Bolsonaro: reforms will put Brazil among the top 50 countries to do business with

Speaking during the opening ceremony of the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, President Jair Bolsonaro said that his administration’s reform will put Brazil among the 50 best countries to do business in the world. He also defended more integration and economic openness and explained that he wants the country to simplify the lives of those who produce and create jobs.

This was the first time a Latin American president delivered the opening address of the forum. President Bolsonaro took the opportunity to explain his government’s agenda. “Be sure that, by the end of my term, our economic team, led by Minister Paulo Guedes, will put us in the ranking of the 50 best countries to do business with,” he said.

The president also explained that the government is working to reduce the tax burden, streamline standards, and make the lives of those who want to produce, do business, invest and create jobs easier. “We will work for macroeconomic stability, respecting contracts, privatizing and balancing the public budget,” he argued.

He assessed that Brazil is still a relatively closed economy to foreign trade and argued that it is necessary to change this. “It’s one of the biggest commitments of this administration,” he said. “We will seek to integrate Brazil into the world by incorporating the best international practices,” he said.

Environment and economic development

During his speech, Bolsonaro explained that his administration’s agenda also includes efforts to harmonize the preservation of the environment and biodiversity with economic development. He also said that the government will protect the right to life and private property and promote an education that will prepare our youth for the challenges of the fourth industrial revolution. He argued that the quest for knowledge can reduce misery and poverty.

“Get to know our Amazon, our beaches, our cities, and our Pantanal. Brazil is a paradise, but a largely unknown one,” said the president. “We will invest heavily in public security so that you will visit us with your families. We are almost unrivalled in natural beauty, but we are not even among the 40 most visited tourist destinations in the world,” he argued.



  • Brazil Gov News 

World Economic Forum 2019

The World Economic Forum (WEF), Davos 2019 Kicked off on Tuesday in Switzerland and will close on Friday. The annual invite-only meeting brings together leaders in politics, business, culture, and technology. The meeting is to define priorities and shape the global, industry and regional agendas.

This year’s theme is Globalization 4.0. With the rise of populism, widespread insecurity and frustration, with a global economic outlook, there is a need to differentiate between Globalization and Globalism.

According to the previous stages of Globalization were about to trade, this new stage we are already in is about digitally-enabled services. Davos 2019 is also looking into how technological advancements are impacting the rise of new systems of health, transport energy and many more.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa is also in Davos accompanied by the Ministers of Finance and International Relations. South Africa will be hoping to use Davos 2019 as an opportunity to update leaders and investors on South Africa’s economic growth agenda, as well as to meet the $100 Billion investment target set by Ramaphosa.



By Mokgethi Mtezuka

Brazil: Market raises GDP growth forecast for 2019

The financial market remains optimistic about its forecasts for economic growth in 2019. According to the latest edition of the Focus Bulletin, released by the Central Bank on Monday (January 14), analysts are predicting Brazil’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will grow 2.57% this year, up from the previous 2.53%.

Regarding the Broad Consumer Price Index (IPCA), Brazil’s official inflation rate, the bulletin reports that the average forecast for this year went from 4.02% to 4.03%. The number is slightly below the center of the target defined by the Central Bank, of 4.25%.

Still, according to analysts, inflation should stand at 4% and the economy should grow by 2.5% in 2020. By 2021, the GDP growth forecast is 2.5% with inflation at 3.75%.

The Focus Bulletin is a weekly publication, released every Monday, which averages out the forecasts of more than 100 market analysts surveyed by the Central Bank. They report their projections to the Central Bank, which weighs up the different predictions and releases the results.


– Brazil Gov

South Africa’s Foreign Direct Investment increased by 446% in 2018

South Africa’s Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) saw an increase of 446% in 2018 – grew from $1.3 billion in 2017 to 7.1 billion in 2018, a new United Nations report found. 

The UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) released a Global Investments Trends monitor report on Monday. According to the report, SA made a successful turn around from declines in FDI since 2014.

The investments according to the UNCTAD report were mostly directed to mining, petroleum refinery, food processing, information and communication technologies, and renewable energy.
Despite the increase in FDI, the World Bank expects that the South African economy will grow by a meager 1.3% in 2019.



Source: Business Insider South Africa

President Ramaphosa to visit Switzerland, India


President Cyril Ramaphosa will use his international working visits this week to position South Africa favorably on the global map and solidify bilateral relations.

The Switzerland visit will encompass global discussions on the future of work, global governance and partnership in an age of rapid technological change, while the State visit will reinforce South Africa’s relations with India.

President Ramaphosa begins his drive in Geneva, Switzerland, on Tuesday in his capacity as co-chair of the International Labour Organisation’s Global Commission on the Future of Work.
The commission, co-chaired by Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, will launch its highly anticipated Report on The Future of Work at the ILO headquarters in Geneva today.

The report lays the foundation for global action on the challenges that governments, business and labor face amid the convergence of developments in the digital economy, climate change, and cyclic economic trends.

Following his address to the ILO, President Ramaphosa will travel to Davos Klosters, where he will lead Team South Africa’s participation in the annual meetings of the World Economic Forum (WEF) scheduled from 22 to 25 January.

The 2019 gathering is themed ‘Globalization 4.0: Shaping a Global Architecture in the Age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution’. It brings together heads and members of more than 100 governments, top executives of the 1 000 foremost global companies, leaders of international organizations and relevant non-governmental organizations, and cultural, societal and thought leaders, among others.

The Davos discussions will explore how technological advances are impacting on or giving rise to new systems of health, transportation, communication, production, distribution and energy, and the changes required in education and other programmes to prepare workers for this economic revolution and accompanying social changes.

It will be a platform for Team South Africa to engage and update the international community, including investors, on the path of renewal and growth on which the country has embarked.
Team South Africa will showcase investment and trade opportunities while contributing to the global dialogue on key issues facing humanity and emerging key opportunities.

India State visit

Following the conclusion of the WEF programme, President Ramaphosa is set to travel to New Delhi, India, for a State visit scheduled for Friday.

The President, who will be accompanied by a business delegation, will use the visit to further enhance trade relations between the two nations. The President will be honored as Chief Guest at India’s 70th Republic Day Celebrations.

South Africa and India share a common vision on a range of global issues and domestic challenges.
Many of the common foreign policy objectives that both countries share are pursued multilaterally, especially through South-South initiatives and close cooperation existing within the G20, BRICS, IBSA, and IORA.

The two nations will further solidify relations with agreements on higher education and training, arts and culture, home affairs, defense, and energy, among others.

The two enjoy a strategic partnership and bilateral relations anchored in a deep and shared history of friendship and solidarity.

India is currently South Africa’s second largest trading partner in Asia and ranks among South Africa’s top 10 trade partners.

In 2017, bilateral trade reached R107 billion (approximately $8 billion). Trade for the period January to November 2018 totaled R101 billion. Indian investments in South Africa currently stand at US$8 billion and have created an estimated 18 000 jobs.

There are 130 Indian companies that have invested in South Africa, including TATA (automobiles and hotels), Mahindra (automobiles), Cipla (pharmaceuticals) and the Bank of India. South Africa’s total investment in India increased to R10.3 billion (approximately $800 million) in 2017.
South African companies that have invested in India, include Sasol, FirstRand, Old Mutual, ACSA, Shoprite and Nandos.


– SA Gov News

India moves one position to 80th on global talent competitiveness ranking

India has moved to the 80th spot on global competitiveness ranking, India’s progress, however, is slow when compared it’s BRICS counterparts. This according to a report by the INSEAD business school in partnership with Tata Communications and Adecco Group.

Switzerland continues to top the list. India performed better in comparison to its lower-income counterparts when it comes to growing talent and access to growth opportunities, the country was ranked 48th and 41st, respectively. 

India’s biggest challenge is attracting (95th) and retaining talent (96th), the report noted.

The survey measures how countries and cities grow, attract and retain talent, ranking 125 countries and 114 cities across all groups of income and levels of development. The study also found that entrepreneurial talent has become a key differentiator in relative talent competitiveness.


Source: Your story

India, China to surpass US as world’s biggest economy

China and India will surpass the US as the world’s biggest economy by 2030, this according to UK based financial services giant, Standard Chartered Plc. According to the UK company, in their annual ranking of the world’s largest economies, the United States will fall to a ranking of third place.

There Britain, France, and Italy also are to fall out of the world’s top economies – they will be overtaken by Turkey, Brazil, Indonesia, Russia and Egypt which are predicted to enjoy meteoric rises. Emerging markets are predicted to take over the global market.

According to Standard Chartered, “countries share the world’s GDP should eventually converge with the share of the world’s population; driven by the convergence of per-capita GDP between advanced and emerging economies.”

The company measured both Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) exchange rates.

“The financial firm is projecting that India’s rate of economic growth will accelerate to 7.8% by 2020s – China’s economic growth will slow down adjusting to a steady 5.0% growth by 2030,” reports CCN.


Source: CCN

Mega City Projects In The Brics Regions

 The narrative on the progress of catalytic projects (Megatropolis) in the regional blocs of the BRICS is exciting and reflects extremes of sophistication and complex challenges. The cause and effect of the dawn of these megacities have similar stories behind them.

As social housing is a non-profit sector, it is necessary to think beyond the public-private model and develop a third option, where the local community is the driver, and housing is not considered as a commodity. It is when you mix the typology with industrialization that the model produces a return for investment to which increases palatability.

Public and private sectors have to pro-actively support and participate in community-led housing programs which should synchronize with poverty reduction, livelihoods, facilities, equity, and security.

The BRICS have diverse expenditure and allocation for urbanization underpinned by spatial information and city administration. The largest most tech-savvy with high cash spend per capita is China, Russia, South Africa, India then Brazil. China is aiming to build a Mega City larger than Britain with 100 million dwellers.

Last year, more than 340 billion yuan – US$48 billion was invested in Jing-Jin-Ji’s (Beijing, Tianjing, and Hebei) five pillar industries of education, health, transport, ecology and human resources (NBC News, 2014). This has set the benchmark of how typically a country can build symbols most representing them. Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Shenzen are each considered windows representing national profile to a fair extent.

In the most extensive resettlement project of Russia’s Khrushchevka housing regime, 10% of Moscow is to be replaced with a new housing model for a 1.6million Mixed Housing Typology (Rockefeller Foundation, 2017). Moscow is tackling several huge urban development projects which started with a 120bn roubels – $1.8bn of road rehabilitation.
In totality, the Putin administration will spend close to 3tn-roubles ($455bn) for revitalisation and megatropolis projects.

The contemporary transformation tool has an important role in promoting a sensible debate for the BRICS on new paradigms and economic growth taking place globally. The urban global tipping point is yet to be reached as 60% of the world’s population is currently un-urbanised (FIG, 2010).
South Africa’s programme is set to reach R800bn – $53bn by 2022 through the Presidential Infrastructure Commission, with Gauteng taking a larger share of the portion. India is prepared for a 7 mega city projects by 2030, of which the New Delhi city will receive an estimated 9.3 million people (Jain A.K, 2016). The government of India has launched the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) for building 20 million houses by 2022.

The programme is found in the draft National Urban Rental Housing Policy (NURHP) 2015. Mumbai, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Chennai are anchors of the megatropolis to be joined by Hyderabad and Ahmedabad by 2030. It was difficult to attain the value of the megaprojects, but an estimated $45bn is earmarked till 2022.

Brazil’s Minha Casa Minha Vida (MCMV) is a major social housing programme launched in 2009 by Hon Lula da Silva to build 1 million homes in order to address low-income housing shortage amid rocketing costs – the downturn saw a $551mn mega project canned in 2017. The revolution is styled “My House My Life” and has up to date delivered 2 million houses.

This growth has of course an impact on social, economic and ecological systems. The opportunity available for the coalition is to nature the growth in a sustainable manner, both professional and political managers should act proactively towards modern spatial management.

Accountability, co-responsibility, precaution and dialogue between academics and practitioners, as well as collective decision making is key to addressing climate, energy and environmental sustainability. Energy in particular has been a topical issue due to inadequacies and illegal connections as common phenomena in all of the BRICS.

The positive is BRICS countries have shown demand for the collection, integration, management and sharing of information and the relevant education; experience sharing and development of best practices. This appetite is driven by multidisciplinary factors in society which in turn are magnified by rapid urbanisation and the conditions of the world’s megatropolis. Buenos Aires has invested in spatial data access on a public website – reporting on city administration, planning, disaster management and land tenure specific to address BRICS topics.

Although it must be recognised that citizen participation in information gathering suggests certain risks like the concern for privacy; suspicion of governmental intrusion and loss of public support; the issue of quality of data collected by non professionals and the need for quality analysis; the danger of miss-use of citizen-provided information by repressive governments; and the question of the capacity of governmental agencies to monitor, evaluate, and interpret the volumes of data collected in certain urban sensing systems is critical.

The key factor for success will be utilizing information technology to support growth as resources are necessary for the efficient use and economy of material, time and money.


Source: Engineering news (Colin Mashikinya)

The South African Young Entrepreneurship Challenges, the chronicle of young innovators

Starting a business in a South Africa can be challenging. Young South Africans faced with a lack lust economy and low job prospects are turning to their innovations to create a future for themselves.

Starting a business in South Africa can be challenging  –  young entrepreneurs are met number of challenges, from navigating red tape to acquiring financing.

According to Bizmag, 50% of all start-up businesses in South Africa fail within 24 months of operations due to inability and inexperience of their owners.

We spoke to Abel Mukwevho a member of Entreprovate PTY Ltd – a group of innovators who created the “Hamelin Rat Trap”. Mukwevho said that they believe that their product can have meaningful impact on the economic and boost public health.

“The Challenges we faced in getting this far was mostly access to markets,” Mukwevho said. Penetrating the pest control market was not easy and the market is not open to innovation. With no business guidance, the group had to learn from failure.

The idea was birthed out of need, Johannesburg townships are usually faced with rat infestations. The young innovators used the internet for research and established a sucessful concept, which was able to produce sucessful results.

They believe that their innovation could be a game changer for of communities as rats put a huge burden on public health. They can also impede localised or self-farming in informal settlements and townships, says Mukweveho.

Small businesses in South Africa can help lift the countries economic burdens through job creation.


By: Mokgethi Mtezuka

South African Minister invites investments from India businesses

South African Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Regina Mhaule invited Indian business to invest in SA. Mhaule who was speaking at the Raisana Dialogue which concluded yesterday, at India’s capital, New Delhi. The Minister acknowledged the contribution of Indian companies in the economic development of South Africa. “India has richly contributed to the nations economic development for generations,” said Mhaule.

“ As the people of South Africa sought to overthrow the shackles of oppression brought to bear upon us, India.. was one of the most principled supporters of the struggle against apartheid and racial discrimination,” she said.

Mhaule further reflected on South Africa-India relations – the arrival of the first Indians 150 years ago “richly contributed to the nation’s diversity and economic development for generations”. The relations have grown from strength to strength, President Cyril Ramaphosa’s invitation to be a chief guest India’s Republic Day celebrations later this month, further strengthened the relations.



Source: Times of India