Andréa Novais

Andréa Novais

The Brazil Business


Top 13 Countries Investing in Brazil

Andréa Novais

Andréa Novais

The Brazil Business


According to a study performed by Ernst & Young Terco, Brazil ranked the fifth position among the countries receiving projects and investments in 2011. Learn in this article what are the top countries investing in Brazil and the most important projects taking place in the country.

13th – Canada

Canada was stated to have invested BRL 3.413.146,84 in Brazil in 2011. The amount was divided among 13 projects. Canadian companies have found investment opportunities in the following sectors:

  • Infrastructure;
  • Education;
  • Clean Technologies;
  • IT and Communication Services;
  • Oil and Gas.

Canada has also invested in defense and security, aerospace, life sciences, offshore technologies, automobile, energy, agriculture, services and tourism.

12th – South Korea

South Korea has invested BRL 3.610.392,14 in Brazil in 2012. The Korean consulate in São Paulo points out at least 70 Korean companies in Brazil. The main reasons pointed out by Korean companies to have opened branches in Brazil are political stability and the economic growth.

Some of the Brazilian sectors receiving Korean investments are:

11th - Switzerland

In 2012, Switzerland has invested BRL 3.954.803,06 in Brazil. Brazil is Switzerland's third business partner in Latin America and Swiss companies generate 92 thousand jobs in Brazil.

Some of the Swiss investments made in Brazil are in biotechnology (ethanol) and solar energy.

10th – Netherlands

The Netherlands has invested BRL 4.633.276,10 in Brazil in 2012. Its major investments are in the naval, offshore and oil and gas sectors. Aware of the internal demand for new ships, platforms and other equipment required to the development of pre-salt, Dutch companies have brought to Brazil its experience in technology manufacturing.

9th – Germany

In 2012, Germany invested BRL 4.946.305,31 in Brazil. The major investments were in the following sectors:

German companies have also invested in sustainable technologies and in the improvement and development of energy, sewage and recycling, and mobility technology.

8th – United Kingdom

The United Kingdom has invested BRL 5.560.833,37 in Brazil in 2012. In the same year, it ranked the second position amongst countries that had mostly invested in new projects in Brazil, only behind USA.

The most promising sectors in Brazil from the British point of view are:

7th – Norway

In 2012, Norway has invested BRL 9.250.044,57 in Brazil. According to the Brazilian embassy in Norway, the Nordic country invests more in Brazil than in China, with more than 100 companies established in the country.

Major Norwegian investments are made in the following sectors of the Brazilian economy:

  • Mining;
  • Oil and Gas;
  • Naval industry;
  • Cellulose and paper;
  • Sailing;
  • Fertilizers;
  • Biofuel;
  • Banking.

6th – USA

From 2009 to 2011, the US has decreased its investments in Brazil. However, in 2012, they went from BRL 9.568.131,18 to BRL 15.844.099,83. The geographic proximity and the existence of commercial agreements between the two countries favors investment relations between them.

After going from a priority among the countries receiving American investments to an unstable market, Brazil has recently started to regain its position among the best countries to invest. The unfavorable economic moment allied to the governmental intervention in many sectors were pointed out as the main responsible for the decrease of foreign investments in the country.

Investments made by the United States in Brazil are various and they go from education to infrastructure, but two sectors that have considerably drawn attention of foreign investors are start-ups and technology as a whole.

5th – France

In 2012, France has invested BRL 19.512.766,16 in Brazil. This amount is divided among the following sectors:

  • Manufacturing industry (automobile, oil and gas, chemical products, rubber and plastic and metallurgy);
  • Retailing;
  • Electricity, water and gas;
  • Transportation, storage and communication;
  • Housing and food.

According to Renai, the Brazilian Southeast was the region that has received the major amount of investments (23,17%) from 2004 to 2011, with 49% of it going to São Paulo state, 34% to Rio de Janeiro and 17% to Minas Gerais.

In São Paulo the investments were in the telecommunications, electricity and gas distribution, oil and biofuel sectors. The investment made in Minas Gerais was mostly concentrated in the sectors of metallurgy and transportation equipment.

4th – China

In 2010, Brazil was the main destination for Chinese investments and in 2012 China has invested BRL 21.679.439,02 in the country. From 2003 to 2011, the Southeast was pointed out as the main destination of Chinese investment, with Rio de Janeiro receiving 20% of it, São Paulo 19%, Espírito Santo 15% and Minas Gerais 10%. The investments made in the period are distributed among the following sectors:

  • Oil and gas – 45%;
  • Agribusiness – 20%;
  • Mining – 20%;
  • Steel industry – 10%;
  • Electricity – 3%;
  • Manufacturing – 2%.

3rd – Spain

Despite its economic crisis, Spain has invested BRL 26.029.830,25 in Brazil in 2012, configuring a significant decrease in comparison to 2011, when the investment was of BRL 31.149.720,50.

The internal crisis has led Spanish companies to move to Brazil and there is a major interest in the construction industry and in the projects developed to the 2014 World Cup and to the 2016 Olympic Games.

2nd – Italy

In 2012, Italy has invested BRL 64.310.718,55 in Brazil. The Brazilian economic sectors that mostly receive Italian investments are:

  • Construction industry;
  • Sustainable energy;
  • Naval industry;
  • Luxury market.

Fiat, Pirelli Pneus, Magneti Marelli Cofap and TIM Mobile are some of the Italian companies operating in Brazil.

1st – Portugal

Occupying the first position in the ranking of countries investing in Brazil, Portugal has invested BRL 77.791.621,33 in Brazil in 2012. According to data from the Brazilian Central Bank, the major Portuguese investment made in Brazil in 2010 was in the manufacturing of non-metallic materials sector. Also, Portugal has invested heavily in telecommunication.

Some of the aspects pointed out as responsible for these massive investments are the supposedly shared history, cultural affinities and the fact that both countries speak the same language, which is very relevant in the case of Brazil as many business people and decision makers do not speak a foreign language.