Madrid, November 13, 2017.- COFIDES took part in this conference held in Brasilia with the purpose of assessing the first year in the life of the Programa de Parcerias de Investimentos (PPI, Investment Partnership Programme) of the Brazilian government. This programme was launched in September 2016 and it assembles in the Projeto Crescer all the infrastructure projects which are considered priority projects due to their power to accelerate the economic recovery of Brazil. The conference, organised by ICEX España Exportación e Inversiones (ICEX Spain Trade and Investments) in collaboration with the Spanish Economic and Trade Office in Brasilia, also included a section about the financial instruments which are available for the internationalisation of public and private Spanish companies. This action counted on the participation of ICO´s president, and COFIDES and CESCE representatives, as well as the collaboration of CAF- Development Bank of Latin America and Banco Santander.
This is the second time that the economic and trade office gathers Spanish companies in the infrastructure industry in order to assess the investment opportunities in the Brazilian sector which are included in the programme. In contrast to last year´s conference held in June, this time the gathering was strengthened with a section focused on the available financing for these projects.
During the inauguration, the Spanish ambassador in Brazil, Fernando Villalonga, highlighted the importance of this programme for Brazil´s economic recovery and its potential to strengthen the relations between both countries. Spain is the third foreigner investor of Brazil, just behind the United Kingdom and the United States (according to the last closed data of the Secretary of State for Trade, financial year 2015).
In relation to this, the Corporate Secretariat of the PPI carried out an analysis of the first year in the life of the programme, in which Spanish companies had a presence in tenders, especially in matters of energy. Furthermore, they showed the direction which the main projects will follow during the next months. It is worth mentioning the participation of the Comité de Infraestructuras (Infrastructure Committee) of the Official Spanish Trade Office in Brazil, Davis Díaz (Arteris), who stressed the importance of the changes that are being made and the necessity of strengthen the role of regulatory agencies.
In the financing section, the director has presented the new ICEX services of financial counselling. Through this service, the ICEX works with Spanish SMEs individually in order to help them identify and access the financial instruments that best fit the needs of their internalisation projects. In this sense, the director stated that "there are still too many national companies, especially SMEs, that find it extremely difficult to access the financing they need to undertake international projects and, thus, more information, awareness and counselling efforts are required for SMEs in order to help them get the most convenient financing”.
In this section, ICO´s chairman Pablo Zalba, has stated that ICO will continue to promote all those activities that facilitate internationalising and exporting Spanish companies. Since 2014, ICO has funded 12 infrastructure projects in Ibero-America which amount to 700 million dollars. "We are working hard with multilateral banks, both in Ibero-America and in other countries, in order to continue addressing the financing needs of Spanish companies", Zalba stated.
In this context, the head of the office in Brasilia made a presentation about the FIEM, stressing its role as the agent of change in the achievement of other financing sources for projects.
For her part, the head of unit of the Marketing and Business Development Division of COFIDES, Cristina Mena, emphasised that the company has various financial instruments through which it facilitates the internationalisation of Spanish companies, thus contributing to the increase in Direct Foreign Inverstment (FDI), a field in which COFIDES is a leader and a model. In order to do this, she explained that COFIDES is flexible and it adjusts to the needs of each company. "We have a variety of financial products available, although those related to capital and quasi-capital are the main ones." Indeed, Mena reminded that "in 2016, 62% of the resources invested in formalised operations were carried out as capital or quasi-capital, which shows COFIDES´s ability to offer financing through resources additional to those of the market."
The economic relations between Brazil and Spain are essentially marked by the investing presence of Spain, whose stock in 2015 exceeded 35 billion euros, and which make the country the third foreign investor, right behind the United Kingdom and the United States. Spanish companies have been coming to this country since the first wave of privatizations in the 90´s, and they are among the main participants in key sectors, such as the energy or the road transportation sector.