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On December 3, Foreign Affairs magazine hosted its third annual Brazil Investment Conference. The event featured top Brazilian and U.S. business and policy leaders discussing major trends and challenges surrounding investment opportunities in Brazil. Organized by Foreign Affairs with communications firm ThinkLink, the half-day conference took place at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York and was streamed live online.
The opening keynote session featured Brazilian minister of development, industry, and foreign trade Fernando Damata Pimentel in a conversation with author and economist Albert Fishlow. The minister addressed the necessary components for Brazil’s continued growth and competitiveness. Notably, Minister Pimentel called for acceleration of bilateral trade agreements with the European Union and the United States. (VIDEO)
After opening remarks by Congressman Marco Maia, the following keynote panel featured Council on Foreign Relations Senior Fellow Shannon O’Neil, PricewaterhouseCoopers Emerging Markets Leader and Chief Economist Harry G. Broadman, former U.S. assistant secretary of state Jose W. Fernandez, and Wilson Center Brazil Institute Director Paulo Sotero. The panelists discussed the significant obstacles facing Brazil in establishing a sustainable model for economic growth. They highlighted specific limitations such as domestic supply-side constraints and persistent inflationary pressures. They underscored the need for a steady, measured pace of fiscal consolidation, anchored on Brazil’s long-standing primary surplus target. (VIDEO)
The plenary session on innovation featured Marcos Troyjo, director of Columbia University’s BRICLab; Richard J. Coyle, executive director of the Emerging Markets Institute at Cornell University’s Johnson School; Carlos Zanvettor, CEO of Grupo Contax; and moderator Nathalie Hoffman, CEO of Brazil Business Link. They discussed how technology-driven business model innovations will address today’s most complex economic and environmental sustainability challenges. The discussion highlighted Brazil’s need to create an "innovation environment" in order for business in the country to truly flourish. (VIDEO)
The closing plenary session on Brazil’s long term energy future featured Andrés R. Gluski, director, president, and CEO of AES Corporation; José Carlos Meirelles, partner at Pinheiro Neto Advogados; R. Blair Thomas, CEO of EIG Global Energy Partners; Jorge H. Kamine, counsel in the energy and infrastructure group at Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom; and moderator Kassia Yanosek, a consultant and energy expert from McKinsey & Company. The panelists discussed how current government policies concentrate mainly on the improvement of energy efficiency, in both residential and industrial sectors, as well as increasing development and availability of power generated by renewable energy sources. Further restructuring of the energy sector will be one of the key issues for ensuring sufficient energy investments to meet the rising need for fuel and electricity. (VIDEO)
The Brazil Investment Conference is part of the magazine’s larger effort to advance the global conversation on economic development and growth in emerging markets; notably in the areas of innovation, sustainability, infrastructure, and global competitiveness. The upcoming January/February 2014 issue of the magazine will contain a special section highlighting new emerging markets.