Under Secretary of Commerce For International Trade Francisco SÁnchez
Brazil Energy and Power Conference
Monday, August 26, 2013
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
As prepared for delivery
Thank you, all.
Thank you, Roberto (Ramos), for that very kind introduction. I appreciate your leadership at the American Chamber here in Rio de Janeiro. You and this group have done so much to further the relationship between Brazil and the United States.
It’s an important relationship. One we both celebrate as often as possible.
Both U.S. Secretary of Energy Moniz and Secretary of State Kerry were here earlier this month, where they talked about our growing ties in education and trade.
And it should be said that Secretary Moniz and Secretary Kerry have a lot to celebrate in U.S.-Brazil relations. Secretary Kerry met his wife at a conference here and Secretary Moniz’s wife is from Sao Paulo.
Vice President Biden was here in May, and he said the United States and Brazil are entering a new era in our relationship.
I’m here today to echo the Vice President’s message.
We are also excited that President Rousseff will be making a state visit to Washington in October. State visits are the highest form of diplomatic engagement.
The visit reflects the advancements the United States and Brazil have made in our bilateral relations and the commitment both countries share to continue to advance our relationship
The United States and Brazil have a long-standing bond as partners in the Western Hemisphere. We’ve partnered on many initiatives to advance our relationship.
The upcoming U.S.-Brazil CEO Forum is one such initiative.
Since 2007, this forum has opened discussions between our nations on issues, including visa reform, aviation, and education; as well as helping conclude our tax information exchange agreement.
The U.S. and Brazil share many common interests. We have a commitment to democracy. We celebrate multiculturalism. We both promote global peace, security and prosperity
Our bilateral trade in goods has increased 170 percent over the last decade. And it’s going nowhere but up. It’s still a blossoming relationship.
That’s why we are here today. It speaks volumes that we are here in Rio de Janeiro for this event.
In previous years, this conference was in Houston. Houston is a fantastic city and a landmark in the power and energy sector, and now we recognize the importance of Brazil. We recognize Brazil’s strength and the potential it holds in its future.
I for one am honored to be here as part of this event – held in Brazil for the first time.
As the relationship between the United States and Brazil enters a new era, Brazil itself also does so. It has become a global leader in so many ways. It’s now the world’s seventh-largest economy. It’s part of a rising bloc of emerging economies.
As the location for the next World Cup and Summer Olympics, Brazil is preparing to be not just a world leader, but also the world’s host. And I know that the Seleção Canarinho is anxious to earn a sixth star on its jerseys while playing on home pitch.
As great of a boost as that would be, maybe the biggest star on Brazil’s horizon comes from the power and energy sector.
It’s leading the nation into the next phase of its development. It is powering Brazil’s economic expansion. Companies like Petrobras are committing billions of dollars, investing in pre-salt offshore gas and oil reserves. These reserves are expected to hold more than 50 billion barrels of oil. That translates into a lot of potential for Brazil.
As Brazil furthers its exploration of energy resources, the United States stands ready to partner.
And I want to emphasize that we do see this as a partnership. Yes, there are opportunities for U.S. businesses to do well in Brazil. There are also opportunities to do good in Brazil – to help the country capitalize on its natural resources efficiently and responsibly.
We’re very glad to be working within the Strategic Energy Dialogue – or SED – on energy cooperation. This agreement makes sure that both governments work on energy issues together.
The Department of Commerce has been working closely with the Department of Energy to ensure that the private sector is included in these discussions. That will bring this strategic relationship to its full potential.
American companies have been engaged all over the world, providing expertise on accessing natural resources. We’ve got the experience and the lessons learned to help Brazil maximize its ability to harness the energy reserves it has access to.
I’m glad to see that the private sector will have a voice at the next SED.
I’m also glad to see close cooperation on Brazil’s efforts to access its shale gas. This is something American companies have been working on in the United States and it’s been an extremely important contributor to U.S. exports.
The Ministry of Mines and Energy is working with the U.S. Department of Energy on what I know will be a fruitful technical workshop in December. I know the leaders in our shale gas industry will be excited to share their expertise and best practices.
I know they are also looking to participate in Brazil’s scheduled shale gas bid round coming up in November.
Working together ensures that the proper path is taken. That Brazil will be able to access its resources under water and underground safely and responsibly. It’s in both of our best interests that that is the case. It’s in the world’s best interest that that is the case.
I’m excited to see how much we can accomplish together.
Of course our relationship is a two-way street. As the United States stands ready to partner with Brazil here, we are also ready to partner with Brazil within our borders. We welcome investment from Brazilian companies who are looking to do business in the U.S.
Businesses realize that the United States has a lot to offer, including a large customer base, a productive workforce, and a stable economy.
Brazilian companies are becoming increasingly aware of that. Brazilian investment in the United States has increased 10 percent since 2011.
Those businesses are getting a leg up in competing globally, capitalizing on the advantages of doing business in the U.S.
Borghetti Turbos is one such company. Borghetti is a subsidiary of Brazilian automotive parts manufacturer Master Power Turbo. It plans to open its North American Headquarters in Lincoln County, North Carolina. It’s investing nearly four million dollars in the area, believing in the return it will receive on that investment.
Now, I know sometimes it can be difficult for a company to choose the best place to invest. So I’ll make it easy for any companies here that are looking. The United States government is hosting a first-of-its kind summit from October 31st to November 1st this year in Washington D.C.
It’s the SelectUSA Summit, and it’s part of President Obama’s efforts to facilitate foreign direct investment in the United States.
We’ll have economic development organizations from all over the country ready to talk about investment opportunities with global investors. We announced a lineup of speakers from global companies who have had success in the U.S. We’ll also have prominent leaders from the Obama administration, including Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew and Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, ready to talk about why it’s a good idea to invest in the United States.
It will really be an incredible program. I hope to see many of you business leaders in attendance.
That’s what furthers global partnerships. When companies invest in one another, when they share expertise with one another, when they help each other grow, that’s the recipe for the perfect international relationship.
I’m very excited to see our partnership continue to grow.
It’s always a privilege to come to Rio de Janeiro. It’s certainly an honor to speak with all of you.
Thank you for everything you do to further the important relationship between Brazil and the United States.
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