Brazil world’s fourth destination of foreign investment in 2019

Privatizations pulled the country up two positions on UNCTAD’s list

Published in 21/01/2020 - 11:25 By Wellton Máximo - Brasília

Aided by the privatization program for federal firms, Brazil climbed from sixth to fourth position among the main destinations of foreign investment in the world in 2019.

According to a report released Monday (Jan. 20) by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Brazil received $75 billion in external investment last year, compared to $60 billion in 2018.

The three first positions on the ranking for where investment is going were occupied by the US, with $251 billion; China, with $140 billion; and Singapore, with $110 billion. The $75 billion sent towards Brazil account for more than half of the $119 billion South America received last year.

The 26 percent increase in external investment in Brazil in 2019 is reported to have partly stemmed from the country’s privatization program, which focused on the sale of subsidiaries of state-controlled companies and government shares at private firms.

For this year, the document says the country should continue to receive foreign investment, as privatization efforts continue. “In 2020, divestment in subsidiaries of state-run companies should gain momentum; the privatization of major companies, like Eletrobras, Latin America’s biggest electricity company, and Telebras, will probably attract a lot more direct investment from overseas,” the text reads.

In addition to privatization plans, the study mentions projects linked to environment as factors helping boost foreign investment in Brazil this year. “Preliminary data on greenfield investment unveiled in the country confirm this outlook, with project values more than doubling compared to 2018, especially for renewable energy and the automotive industry,” UNCTAD pointed out.

President Jair Bolsonaro tweeted that the fourth place on the ranking represents the restoration of confidence in the country.

Translation: Fabrício Ferreira -  Edition: Nádia Franco / Nira Foster

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