, more efficient and less costly than orthodox tax models.

The significant revenue-raising capacity of bank transactions taxation revived the centuries old ideal of the single tax.

The book of Marcos Cintra, a Brazilian that is a full-professor and vice-president of the Getulio Vargas Foundation in Brazil, just launched in USA, carries out a qualitative and quantitative in-depth comparison of the efficiency, equity and compliance costs of a bank transactions tax relative to orthodox tax systems, and opens new perspectives for the use of modern banking technology in tax reform across the world.

Take a look at the Book at Amazon website: Bank transactions: pathway to single tax ideal.

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Almost 80% of Brazilians have a mobile.

Posted by Nadiva Olivier on March 23, 2009

crazy-mobile-man1Anatel, the agency that regulates communication in Brazil, just announced that the total number of cell phones in Brazil are 152.364.986 (Feb 2009) which amounts to almost 80% of the number of inhabitants in the country.

One can presume that people are high-tech down here but the truth is that many has two or more mobiles.

The mobile concentration is, of course, in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and other big cities in Brazil. So is the number of cell phones per person. In Rio de Janeiro, for instance, each person has more than one mobile.

Image from http://www.all4humor.com

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Dubai, a Brazilian object of desire.

Posted by Nadiva Olivier on February 19, 2009

dubai_mallBrazil international calendar starts with Gulfood Fair – United Arabian Emirates. This food and hospitality trade fair registered almost 40,000 trade professionals in 2008 and its 14th edition will be on Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre from 23 to 26th February 2009, Carnival period in Brazil.

The Emirates signed a cooperation intent agreement with Mercosur countries in 2005, aiming to configure a free trade area, but negotiations are frozen with no estimated data for a closure. This is not a problem for the most interested sectors like airplanes, automobiles, motorcycle, shoes, furniture and food and beverage.

Anticipating Gulfood, Apex will lead 40 Brazilian companies that will offer a gourmet experience to importers from 11 Arabian countries – Saudi Arabia, UAE, Iran, Lebanon, Egypt, Yemen, Oman, Kuwait, Syria, Jordan and Catha – in an event called Flavors of Brazil (Sabores do Brasil) that will take place in Feb 20th and 21st. As Brazil has always a friendly face, each participant will receive a book on The Arab Influences in Brazilian Life. Its last chapter is on Arabian recipes according to the “vision” of Brazilian chefs.

In March or April a diplomacy appointment: the visit of the Brazil’s President to UAE.

In the same period, an Apex Business Center will be launched in Dubai. Meanwhile, Emirates started a direct flight Sao Paulo – Dubai recently and Dubai Tourism Department is opening a representative office in Sao Paulo in order to follow up the increasing interest Brazilians have in Dubai.

Posted in Brazilian market, Foreign trade | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Deep Ecology

Posted by Nadiva Olivier on January 18, 2009

ver-o-peso-02The first notice I received about Arne Naess death caused me sadness but, after minutes, a certain anger because I suddenly realized we had lost the opportunity to have this man and his relevant ideas with us in Brazil. I wondered why so many brilliant minds never came here, looking to Brazil as a distant country, immersed in Carnival and summer, to be known one day and nothing more… But, as Spinoza said, “Emotion, which is suffering, ceases to be suffering as soon as we form a clear and precise picture of it“. By the way, Spinoza and Gandhi had strong influence on Arne Naess thoughts. So, I decided to reflect a little deeper on the reasons I was anger.

At the same month Mr. Naess died, Brazil is about to realize the World Social Forum 2009, created on an idea of a Brazilian man in 2001, and now a healthy Swiss foundation, which works as an UN consultant and is financed by more than 1,000 international companies. The event stimulates reflective thinking of “groups and movements of civil society that are opposed to neoliberals and to domination of the world by capital and any form of imperialism, and are committed to building a planetary society directed towards fruitful relationships among Humankind and between it and the Earth.” I am not sure but these last paragraphs seem to be full of irony. Shadow of my anger? Let me try reflecting a little more then because I do not like unfair things.

The movement was created aiming to oppose the World Economical Forum in Davos. It evolved to specific discussions. The first and second events were around four areas: production of wealth, sustainability, political power and ethics. The third event brought also themes like democracy, media, and militarization besides the first ones. The 4th event discussed information, environment and rights and equality, besides militarization and what they called transversal themes such as imperialist globalization, patriarchy, castes and racism, and religion like fundamentalism. The 5th event (India) was extensive, including all past themes and others like: art, communication, diversity, genres, human rights, autonomous thinking. The polycentric 6th event, held in Africa, Venezuela and Pakistan brought discussions on environmental issues at least in two of these places. The 7th FSM, in Kenya (2007) brought poverty and inclusion subjects among the usual ones. And so on…

The interesting characteristic of FSM, being a horizontal open space for exchange and discussions, is that it allows all this diversified approach, encompassing all mankind issues. The first themes remain and others are progressively aggregated in order to better evaluate what is happening in the world. That is why environmental question was growing up, until now, in the 2009 FSM event, that is held exact in the main forest area the capitalism is fighting for – Amazon forest. Nothing less than 12% of all planetary forests.

Arne Naess did not come to Brazil but certainly this 2009 Forum will have his ideas spread on the many discussions the event will conceive. Ten goals guide the 2009 event and the last one is “the defense of the environment (amazonic and others ecosystems) as source of life for the planet Earth and for the originary peoples of the world (indigenous, afro-descendent, tribal and riverine), that demand their territories, languages, cultures, identities, environmental justice, spiritually and right to live.”

I was anger because Brazil did not realize who Arne was. Probably Jose Lutzemberger, the Brazilian ecologist which ideas were so closed to Arne Naess, had already made the sufficient contact with him, concerning ethics. His participation in more than 40 international events must have impressed him with so many good ideas like Arne´s ones. He was decisive to put Brazil away of the atomic bomb plans. He died in 2002 and, surprisingly, it was his decision to be buried naked, wrapped in a sheet of linen, no coffin, that is, with no impacts to the environment in a manner consistent to with his life.

I must confess: these reflections made my sadness turn into a good feeling. I have the sensation that, by different ways and levels, all countries are getting together in the same consciousness about the meaning of this planet to our complex life and soul and vice-versa. In a way, naked Lutzemberg and Arne Naess are looking, from the high point of a paradise mountain, to the way we evolve here to the deep ecology.

World Social Forum 2009 – Belém, PARA – Brazil. www.fsm2009amazonia.org.br

Photo: Belém, in the State of Para, Brazil: Ver-o-Peso market, created in the Brazilian Colonial historical period. It is the largest free fair in Latin America. Belem is the territory for WSF 2009.

Posted in Environmental, General Comments | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

 
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