This is how the Brazilian economy beats the Covid effect

Oct 2, 2020

Despite its size, Brazil has shown in the past a strong capacity to react to crises more quickly than many other countries.
What is the current situation in Brazil strong in the Covid-19 crisis? A few days ago we discussed the Brazilian economy with the president of Bndes (the equivalent of CDP in Brazil) in a profitable event sponsored by Ambassador Francesco Azzarello. From the analysis of the data presented, it was found that the injection by the Central Bank of such a huge amount of liquidity in these months of crisis has meant that in almost all sectors, except some services, economic activity is already back to pre-Covid levels in February. In addition to this, the bank will act with the logic of a private investment bank, also entering the capital of private equity, with priority in the sectors of public health and hygiene services, oil & gas and green economy, as well as facilitating instruments for the protection of the exchange risk. We are talking about domestic liquidity because the dollar reserves of over 350 billion remained almost unchanged during the crisis and give comfort to the country in relation to its debt. This is the situation in Brazil today. In this context, it is not surprising to see how the agribusiness sector, which is worth about 20% of Brazilian GDP, has never stopped growing even during the crisis. This year is a record for the harvest of soy, coffee, cotton and other crops and, with the same cultivated land, the new techniques of industry 4.0 or the latest generation fertilizers make the difference. And in this the Italian companies present, such as Engineering or Biolchim, to name two, stand out positively. Those interested in this sector know that the cultivated area in Brazil is worth only 7.6% of its territory and the sector is very attentive to sustainable growth in spite of a lot of misleading information circulating. A recent study carried out by the US Ministry of Agriculture sees Brazil as the first country in the world capable of increasing its food production capacity by 40% in the next 6 years (compared to 15% in China and 10% in the US) . Returning to the Italy-Brazil axis, Italian companies are playing a key role. FCA has not held back investments and is revolutionizing the commercial offer by fueling the supply chain of Italian SMEs; Pirelli has been present for over 90 years and inaugurated the largest testing center a month ago on the outskirts of São Paulo. Tim with its 55 million customers has entered the game of digital payments, Enel is the first energy operator in Brazil with ambitious expansion programs and the creation of the first metropolitan digital district. Chiesi has inaugurated its new offices and is evaluating strategic acquisitions in a sector, the pharmaceutical one, which continues to grow in double figures. These large companies are now part of the Brazilian corporate fabric and during Covid they all mobilized, such as Pirelli, which donated the equivalent of 4 million in tires. Simest’s new measures arrived with perfect timing because, thanks to these incentives, in the last two months we have seen various Italian SMEs open commercial branches in Brazil. Beyond the contributions, however, we see many projects and interests in different sectors. To name a few examples, Genera (energy saving), Fisia (sanitation), CrLab (beauty), TecnoCap (packaging), Melegatti, Liguori, Salov (food), SoftLab (It-Cybersecurity), Nuova Temas (automative). And on retail, there are two growing success stories such as Bacio di Latte, with a target of 100 stores, and Intimissimi – Calzedonia which grew by 400% in e-commerce during the crisis.
Graziano Messana
Managing director GM Venture and president of the Italian Chamber of Commerce of San Paolo.

Original article in Italian.

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