March 24, 2011

US Bank: $3 BILLION In Credit To Brazil For World Cup And Oil

AFP news
written by Staff
Tuesday March 22, 2011

SAO PAULO — The US Export-Import Bank will establish a $1 billion line of credit for Brazilian companies to improve infrastructure ahead of the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics, the bank's president said Monday.

The bank also announced $2 billion in credit to Brazilian state-run oil giant Petrobras, Latin America's biggest company, which aims to become one of the world's biggest oil producers in coming years.

The announcement follows US President Barack Obama's visit in which he sought to drum up business for US companies, adding the United States wants to "be one of your best customers" when Brazil starts pumping oil from offshore reserves.

"We have $3 billion committed to Brazil," bank president Fred Hochberg said during an event with business leaders from the Federation of Industries of Sao Paulo (FIESP).

"I'm hopeful that we can use this first $1 billion for infrastructure as the beginning of building our portfolio and building our work with Brazilian companies," he added.

About 50 business leaders who made the trip with Obama visited the FIESP representatives on Monday to discuss investment opportunities.

US Commerce Secretary Gray Locke met privately with FIESP representatives, who stressed their desire for more balanced trade relations, federation president Paulo Skaf said.

"There are many opportunities to increase bilateral trade and it will happen with the 2014 World Cup and the Olympic Games in 2016," Locke said in an interview with O Estado de Sao Paulo published Monday. "We can help with the infrastructure."

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and Obama signed agreements aimed at reducing trade barriers, easing bilateral investment, broadening Brazilian oil and gas production in the Gulf of Mexico, and outlining an "open skies" accord expanding commercial flights between the two nations.

Oil recently discovered off Brazil's coast could amount to twice the US reserves.

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