Economics Minister Pascal Couchepin (l) expressed optimism about opportunities for Swiss businesses in Brazil. His positive view was echoed by a business delegation accompanying Couchepin.This content was published on July 8, 1999 - 11:43
Economics Minister Pascal Couchepin (l) expressed optimism about opportunities for Swiss businesses in Brazil. His positive view was echoed by a business delegation accompanying Couchepin.
"Swiss businesses must rediscover this country, just as the pioneers did," said Couchepin, as he wrapped up his visit to Brazil. "Businesses not yet represented in Brazil are missing out."
Couchepin's assessment came after a week of talks with President Fernando Henrique Cardoso and senior government and business officials. He is pictured above with the vice-president of Brazil's National Confederation of Industry Carlos Eduardo Moreira.
Equally optimistic was the head of the Swiss Federation of Commerce and Industry (Vorort), Andres Leuenberger, who led the Swiss business delegation accompanying Couchepin.
"Some of us arrived with mixed feelings but I believe that Brazil is now well on its way to sustainable development," said Leuenberger. He added that the times of hyperinflation appeared to be over.
The head of Switzerland's Credit Suisse banking group, Lukas Mühlemann, described as "excellent" the policies of Brazil's Finance Minister Pedro Malan as well as the central bank president Arminio Fraga.
There is nothing to prevent new investments by Swiss businesses, according to the delegation.
The Swiss-based pharmaceuticals giant Roche plans to invest about SFr60 million ($38 million) over the next few years, according to Leuenberger.
The delegation pointed out that high export tariffs were still a hurdle, and that it had raised the issue in discussions with Brazilian government representatives.
From staff with wires
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