Natal Brazil

Information about the city of Natal, in Brazil.

Friday, June 29, 2007

New airport in São Gonçalo: no sooner than 2010

Another schedule was announced with regards to the new airport to be built in the city of São Gonçalo, about 30 km from Natal.
When finished, it should be one of the largest airports in Brazil. More specifically, due to its position (near Europe and North America), it should be the largest cargo hub in Brazil. Natal should benefit from the increase in tourism and trading.

Several schedules have been announced so far, but little has been done. The main problem is that the airport requires a lot of money, and neither the Governments nor the private sectors are willing to take the risks.

Recently, a new planning was announced (see report in Portuguese here).

The new idea is that BNDES (Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social - National Bank for Economic and Social Development), an official bank which fomments businesses by loaning subsidized money, will provide the necessary funds.
The building of the airport will be chartered to a private company, to be chosen by a bidding process. The winner will use BNDES money to build the airport, and will be granted the rights to explore the business for a period (yet to be determined) of 20 or 30 years. This model is different from most other airports in Brazil, which are built and managed by the Federal Government (through an agency called Infraero).
Besides charging taxes from air companies and passengers, the charterer will have rights over the Special Exporting Zone which will be built around the airport.

According to officials, the fact that the Government and its bureaucracy will not be involved with the works should speed up the process.
If everything goes as planned, the new airport should be (partially) operating before the end of 2010.

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Saturday, June 16, 2007

Exports of Rio Grande do Norte

The Secretary for Economic Development of Rio Grande do Norte released a report about the products exported by the State of Rio Grande do Norte; the original report, in Portuguese, is here.

According to the report, in the first five months of 2007, the total volume (in dollars) exported by the State grew by 12.7% in comparison to the same period of 2006, going from US$ 129 million to US$ 145.5 million.
The report doesn't take into account the steep devaluation of the dollar against the real in the period; that means that the volumes of cargo actually shipped increased by more than 12.7%.

It is also interesting to observe that the profile of exports consists basically of primary products, reflex of the low level of industrialization in the State.

The first item of exportaion was mellon, US$ 22.5 million, followed by shrimp, US$ 16.3 million. Next came cashew nuts, US$ 15.9 million, and banana (value not informed, but banana had the highest growth rate, 68%).

Only in 5th place is there a semi-elaborated product, sugar, US$ 9.7 million exported. Other products with more than US$ 1 million exported are iron ore and carnauba wax (carnauba is a kind of palm tree which grows in the interior of the State).

It is clear that, for good and for bad, the State of Rio Grande do Norte will not industrialized in the near future.