BNDES acelera desembolsos para obras en América Latina

Banco Nacional de Desarrollo de Brasil, aumentará en un 26,6% interanual sus desembolsos en América Latina hasta 870 millones en el 2011. Con un cartera de crédito tres veces mayor a la del Banco Mundial, el BNDES ha financiado la participación de empresas brasileñas en obras de infraestructura desde el metro de Caracas hasta gasoductos en Argentina e hidroeléctricas en Perú y República Dominicana. (Fuente: Infolatam – 28/09/2011)

“Podemos hablar de una tendencia creciente en el número de proyectos y operaciones de apoyo a la exportación y también de una diversificación de los destinos”, dijo a Reuters la Superintendente Luciane Machado. “El año pasado el valor de los desembolsos (en proyectos de infraestructura en América Latina) fue de 687 millones de dólares, este año estamos proyectando 870 millones y el año que viene, basado en el crecimiento de la cartera, esperamos estar en el orden de los 1.000 millones”, añadió en entrevista telefónica desde las oficinas del banco en Río de Janeiro. Convertido en una herramienta de política exterior del Gobierno brasileño, el BNDES financia exportaciones de bienes y servicios a tasas preferenciales entorno al 7 por ciento. Los desembolsos del banco en América Latina han crecido sostenidamente en la última década a tasas de dos e incluso tres dígitos. Pero el BNDES ha sido criticado por prestar dinero a tasas que algunos consideran subsidiadas y que ofrecen ventajas muy competitivas a constructoras brasileñas: Odebrecht, OAS, Camargo Correa. Luciane Machado dice que es una acusación sin fundamento. “Rechazamos la afirmación de que ofrecemos con tasas subsidiadas. Trabajamos con tasas internacionales de referencia y lo único que queremos hacer es dar a nuestros exportadores las mismas condiciones de tasas de interés que nuestros competidores para participar en licitaciones”. Machado dijo que las operaciones internacionales BNDES no serán afectadas por la decisión de reducir los niveles de operación en Brasil, que busca atraer capital privado inhibido por las condiciones preferenciales de financiamiento ofrecidas por el banco estatal. “En el exterior participamos con un porcentaje de las exportaciones brasileñas, nuestro nivel de participación en el todo del proyecto es mucho menor, del orden del 80 o 70%. Si aplicáramos alguna reducción tal vez comprometiéramos la viabilidad del mismo proyecto”.

La cartera BNDES para proyectos de infraestructura en América Latina ronda los 17.200 millones de dólares, el 60 por ciento en proyectos aún no aprobados. La ejecutiva dijo que el BNDES prevé “desembolsos expresivos” en los próximo años en Argentina, donde el banco está financiando proyectos de generación hidroeléctrica y expansión de gasoductos. En Venezuela el BNDES está involucrado actualmente en la construcción de un astillero de la petrolera estatal PDVSA y una planta siderúrgica. En Perú, un país nuevo en la cartera del BNDES, el banco prepara el financiamiento de la hidroeléctrica de Chaglla y de una planta desalinizadora ligada a una mina de fosfato de Bayóvar donde participa la minera brasileña Vale. BNDES financia además la construcción de faraónicas carreteras desde el oeste de Brasil hasta puertos de Perú y Chile en el Pacífico, abriendo una puerta a China para las exportaciones brasileñas. Además, Machado dijo que el banco estudia nuevos proyectos en Nicaragua y Costa Rica. “Crecimos mucho, pero considerando el conjunto de oportunidades que América Latina ha ofrecido en infraestructura, nuestra participación es todavía demasiado pequeña”.

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Ministros do G20 pedem plano de proteção social mínima

Os Ministros do Trabalho e do Emprego do G20, reunidos em Paris ontem e hoje, tentaram dar uma dimensão social para globalização ao preconizar uma proteção social mínima nos 20 países mais ricos do planeta. Eles pedem que o emprego seja uma prioridade da política econômica. As discussões resultaram apenas em recomendações prudentes aos chefes de Estado e de Governo do G20, que irão se reunir nos dias 3 e 4 de novembro em Canes. (Fonte: Agencia AFP – 28/09/2011)

No encerramento da reunião, na presença de aproximadamente 30 países e instituições internacionais, o ministro do Trabalho francês Xavier Bertrand ressaltou que “uma globalização equilibrada, que não dá tudo para a economia e deixa algo para o social” é “um desafio”. “Estamos superando este desafio, ainda que passo a passo. Há muitas coisas para serem feitas”, reconheceu no discurso à imprensa sobre “a regulação social da globalização”. Um dos primeiros passos será “desenvolver as bases da proteção social”, particularmente “nos países em desenvolvimento”: acesso à saúde, garantia de benefícios e renda para idosos e deficientes, concessão de benefícios para crianças dependentes e garantia de renda para desempregados e trabalhadores pobres. “Cabe a cada Estado determinar em toda sua soberania a natureza de sua base nacional de proteção social, assim como o ritmo da sua implantação”, segundo as conclusões do grupo.

A convergência de políticas sociais é regularmente presentada como um meio de lutar contra práticas de dumping entre países de nível de desenvolvimento diferentes. Os países em desenvolvimento relutam na adoção das normas sociais, eles suspeitam que países industrializados querem introduzir medidas protecionistas para que os outros percam em competitividade. G20 ministerial fez um apelo pelo “respeito pleno dos princípios e direitos fundamentais do trabalho” estabelecidos pela Organização Internacional do Trabalho. Porém, vários países do G20 ainda não ratificaram as oito convenções fundamentais da OIT. A declaração dos ministros recomenda “tratar o emprego como uma prioridade política e econômica”, enquanto ele é visto, na maioria das vezes, como resultado desta política. Os ministros insistiram também na necessidade de criar empregos de qualidade e planejam que jovens e grupos vulneráveis sejam privilegiados pelas políticas a serem adotadas. Sendo o pano de fundo a crise econômica, as preocupações dos líderes foram reforçadas por análise conjunta da OCDE e da OIT, muito alarmante sobre o mercado de trabalho nos próximos anos. Para as duas organizações, a recessão econômica mundial pode se traduzir em uma escassez massiva de emprego nos países do G20 em 2012. Segundo as projeções, em vista da queda da criação de emprego, aproximadamente 40 milhões de postos de trabalho podem faltar até o fim de 2012. Os ministros associam medidas de proteção social, como o auxílio desemprego, a eficácia de políticas de retorno ao emprego. “As coisas avançam. Desejo que elas avancem mais rápido, mas elas avançam”, disse o ministro francês Xavier Bertrand.

Países del Acuerdo de Asociación Transpacífico definirán fecha para cierre de negociaciones durante reunión en Lima

Los países miembro del Acuerdo de Asociación Transpacífico (TPP) definirán la fecha para culminar el proceso negociador en la IX Ronda de Negociaciones, a realizarse en Lima del 24 al 28 de octubre, informó el Ministro de Comercio Exterior y Turismo, José Luis Silva. “Esperamos que cuando se haga la ronda en Perú en octubre, podamos tener más claro cuándo se puede cerrar el acuerdo”, manifestó. La negociación del TPP incluye a Nueva Zelanda, Chile, Singapur, Brunei Darussalam, Perú, Estados Unidos, Australia, Malasia y Vietnam. Mencionó que el cierre de las negociaciones dependerá de la insistencia de los países en sus propuestas y si los otros las aceptan, por lo que existe la posibilidad de que se prolonguen más las negociaciones considerando que son nueve los países involucrados. Precisó que Estados Unidos insiste en plantear que el TPP establezca un plazo de protección de patentes de medicamentos mayor al fijado en el Tratado de Libre Comercio con Perú. “No creo que esto entrampe las negociaciones, y si Estados Unidos quiere pedir más (plazo) deberá hacerlo a otros países con los que no tiene un TLC, pero Perú no está interesado en ello”, acotó. Por otro lado, señaló que de las 7,000 empresas que exportan desde Perú, la gran mayoría son peruanas y predominan las pequeñas y medianas empresas (pymes). Comentó que todavía no se ve que las empresas dejen de exportar por la crisis en Europa ya que se registran incrementos importantes en los envíos. “Todo indica que en este mes va a haber un crecimiento pero estamos preocupados en lo que pueda pasar hacia 2012 o fines de este año”, acotó el ministro. Sin embargo, aclaró que el gobierno adoptará las medidas necesarias para apoyar a los exportadores y no esperará que se produzca un descenso en la actividad productiva del país. “Tenemos todo el interés de mantener el dinamismo en el crecimiento de las exportaciones, si bien en el sector confecciones hubo un deterioro por la crisis anterior, ya está en proceso de recuperarse”, comentó. Estimó que las exportaciones peruanas superarán los 40,000 millones de dólares en 2011 y se registrará un aumento del 16% con relación a 2010. (Fuente: Agencia ANDINA – 28/09/2011) 

Violence Vanquished

On the day this article appears, you will read about a shocking act of violence. Somewhere in the world there will be terrorist bombing, a senseless murder, a bloody insurrection. It’s impossible to learn about these catastrophes without thinking, “What is the world coming to?” But a better question may be, “How bad was the world in the past?” Believe it or not, the world of the past was much worse. Violence has been in decline for thousands of years, and today we may be living in the most peaceable era in the existence of our species. The decline, to be sure, has not been smooth. It has not brought violence down to zero, and it is not guaranteed to continue. But it is a persistent historical development, visible on scales from millennia to years, from the waging of wars to the spanking of children. This claim, I know, invites skepticism, incredulity, and sometimes anger. We tend to estimate the probability of an event from the ease with which we can recall examples, and scenes of carnage are more likely to be beamed into our homes and burned into our memories than footage of people dying of old age. There will always be enough violent deaths to fill the evening news, so people’s impressions of violence will be disconnected from its actual likelihood. Evidence of our bloody history is not hard to find. Consider the genocides in the Old Testament and the crucifixions in the New, the gory mutilations in Shakespeare’s tragedies and Grimm’s fairy tales, the British monarchs who beheaded their relatives and the American founders who dueled with their rivals. Today the decline in these brutal practices can be quantified. A look at the numbers shows that over the course of our history, humankind has been blessed with six major declines of violence (…..)

Link: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111904106704576583203589408180.html

We can’t let the monster of the markets rule the world

It’s quite hard, when you’re lying in the dentist’s chair, with a funny mould thing in your mouth, to shriek. It’s quite hard, in fact, to make any kind of noise when your jaws are stuck in what feels like cold clay. But on Monday, to my dentist’s surprise, I did. I shrieked not because the mould was cold, or because being told not to move always makes me want to. I shrieked because a man on the TV monitor above me was saying things you couldn’t possibly hear and keep your mouth shut. (source: by Christina Patterson – The Independent, UK – 28/09/2011)

The man, who was wearing a pink tie, was an “independent trader”. He was being asked about the latest eurozone rescue plan. “It’s not going to work,” he said, “because this problem can’t be solved”. The euro, he said, was “going to crash”. But when the interviewer asked what he thought might work, he looked confused. “I’m a trader,” he said. “We don’t care whether they’re going to fix the economy. Our job is to make money from it.” And then he offered us all some advice: “The 1930s depression wasn’t just about a market crash,” he said. “There were some people who were prepared to make money from that crash. I think anyone can do that. It is,” he said, “an opportunity!”. His advice was simple: “be prepared”. This was “not a time” to think that governments would sort things out. “Governments,” he said, “don’t rule the world. Goldman Sachs rules the world.”

Certainly, as the euro crisis unfolds on our TVs, it’s beginning to look as though it’s not absolutely clear that governments do rule the world, or at least that they’re all that sure what they’re doing. Here’s Obama, telling Europe that it needs to find a “more effective strategy” for dealing with the crisis. Here’s David Cameron calling for “leadership”. Here are pretty much all the world leaders, in fact, calling for other people to lead. As models of leadership go, it’s less be prepared, and more after you. On Newsnight on Monday, even Jeremy Paxman admitted that he was struggling to understand what was going on. In a studio full of flashing screens, which made you feel that you were in the control room of a James Bond villain plotting the overthrow of the Western world (which now seems like a touching, wasted effort) Paul Mason explained how a group of “movers and shakers” (but not world leaders) had taken part in a “war game” looking at possible solutions to the euro crisis. The “war game” was organised by a think tank called Bruegel. The “movers and shakers” went to a chateau in Chantilly. What they came up with – in a document that is, apparently, now doing the rounds in Washington – was a $3-5 trillion fund to be used to rescue European countries, and banks. A $3-5 trillion fund donated largely by the European taxpayer. While some of us were still thinking about the chateau, and wondering what exactly a war game was, and worrying about how we were going to pay the dentist the £400 he was charging for a tiny bit of work, Jeremy Paxman asked various men whether they thought the plan would work. An American economist called Austan Goolsbee said we’d had two years to raise capital, and it was all a bit late. A Tory MP called Sajid Javid, who used to be an investment banker, said it couldn’t work because the euro was “a bankruptcy machine, and a fiddle”. And Jim O’Neill, who’s the Chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, said that “to work all this stuff out” was “not easy”. We were, he said, “talking big numbers”.

When one of the top people at the company which some people think “rules the world” thinks that you, as a European taxpayer, could be paying for something for the rest of your life that might well not work, it doesn’t really cheer you up. It makes you think of the way that the company they work for helped to create the global economic crisis by selling sub-prime mortgage debt, and how that company made even more money by betting on a collapse in the sub-prime market, and of how it made money by underwriting bonds, and later advised other clients to short those bonds. It makes you think of the $60m it agreed to pay to end an investigation into unfair home loans in Massachusetts, and of “fabulous” Fabrice Tourre, and the “highly leveraged, exotic trades” he created and said he didn’t understand. It makes you think of Greek debt, which is a very big part of the euro crisis, and of how some people said that Goldman Sachs helped the Greek government hide the true scale of it for years. And it makes you think of all the Goldman Sachs people who have become very senior advisers to governments, or even very senior members of them, or even Secretary of the Treasury of the most powerful country in the world. What it also makes you think is that you’re really quite tired of being lectured by these people, and being told that you can’t ask them to pay even 50 per cent tax on annual incomes that are often paid in millions, and that you can’t do things because “the markets” won’t like it, even though the only things that markets like is things that make them rich. And it makes you think that when a shadow Chancellor gives a long list of apologies that don’t sound at all like apologies, and says that his party “didn’t regulate the banks toughly enough”, that that (although you’ve never heard the word “toughly”) is certainly true, but doesn’t begin to do justice to the monster that has been created, and unleashed.

Now, we all live with this monster, which gobbles up jobs, and hopes, and dreams. We all live, as the shadow Chancellor’s boss said yesterday, with the “fast buck economy”, a “fast buck economy” that seems to be destroying the Western world. We didn’t need to. We didn’t need to make finance Britain’s biggest industry, and Britain’s biggest net export. We didn’t need to live in a bubble made out of debt. But we did what we did, and the banks did what they did, and the traders did what they did, and here we are. Unlike that “independent trader”, I hope that the euro bail-out works. I hope that we don’t have another recession, or a depression, or a crash, and I hope that we, and the other countries that have made the same mistakes as us, get the chance to build an economy that’s made less of hot air, and more of things you can see and touch. It was Brueghel, by the way – the painter not the think tank – who painted Landscape with the Fall of Icarus. He knew all about flying too close to the sun.