A Piece of the Brazilian Action

We had the Brazilian Ambassador Antonio Patriota here at NDN yesterday, and he offered a wonderfully cogent picture of where Brazil is today-- economically, politically, and in its relations with the rest of the world. Rumors and hearsay suggest that the Ambassador could soon be recalled to Brasilia to serve as Deputy Foreign Minister, but for now, he's here in Washington, and serving as a valuable bridge between his country and ours.

A video of his talk is below, which you should watch, but really that was just a glorified lead-in to a rather scanty blog post...

GVT LogoThe Economist has an article in their latest issue about GVT, a relatively small Brazilian mobile operator. Despite its meager market share, a bidding war is on to take the company over-- Spain's Telefonica has the highest bid right now, over France's Vivendi, and rumors abound that TelMex might be interested too. The take-away here is that Brazil is one of most stable of the fast-growing markets in the world, and everybody wants a piece of the action:

Since Brazil’s telecoms monopoly was broken up and privatised in 1998, the number of landlines has more than doubled from 17m to 41m. The growth of mobile phones has been even faster. Brazil already boasts more 165m of them, just 25m short of one for every person in the land. Internet coverage is less good, but the government plans to lay 31,000km of optical fibre with the aim of bringing broadband access within reach of 162m people. The race is therefore on to create telecoms giants that can offer a range of services to Brazilians in the farthest corners of this vast country.

Like I was saying, everybody wants in.  And the Ambassador agrees: