Bolsonaro to fly to Japan to boost trade, investment

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro next week is starting an official trip to Japan and China, aimed at bolstering trade with these two Asian nations and signal to the world the country’s commitment to economic openness, new business deals, and overhauls, said Ambassador Reinaldo José de Almeida Salgado, the Foreign Ministry’s secretary for bilateral affairs in Asia, the Pacific, and Russia. Together, Japan and China invest a total of $100 billion in Brazil. Asia ranks first in Brazilian exports and imports. In the nine first months of 2019, 40 percent of…

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Rio’s Christ the Redeemer now 88 years old

One of the world’s most famous constructions—next to the Eiffel Tower, in Paris, and the Statue of Liberty, in New York—the monument of Christ the Redeemer, in Rio de Janeiro, last weekend celebrated 88 years since its inauguration. The celebration included a mass and a cake sliced at the foot of the statue. One of the city’s most visited tourist attractions, the famous statue of Christ with his arms spread open was declared one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World in 2007. Inaugurated on October 12, 1931, the…

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Oxfam: Temporary fruit farm workers live in poverty

Temporary workers on fruit farms in the Brazilian Northeast are being subjected to degrading practices and low pay, despite the sector being made up of well structured companies boasting a number of certifications. The conclusion can be found in a report entitled Frutas doces, vidas amargas (“sweet fruits, bitter lives”) released this week by nonprofit Oxfam Brasil. “Many companies have several important certifications, like Rainforest, Fair Trade, and Global Gap, specific for supermarket chains. Even in certified companies we found extremely bad practices, even degrading working conditions—especially pesticide contamination, intimidation,…

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Lower interest rates overseas could benefit Brazil’s infrastructure

Brazil’s infrastructure may benefit from the reduction in interest rates overseas. In the view of Infrastructure Minister Tarcísio Gomes de Freitas, this landscape represents a window of opportunities for the country in its efforts to become a more profitable option for foreign investors. For this to happen, he argued, Brazil must continue to unveil “organized, sophisticated” projects, following well planned strategies. “We’re going through an extremely interesting and favorable moment, where the world has been shrinking and losing speed. This represents an opportunity to us. The slowdown comes as a…

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Brazil ranks 71st for global competitiveness

A report put together by the World Economic Forum shows Brazil ranking 71st on the global competitiveness list comprising 141 countries. The highest-ranking nation on the ranking is Singapore, overtaking the US, which comes second. Hong Kong is third, followed by the Netherlands, Switzerland, Japan, Germany, Sweden, and the UK. Among Latin American countries, Chile (33rd) still has the regional lead, followed by Mexico (46th) and Uruguay (54th). All other Latin American nations, except for Brazil and Colombia, faced downgrades in 2019. The survey was made public today (Oct 9)…

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Africa to have majority of Portuguese speakers by century’s end

Boasting a population of around 210 million—the largest among the member countries of the Community of Portuguese Language Countries, or CPLP—Brazil is the nation with the highest number of speakers of Portuguese today. More than eight of every ten people speaking the language in the world today are Brazilians. “However, in 2050 this reality will begin to change, as the demographic growth of Angola and Mozambique, coupled with a decline in Brazil’s population, will pull the pendulum of the Portuguese language towards the African continent,” said Portugal’s Foreign Minister Augusto…

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Miners ask Bolsonaro to reopen Serra Pelada

President Jair Bolsonaro welcomed today (Oct 1) at the Planalto Palace, seat of the Brazilian government, a group of miners from Serra Pelada, an area rich in precious metals in the northern Pará state. The claim for the government the task of granting the right to the exploration of gold and other minerals. In the early 80s, Serra Pelada was the world’s largest open-air mining site. The president told the prospectors that the Ministry of Mines and Energy and the National Mining Agency seek alternatives to address their problem and…

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Brasília to host int’l conference on indigenous languages

The University of Brasília (UnB) today (Oct 1) is hosting the II International Conference on the Revitalization of Indigenous and Minoritized Languages. The event is recognized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (Unesco), and is expected to gather representatives from 29 research and academic institutes. Two hundred participants from outside of UnB have been confirmed, of whom approximately 80 come from foreign countries, like Chile, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Peru, Canada, New Zealand, the US, and Spain. As suggested by the United Nations (UN), 2019 is celebrated as the International…

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Over 2 thousand services to go digital in Brazil by 2020

President Bolsonaro’s Chief of Staff Onyx Lorenzoni said Wednesday (Sep 25) that 328 of the 2 thousand services provided by the government are digitally certified, with all of them expected to go digital by the end of 2020, “within reach of any smartphone,” Lorenzoni said at the 17th Digital Certification Forum, CertForum. Digital certificates have helped the country make business easier and expeditious for Brazilian entrepreneurs, Lorenzoni argued. To an audience of managers in both private and public sectors, industrialists, and researchers, the minister described the new certificates as a…

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In UN speech, Bolsonaro talks about socialism and religion

In his address at the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday (Sep 24), Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro mentioned “the reconstruction of Brazil,” which, he said “rises again after being on the brink of socialism.” This, he argued, brought the country “to a situation of generalized corruption, severe economic recession, high crime rates, and ceaseless attacks on family and religious values which have built our traditions.” In the 30-minute speech with a focus on the environment, Bolsonaro mentioned the Mais Médicos program, created in 2013 in partnership…

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Bolsonaro highlights richness of Amazon forest in UN address

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said in New York today (Sep 24) that he cannot accept the return of colonialism and advocated Brazil’s sovereignty over the Amazon. During the opening address of the 74th UN General Assembly, Bolsonaro reiterated the country’s commitment to preserving the environment and sustainable development. “Brazil is among the richest countries in biodiversity and mineral riches. Our Amazon is larger than all of Western Europe and remains virtually untouched, which is proof we are among the countries that most protect the environment,” he told an audience of…

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UN awards Brazil for tobacco control and lower road death rate

Brazil’s Health Minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta received the United Nations (UN) Interagency Task Force Award in New York on Monday (Sep 23). The accolade recognizes measures by the Brazilian government to fight tobacco and reduce deaths stemming from traffic accidents. In the last 12 years, the number of smokers in Brazil plunged 40 percent from 15.6 percent in 2006 to nine percent in 2018. From 2010 to 2017, the country slashed the number of traffic-related deaths by 17.4 percent—from 42,844 to 35,374 deaths. The award is said to come to…

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Brazil’s environmental services benefit world: Minister

During a recent interview with TV Brasil, Brazil’s Environment Minister Ricardo Salles said the country should be paid for providing environmental services to the world. “We should receive the so-called PES—payment for environmental services. It’s something we deserve,” he argued. Salles is in New York to attend the 74th United Nations (UN) General Assembly next to President Jair Bolsonaro. The recent reverberations of the wildfires burning in the Amazon brought the environment to the center of international debates. The PES in Brazil, the minister said, can be advanced after the…

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Brazilian girl wins UN Young Champions of the Earth Award

A filtering system to purify water exclusively with solar energy has earned social entrepreneur Anna Luisa Beserra, 21, from Bahia, the Champions of the Earth Award, of the United Nations (UN) Environment. It is the first time a Brazilian national wins the accolade. The idea behind the project, dubbed Aqualuz, came about when Anna Luisa was still a high school student and saw the poster for the Young Scientist Award, of the National Scientific and Technological Development Council, which has a category devoted to school students. The subject that year…

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A quintessential Brazilian spirit, cachaça seeks further recognition

Known by various names and nicknames, the cachaça, a traditional Brazilian distilled spirit from fermented sugarcane, is part and parcel with Brazil’s history. Nonetheless, the sector is still trying to bring the acknowledgment it deserves as a beverage and a national symbol. Carlos Lima, executive director of the Cachaça Institute of Brazil (Ibrac), believes “Brazilians are still not familiar with the versatility and richness of the drink, which is still marginalized and subject to prejudice. People still prefer to drink other beverages, because they think it’s more glamorous than drinking…

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Bolsonaro to talk environment in UN address

In his address at the United Nations (UN) General Assembly, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro will advocate the government’s environmental policy. In his weekly live broadcast on Facebook on Thursday (Sep 19), Bolsonaro argued that the fires in the Amazon are below the average of the last 15 years and that there has been an international attempt to denigrate Brazil’s reputation overseas. The goal, he said, is to harm the country’s agricultural industry—one of the most competitive in the world. Bolsonaro and his entourage are expected to take off to New…

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Brazilian project protects 40 million sea turtles

In sea turtles’ next spawning season on the Brazilian coast, bathed by the Atlantic Ocean, the Tamar environmental protection project is likely to reach the threshold of 40 million protected animals over the course of nearly four decades of work. “These are turtles on a transcontinental trip to Brazilian beaches. It’s important to remember, of every thousand turtles that are born, only one or two survive. There’s still a lot to be done to rid these animals of the threat of extinction,” said biologist Guy Marcovaldi, founder of the project.…

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Brazilian initiative protects 40 million sea turtles

In sea turtles’ next spawning season on the Brazilian coast, bathed by the Atlantic Ocean, the Tamar environmental protection project is likely to reach the threshold of 40 million protected animals over the course of nearly four decades of work. “These are turtles on a transcontinental trip to Brazilian beaches. It’s important to remember, of every thousand turtles that are born, only one or two survive. There’s still a lot to be done to rid these animals of the threat of extinction,” said biologist Guy Marcovaldi, founder of the project.…

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Brazil not burning forest, Ernesto Araújo says in US

Brazil’s Foreign Minister Ernesto Araújo in Washington on Wednesday (Sep 11) challenged the reports from environmentalist institutions holding Brazil accountable for part of the country’s environment crisis. During an address at the Heritage Foundation, in the US capital, the chancellor said that Brazil “is not burning the forest,” adding that the fires are “within the historical average.” The blazes in the Amazon account for merely “two percent of carbon dioxide emissions across the world.” “Even if we admit that carbon dioxide emissions directly control temperature, Brazil is not the culprit,”…

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Brazil showcases security solutions in London

Exhibiting innovative solutions and state-of-the-art technology, 15 Brazilian companies are taking part in the Defence & Security Equipment International 2019 (DSEI 2019), which kicked off in London on Tuesday (Sep 10), and is slated to end on Friday (13). The world-renowned event is held every two years in the British capital and draws representatives from the industry, government, and Armed Forces of several nations, as well as global buyers and suppliers, with products in the aerospace, naval, and land sectors. The Apex-Brasil team joined by Brazil’s ambassador to the UK…

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