Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
Font Size Change
S
M
L

METI State Minister Matsushima Visited Brazil and Paraguay

From May 1 to 8, 2014, Ms. Midori Matsushima, State Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, visited Brazil and Paraguay.

In Brazil, State Minister Matsushima had a meeting with Mr. Edison Lobão, Minister of Mines and Energy. In the meeting, she talked about issues related to energy policies, including cooperation in the fields of nuclear power and energy conservation, and also requested the country to support a consortium of Japanese enterprises consisting of shipbuilders and marine transportation services, with the purpose of receiving an order for building an offshore oil platform between the coast and an underwater oilfield. In addition, she met with Mr. Ricardo Schaefer, Deputy Minister of Development, Industry, and Foreign Trade, and both sides agreed that they will advance cooperation in improving the business environment, including accelerating the examination of medical equipment and patents.

In Paraguay, in which an increasing number of Japanese enterprises have been developing their business due to the country’s low tax burden and measures for opening its markets to foreign companies, she exchanged views with the governor of Alto Paraná concerning future business support measures for Japanese enterprises.

Ipatinga, Minas Gerais, Brazil: May 3 (Sat.)

State Minister Matsushima visited Usiminas Ipatinga (steel mill). The mill was established in 1962 and is now operated by Usiminas, a large steelmaker and is symbolic of the Japan-Brazil economic cooperation. She received an explanation of the company’s business strategy and also exchanged views with the company’s executives on the issues concerning economic policies that the Brazilian government should consider, including [i] insufficient logistics infrastructure, [ii] surging electricity prices, [iii] limitation on imports of used facilities, and [iv] a shortage in expert human resources.

Ciudad del Este, Paraguay: May 4 (Sun.) and 5 (Mon.)

State Minister Matsushima visited Fujikura Automotive Paraguay S.A., a Japanese company that has developed its business in Paraguay as a basis for supplying wire harnesses for vehicles to the Brazilian market, taking advantage of the country’s business environment, including the low corporate tax ratio, inexpensive human resources who are young and diligent, and a measure for opening the markets to foreign companies. She exchanged views with the company’s executives about their business strategy in the country. Ciudad del Este is a city in the eastern end of Paraguay, adjacent to the border between Paraguay and Brazil.

State Minister Matsushima also had a meeting with Mr. Justo Zacarías Irún, Governor of Alto Parana, a region where the increasing number of Japanese enterprises are developing their business, and introduced the Japanese government’s support measures for the region, including improving roads for transporting goods for exports utilizing the ODA scheme. In addition, she exchanged views with Governor Zacarías concerning the issues on improvement of infrastructures and preferential treatments for encouraging investment, measures for attracting companies.

State Minister Matsushima visited Itaipu hydroelectric power plant, operated by Itaipu Binacional, which is a source for supplying stable energy to both Paraguay and Brazil and generates 14 million kW, the world’s largest capacity, and toured the site to see the current situation of Brazil’s hydroelectric power generation, which generates 70% or more of the total power in the country. At the same time, she exchanged views with the company’s executives concerning the issue of improving electricity supply. Japanese enterprises operating in Brazil request to improve the current supply conditions.

Brasilia, Brazil: May 6 (Tues.)

State Minister Matsushima had a meeting with Mr. Edison Lobão, Minister of Mines and Energy, and [i] she agreed with Minister Lobão that they will advance cooperation in the field of nuclear energy, based on the fact that Brazil has plans for advancing the construction of a nuclear power plant, and she also [ii] asked for cooperation in the field of smart community, [iii] requested Brazil’s support for addressing the issue of surging electricity rates for aluminum smelting businesses operated by Japanese companies, [iv] requested the country to allow Japanese companies to join new projects for exploring underwater oilfields, and [v] as a top-level sales representative of Japan, called for the country’s attention to allowing Japanese enterprises in the shipbuilding industry to receive an order for constructing an offshore platform between the coast and the underwater oilfield.

Before this meeting, State Minister Matsushima visited ONS (Operador Nacional do Sistema Eletrico), an operator for electricity supply in the entire country, and exchanged opinions with the executives concerning issues related to power generation and distribution in the country, the current situation concerning the geographical distribution of electricity consumption, and further prospects.

She also had a meeting with Mr. Ricardo Schaefer, Deputy Minister of Development, Industry, and Foreign Trade, who is also co-chair of the Japan-Brazil Joint Committee on Promoting Trade, Investment and industrial Cooperation, and they agreed that both sides will advance cooperation for improving the business environment, including [i] improving complicated tax systems with heavy burdens, [ii] relaxing the upper limit set for sending royalties concerning technology transfer, [iii] cooperation in the field of medical services by accelerating examination of medicines and medical equipment, and [iv] cooperation in shortening the period of patent examination, in response to the request from Japanese enterprises. In addition, she also requested the country to solve the issue of surging electricity rates for aluminum smelting businesses operated by Japanese companies.

Furthermore, Japan held a Japan-Brazil Smart Community Workshop, with people from Japanese enterprises attending, a new cooperative initiative aiming to broaden the digital terrestrial television broadcasting system—also successively distributed to other countries as the “Japanese-Brazilian system”—from Brazil to the rest of the South American countries. Both countries agreed to hold a working group meeting for the smart community in September 2014, aiming to advance future cooperation specifically, and also reached the consensus that Brazil will provide an opportunity to hold a business-matching event, with people from utilities and other entities attending.

Release Date

May 16, 2014

Division in Charge

Latin America and Caribbean Office, Trade Policy Bureau

Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
1-3-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8901, Japan Tel: +81-(0)3-3501-1511
Copyright Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. All Rights Reserved.