Paraguay with a population of six million imports annually 25 million pairs of shoes, something considered 'incredible' and totally out of proportion with the economic situation and poverty levels of the country, claimed Mercosur members' footwear chambers and related industries.
Fitch Ratings lowered Thursday the outlook on Brazil's investment grade BBB rating to negative, warning that government efforts to turn around the economy risked getting derailed. The Brazilian economy, the world's seventh-largest, stagnated with just 0.1% growth last year as the drag of rising inflation erased the effect of hosting the football World Cup in June and July and gearing up for the Rio Olympics next year.
Brazil's State-run oil company Petrobras has purged corrupt managers and put a graft scandal behind it, while hitting record output levels from offshore deposits, President Dilma Rousseff said Thursday. The indictment of former senior executives of Petrobras the investigation of dozens of political allies of Rousseff in the multibillion-dollar kickback scandal has thrown her government into crisis and undermined investor confidence in Brazil.
The UK Foreign Office summoned Argentine Ambassador Alicia Castro to object recent remarks regarding the Falkland Islands by President Cristina Fernandez and the diplomat based in London. An FCO spokesperson said that Britain has no doubt about its sovereignty over the Falkland Islands and surrounding maritime areas, nor about the Falkland Islanders' right to decide their own future.
Uruguay is considering extending the length of its oil exploration contracts with foreign companies drilling in its waters in order to shore up investment at a time of plunging crude prices, it said on Wednesday. BP, BG Group, Total, a joint venture of Tullow Oil and Inpex, and a consortium of YPF, Royal Dutch Shell and Galp all have exploration agreements and have invested around $2 billion to date.
The World Bank's International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) has ordered Argentina to pay 405 million dollars to French company Suez, who saw their contract for water and drainage provision cancelled in 2006. The service had been privatized in the nineties during the presidency of Carlos Menem.
Argentine President Cristina Fernández will be heading to Moscow in just under two weeks upon invitation from Russian President Vladimir Putin to mark 130 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries. The announcement of the president’s 22/23 April visit to Russia came amid news that she would also visit Pope Francis in the Vatican on June 7.
By Luke Coffey and Nile Gardiner, Ph. D. (*)
The Organization of American States (OAS) will hold the seventh Summit of the Americas in Panama City, Panama, on April 10–11, 2015. In the past, Canada has been alone in supporting the Falkland Islanders’ right of self-determination in the OAS.
Oil and gas company Shell has agreed to buy British rival BG Group for the equivalent of 70 billion dollars, making Europe's largest oil company the pre-eminent player in global natural gas and adding world-class fields in Brazil. The deal may signal a new wave of mega-mergers as the energy industry tries to adapt to lower prices.
Brazilian congressional leaders within President Dilma Rousseff's coalition signed a joint letter on Wednesday pledging to support her austerity package, an unexpected sign that the ties with her unruly coalition are improving. The deal was brokered by Vice President Michel Temer on his first day as the official go-between tasked with mending Rousseff's tense relations with coalition lawmakers.