Brazil attracting attention once again

By Kohei Nakashima / Yomiuri Shimbun Staff WriterJapanese manufacturers and major trading firms are again showing strong interest in Brazil. The Brazilian economy has been sluggish for many years, but it has begun to turn around for reasons including a recent rise in crude oil prices. Many believe that the business environment in Brazil will improve, and foreign companies are making large-scale investments in the country one after another.

In October 2017, MODEC Inc., a subsidiary of Mitsui Engineering and Shipbuilding Co., won a contract to build an offshore oilfield development facility from Brazilian state-run oil company Petrobras for the first time in about three years.

The large-scale construction project is worth ¥150 billion in total. In January, a consortium including Mitsui & Co. and Mitsui O.S.K. Lines decided to jointly invest in the project. MODEC President Toshiro Miyazaki said: Brazil has resumed a plan to increase oil output, which gives us a boost. We would like to win contracts for other projects.

Meanwhile, Panasonic Corp. acquired a Brazilian air-conditioning engineering company in September 2017, and Toyota Motor Corp. will also increase production in the country. Sales have been solid recently, an official of Toyota in charge of public relations said. Toyota will make an additional investment of over ¥30 billion in its plant in Brazil to build a new production line and start producing compact cars after July.

Global interest

Not only are Japanese comp....

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