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Jorge Bittar, Head of Brazilian telecoms company Telebras, has announced that Brazil will boost its internet communications to reduce dependence on US hubs and be able to host global data centres for heavy users like YouTube and Netflix Inc.
At present, all submarine fiber-optic cables connect Brazil to the internet through the United States. This could be seen as a security risk by Brazil, in the light of the 2013 revelations that the US National Security Agency spied on President Dilma Rousseff and other Brazilians.
In a move planned for late 2016, European space-transporter Arianespace will launch a geostationary satellite for Brazil from French Guiana, which will bring the internet to remote corners of Brazil. The electronic surveillance scandal prompted Brazil to buy the satellite from French aerospace supplier Thales SA, rather than a US company.
By 2017, a submarine cable will open a high-speed link to Portugal. The 3,650 mile cable will be laid from Lisbon to Fortaleza in northeast Brazil by a joint venture formed by Telebras and Spain’s IslaLink and will allow Brazil to have its first global internet exchange point in Fortaleza. “The submarine cable will give us greater security and more agile communications with Europe” Bittar said. It will also give European astronomers a very high speed connection to the European Southern Observatory telescopes in Chile’s Atacama desert.
Brazil is building antennas to connect the country from poor city suburbs to remote corners of the Amazon. Jorge Bittar said that the purchase was not hit by recent spending cuts because one of president Rousseff’s priorities is to bring the internet to every Brazilian school.
22nd September 2015
In a study released by the National Institute of Oil & Gas at Rio de Janeiro State University, researchers have said that Brazil’s Subsalt Polygon, which covers its Santos and Campos offshore basins, contains at least 176 billion barrels of undiscovered, recoverable resources of oil and natural gas. That is more than 4 times the 30-40 billion already discovered in the area.
Subsalt refers to oil trapped far beneath the seabed by a layer of minerals. The Polygon covers an offshore area near Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo where Brazil already extracts about 85% of its oil and gas.
13th August 2015
This week Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has been on a visit to the US. This comes two years after she cancelled a state visit to Washington following revelations of US spying on her office.
At the beginning of the week she visited New York City and Washington D.C., holding official talks with President Obama on Tuesday. At a joint White House news conference, President Obama described the relationship the US has with Brazil as a “cornerstone” of America’s relations with Latin America and President Rousseff said the relationship was on an upward trajectory, describing the talks as fruitful. President Obama took her on a visit to the Martin Luther King Jr Memorial in Washington and hosted a grand state dinner at the White House.
On Wednesday she made a visit to Silicon Valley where she met top technology executives, including Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt, and she had a ride in Google Inc’s self-driving car. During her visit, Google announced it would inaugurate a new engineering space in Belo Horizonte in November that will more than double the number of engineers working in Brazil on some of the company’s core products. She also attended a lunch with top Silicon Valley executives from Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Cisco and PayPal. Brazil is the second-largest market by users, after the US, for Google, Apple and Facebook.
2nd July 2015
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang met Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff on a visit to Brazil, part of his first official trip to South America. Agreements were signed for a range of investment deals worth $53bn. The injection of capital from China comes at a good time for Brazil and, as the Chinese economy begins to slow, Chinese companies are looking abroad for new opportunities to invest.
Premier Li said Chinese construction and steel companies were ready to help Brazil overhaul its infrastructure, thereby helping reduce transport costs for Brazilian commodity exports. Li & Rousseff announced that the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China will set up a $50bn fund with Brazil’s largest mortgage lender, Caixa Economica Federal, to invest in infrastructure projects in Brazil.
The two countries also agreed to start feasibility studies on a railway to cross the Andes, linking Brazil’s Atlantic coast to Pacific ports in Peru, thus allowing Brazil to export goods to China without having to use the Panama Canal.
Tianjin Airlines confirmed the purchase of the first batch from a total of 60 passenger jets made by Brazil’s Embaer, which China had pledged to buy. Brazil’s mining giant Vale, looking to raise cash, said it sold four large iron ore carriers to China Merchants Energy Shipping Co. China also ended an embargo on Brazilian beef imports that had been in place since 2012.
21st May 2015
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