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Archive for August, 2012

Immagine

BRAZIL’s economy is seen growing at just 2 % this year (↓), below the 2.7 % last year and below the 4 % target set by the government in January. For some economists Brazil has to return to a reform agenda.

They are complaining about the tax burden and infrastructure and a government that seems to argue that the big problem is a lack of demand. There is not a lack of demand, but more of an issue of supply to meet that demand.  There is a frustrated growth.

Brazil’s Gov (President ROUSSEFF will launch the initiative personally) is set to launch the first in a series of measures that could inject up to $50bn into the economy over the next 5 years.

The first part of the plan includes:

  • privatising about 14,000 Km of railways and roads.
  • privatisation of ports, lower energy costs and incentives for industry will soon follow.

“The Gov realized that Privatizations  are a way to boost investment”

says Felipe Salto, an economist at Tendencias, a leading consulting firm in Brazil.

The package is designed to boost what have been disappointing growth levels.

Prior to these measures, the Gov had been counting mainly on rising levels of domestic consumption – fuelled by credit growth and rising income among poor Brazilians – alongside investments by state companies. Although the previous strategy had helped BRAZIL become the 6th largest economy in the world in 2011, overtaking BRITAIN, the Gov has not been able to maintain high growth rates

The recent weak growth has been attributed mainly to ↑ debt rates among the population and the global downturn, which reduced demand for Brazilian products:

  • Expensive energy,
  • poor infrastructure
  • and increasing labour costs

Now the Gov will increase the role played by private investors, who were seen to have lost ground during the Gov of Luiz Inacio LULA da Silva, Brazil’s president from 2003-2010. Ms Matos (economist, professor at Getulio Vargas Foundation) believes the new package will tackle some key economic problems, but says Brazil faces other serious issues such as increased public spending and an inefficient tax system. Without reforms in these areas, she says, the country’s economy will remain vulnerable.

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Immagine

For decades, Brazilians said and believed they were living in the country of the future: “o pais do futuro.” 

But after nearly seven years of a commodity led economic boom, BRAZIL has moved into the future, however Brazil is not the country it once was. Indeed nowadays, “o pais do futuro” is giving way to “el pais del futuro”, MEXICO.

Most investors don’t look too far into the future. But there are plenty of mutual funds and corporate investors who need to have a vision of what the world will look like in 10 years. Getting the future right is how company’s and investors succeed.

These days, investors are in love with Mexico. Nevertheless over the last years, Brazil is considered as the most powerful and largest economy south of Texas, seen as safer than Mexico, more mature, more diverse economically, and a benefactor of the China boom. That might change. In some respects, it already is changing.

Tony Volpon, managing director of Nomura Securities and Benito Berber, have been considering this for some time. Volpon’s from Brazil and he knows the country intimately. Mexico’s economy might even be bigger than Brazil’s within 10 years.

BRAZIL / MEXICO

Brazil and Mexico grew similarly throughout the (1990s – 2004). After that, the Brazilian economy boomed.  Looking back, the real game changer for Brazil was the coming of CHINA into the world economy. The massive commodity demand that came from China was a blessing to BRAZIL, the world’s leading exporter of iron ore, sugar, coffee, orange juice and a major exporter of soybeans after the U.S.

The election of LULA da Silva in 2003 nearly killed the Brazilian real, pushing the forex to about four to one at the start of the commodity bull cycle.  It was nearly impossible to compete with Brazil on price and the country captured that market quickly. To this day, Brazil is a haven for all types of agricultural investment. Brazil had, and still has, a natural competitive advantage and attracted billions in foreign direct investment. Plus, Brazil had very low credit demand in the early 2000s. It was under 30 % of GDP and rose to 50 % of GDP as the country got richer, labor markets improved and investment capital poured in.

On the MEXICAN side meanwhile, China’s accession to the WTO put Mexico in 3rd place in terms of % of U.S. imports. China became No.1. Canada was No.2. That’s changing… says Berber. Mexico is now producing more cars for the U.S. market than Canada.

“Mexico is producing more cars for the U.S. and China share of U.S. imports is stabilizing while Mexico’s share is rising gradually. On the investment side, a lot of investment into Mexico was interrupted by the 2008 crisis, but that is also recovering.”

What will influence growth in these countries over the next 10 years?

From a total factor productivity standpoint, BRAZIL grew 1.2 % over the last 8 years ending 2010, while MEXICO grew just 0.1 %. MEXICO was reforming at the time, basically privatizing the banking sector and floating the exchange rate. Moreover, growth in the U.S. real estate market took a lot of labor out of Mexico and moved it into the U.S.  That is expected to reverse, helping Mexico’s human capital, keeping wages stable to low as supply improves.

The 2 sectors that are growing in BRAZIL are commodities and services, but they don’t require a lot of technology like manufacturing does. Commodities, with the exception of petroleum, do not incorporate technological change as rapidly (< investment and could mean < employment growth)

Brazil is also becoming more of a service economy, so productivity overall will fall because services and raw commodities are not areas requiring massive investment and productivity, especially in the services sector.  As a result, Brazilian economic growth should oscillate around 3 % for the next decade.

In MEXICO, there are 2 sets of things that will support growth.

1)     The first has to do with external factors

As labor costs ↑ in China, more countries are moving to Mexico in manufacturing (labor intensive and capital intensive). Also, the type of manufacturing Mexico is attracting is the “value-added type”; high end, like aerospace for example, which of course is very high cost and human capital intensive. 

2)      “In terms of labor, the construction sector and services sector in the U.S. are not doing well, so that implies that a lot of migrant workers are coming back to Mexico. And those that would like to go to the U.S. are staying in Mexico,” Berber says, adding that the country is still dependent on structural reforms of the new government if it is to make their call correct.

So the Mexican economy could overtake Brazil as early as 2022 to 2030!

“Our call is predicated on the approval of labor reform by the Mexican congress,” Berber says.  ”It is very difficult to fire people in Mexico, so that makes it harder to hire people.

Labor, fiscal and energy REFORM are all important.  Energy is dominated by the state, but the new government has been very adamant about the private sector being involved in the energy sector. If that happens, that could boost total production in the Mexican economy.”

Well, Mexico overtaking Brazil?

At least it’s not Argentina… but that could ultimately lead to a rethinking of economic policy in a Brazil that will unlikely take falling to No. 2 without a fight.

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The Quote of the Day

T.Roosevelt, U.S.A. President (No. 26)

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Immagine

Italia es el 3 socio comercial de México entre los países de la Unión Europea (UE), después de Alemania y España. Por su parte, México es el 2 socio comercial de Italia en América Latina, después de Brasil.

A partir de la entrada en vigor del Tratado de Libre Comercio Unión Europea-México (TLCUEM), el intercambio comercial entre México e Italia ha crecido 154.7%, al pasar de 1,824.6 millones de dólares (mdd) en 1999 a 4,648.2 mdd en 2010. Las exportaciones de productos mexicanos al mercado italiano se han incrementado 271%, de 175.2 mdd en 1999 a 651.3 mdd en 2010, que constituye el valor más alto registrado a la fecha. En el mismo periodo, las importaciones de productos italianos se incrementaron 142.3% al pasar de 1,649.4 mdd en 1999 a 3,996.9 mdd en 2010; el máximo histórico fue registrado en 2007 por un valor de 5,560.5 mdd.

Los principales productos exportados por México a Italia fueron:

  • trigo duro (19.5%); formas en bruto de oro (incluido el oro platinado), semilabrado o en polvo (11.1%); y cinc sin alear con un contenido de cinc superior o igual al 99.9 en peso (5.5%).

Los principales productos italianos importados por México fueron:

  • gasolina excepto gasolina para aviones (5.2%); productos laminados en caliente, de acero inoxidable, enrollado de espesor entre 3 y 4.75 mm (3.4%); y productos laminados en caliente, de acero inoxidable, enrolladas, de espesor < a 3mm (3.3%). 

Oportunidades de exportación de México a Italia

El TLCUEM ha abierto nuevas oportunidades de exportación con ventajas arancelarias para México respecto a los principales proveedores de Italia, en sectores como: automotriz, prendas de vestir, plásticos, pieles y cueros, y maquinaria y equipo eléctrico, entre otros.

Los sectores prioritarios de fomento son:

  • alimentos frescos; alimentos procesados; bebidas y tabaco; productos eléctricos y electrónicos; calzado y artículos de cuero; materiales de construcción. Asimismo, se está promoviendo otros sectores como: productos del mar; flores de ornato; y productos químicos.

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«Io mi diverto ad avere trent’anni, io me li bevo come un liquore i trent’anni: non li appassisco in una precoce vecchiaia ciclostilata su carta carbone.Ascoltami, Cernam, White, Bean, Armstrong, Gordon, Chaffee: sono stupendi i trent’anni, ed anche i trentuno, i trentadue, i trentatré, i trentaquattro, i trentacinque! Sono stupendi perché sono liberi, ribelli, fuorilegge, perchè è finita l’angoscia dell’attesa, non è incominciata la malinconia del declino, perché siamo lucidi, finalmente, a trent’anni!
Se siamo religiosi, siamo religiosi convinti. Se siamo atei, siamo atei convinti. Se siamo dubbiosi, siamo dubbiosi senza vergogna. E non temiamo le beffe dei ragazzi perché anche noi siamo giovani, non temiamo i rimproveri degli adulti perchè anche noi siamo adulti.
Non temiamo il peccato perché abbiamo capito che il peccato è un punto di vista, non temiamo la disubbidienza perché abbiamo scoperto che la disubbidienza è nobile. Non temiamo la punizione perché abbiamo concluso che non c’è nulla di male ad amarci se ci incontriamo, ad abbandonarci se ci perdiamo: i conti non dobbiamo più farli con la maestra di scuola e non dobbiamo ancora farli col prete dell’olio santo. Li facciamo con noi stessi e basta, col nostro dolore da grandi.
Siamo un campo di grano maturo, a trent’anni, non più acerbi e non ancora secchi: la linfa scorre in noi con la pressione giusta, gonfia di vita. È viva ogni nostra gioia, è viva ogni nostra pena, si ride e si piange come non ci riuscirà mai più, si pensa e si capisce come non ci riuscirà mai più. Abbiamo raggiunto la cima della montagna e tutto è chiaro là in cima: la strada per cui siamo saliti, la strada per cui scenderemo. Un po’ ansimanti e tuttavia freschi, non succederà più di sederci nel mezzo a guardare indietro e in avanti, a meditare sulla nostra fortuna:
 
e allora com’è che in voi non è così? Com’è che sembrate i miei padri schiacciati di paure, di tedio, di calvizie? Ma cosa v’hanno fatto, cosa vi siete fatti? A quale prezzo pagate la Luna? La Luna costa cara, lo so. Costa cara a ciascuno di noi: ma nessun prezzo vale quel campo di grano, nessun prezzo vale quella cima di monte. Se lo valesse, sarebbe inutile andar sulla Luna: tanto varrebbe restarcene qui. 
Svegliatevi dunque, smettetela d’essere così razionali, ubbidienti, rugosi! Smettetela di perder capelli, di intristire nella vostra uguaglianza! Stracciatela la carta carbone. Ridete, piangete, sbagliate.
Prendetelo a pugni quel Burocrate che guarda il cronometro. Ve lo dico con umilità, con affetto, perché vi stimo, perché vi vedo migliori di me e vorrei che foste molto migliori di me. Molto: non così poco. O è ormai troppo tardi? O il Sistema vi ha già piegato, inghiottito? Sì, dev’esser così».
Oriana Fallaci

[Da Se il sole muore, Rizzoli 1965]

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Immagine

NATION

G

S

B

Tot

U.S.A.

46

29

29

104

CHINA

38

27

23

88

U.K.

29

17

19

65

RUSSIA

24

26

32

82

SOUTH KOREA

13

8

7

28

GERMANY

11

19

14

44

FRANCE

11

11

12

34

ITALY

8

9

11

28

HUNGARY

8

4

5

17

AUSTRALIA

7

16

12

35

11. JAPAN

7

14

17

38

13. NETHERLANDS

6

6

8

20

16.CUBA

5

3

6

14

18.JAMAICA

4

4

4

12

21.SPAIN

3

10

4

17

22.BRAZIL

3

5

9

17

36.CANADA

1

5

12

18

38.COLOMBIA

1

3

4

8

39.MEXICO

1

3

3

7

TOP (Nations) :

  • U.S.A. & CHINA
  • U.K.
  • SOUTH KOREA
  • HUNGARY, NETHERLANDS
  • CUBA, JAMAICA, COLOMBIA

It’s OK but it would have been Better :

  • RUSSIA, FRANCE
  • ITALY, SPAIN
  • BRAZIL, MEXICO

FLOP (Nations) :

  • GERMANY
  • AUSTRALIA, JAPAN, CANADA

TOP (Medallists) :

  • BOLT (100mt, 200mt, 4x100mt, JAM), PHELPS (swimming, USA)
  • HOY (cycling, UK), MURRAY (tennis, UK)
  • RUDISHA (800mt, KEN), ENNIS (eptathlonUK), FARAH (5000mt, 10000mt, UK)
  • PISTORIUS (life, SAF), S.WILLIAMS (Tennis), KIPROTICH (Marathon, Uga)
  • DREAM TEAM USA Basket, ITALIAN DREAM TEAM Fencing

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Italy ends with 28 medals (8-9-11), one more than Beijing 2008.

Immagine

Satisfaction concerning to the final result was also shown by the Italian President, G. Napolitano: 

“I’m satisfied with what Italy sports team made.” 

The Head of Delegation, R. Pagnozzi, wanted to point out: “Fencing, volleyball, water polo, archery and gymnastics remind us that we still are a good team.” Then he added a data: “The average age of the medallists fell to 27 y.o., and half of them were rookies. We are renewing”.

So, maybe, Italian sport can go beyond the structural limits. In the ranking of the World Economic Forum, Italy ranks 43° out of 142 nations surveyed, here in London we were able to reach the 8th place of 204 Olympic Committees represented.

As Petrucci said:

“we are in the G8 World Sport”. 

The 30th Olympic games gives us an idea of a country, Italy, in difficulty, the image of a nation that feels insecure itself. However this country somehow holds. It does hold.

The answers that can give an event like this are mostly for the sports movement but not at all, because in the globalized world it is a sign of something more complex. In this purpose, we could mention what happened in Berlin ’36, on the eve of the war, or in Rome ’60, before the post-colonial indipendence of the African countries. Thereby, the global world has confirmed that London is presented as the mother city of the present world.

Anyway, the best Italians in London were not only the athletes, but also the 165000 residents that make London one of the largest Italian cities! It’s people arrived here without recommendations, which their success is based on the meritocracy. These persons nowadays manage the best hotels or restaurants, when they do not work in the City. A lot of them will stay in London, others will take back more energy at home, ability to risk and sacrifice, which are no less important than the medals won by our athlets.

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