There are many (German) companies, particularly small and medium-sized ones — who see prospects for business in Brazil” despite the country’s faltering economic growth (0.9% last year),“ said Thomas Schmall, who has just been elected chamber president for a two-year term.
”Everybody (in the German business community) believes that in the long term, Brazil will continue to grow and will become a major power,” Schmall, the head of Volkswagen’s Brazil unit, told a press conference.
In May some 1.500 political and business leaders from both countries will meet in Brazil to discuss investment opportunities, Schmall said.
Some 1.400 German companies operate in Brazil, including 900 headquartered in the greater Sao Paulo area, Brazil’s economic and financial engine. They employ 250.000 people.
German investment in the country totals 30 billion dollars, making Brazil Germany’s main partner in Latin America, both in terms of trade and investment.
Over the past decade, Brazilian exports to Germany nearly tripled, although they fell 18.9% to 7.3 billion in 2012, from 9 billion the previous year due to the global economic downturn.
German imports soared from 4.4 billion in 2002 to 14.2 billion in 2012.
Leading German companies operating in Brazil include automaker Volkswagen, with sales of 15.7 billion, Mercedes Benz with 8 billion, engineering and manufacturing firm MAN with 4.3 billion and chemical giant BASF with 3 billion.