Faced with a deep recession at home, Brazilian President Michel Temer on Wednesday sought to lure Japanese investments, saying there is “much potential” in investing in the country’s airport, oil and gas sectors. Temer, making the first visit to Japan by a Brazilian head of state in 11 years, aims to repair ties frayed by his predecessor Dilma Rousseff, who twice cancelled official visits to Japan. “There are around 700 Japanese companies in Brazil. The goal of our trip (to Japan) is to promote trade, investment, and industrial relationships,” Temer told a Japanese business lobby in Tokyo. Temer last month launched a sweeping plan to auction off licenses to operate oil and gas, electricity and infrastructure projects in an attempt to boost private investment and pull the economy out of Brazil’s deepest recession since the 1930s.
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His centre-right government plans to sell concessions for private companies to operate airports and railways and build roads and port terminals needed to ship out exports by the South American agricultural powerhouse. Besides the aim of attracting Japanese investment in Brazilian infrastructure, Temer also hopes Japan’s markets will be opened to Brazilian commodities such as fresh beef and fruit.
Japan poured 23.59 billion U.S. dollars in direct investments in Brazil at the end of 2015, according to Japan External Trade Organization. Currently, the import of fresh Brazilian beef to Japan is largely blocked. Brazil’s Agriculture Ministry said on Tuesday it hopes to boost its share of Japan’s beef and fruit market in mid-2017.
Separately, the Brazilian leader also said his country was aiming to mend its national balance sheet and cap state expenditure, adding it was important for Brazil’s central bank to stabilise prices and control inflation. Temer’s government has warned that Latin America’s largest nation could follow Greece’s path to financial meltdown if spending is not controlled.