Daily Archives: 29 May 2013

The Vice President of the United States, Joe Biden, has visited Brazil, as part of a tour which also includes a visit to Colombia and Trinidad and Tobago. The Vice President’s visit to Brazil is of the highest-ranking U.S. official since President Obama travelled to Brazil in 2011.

US Vice President Joe Biden in Rio de Janeiro. Photo from Yahoo! News.

Vice President Biden visited energy companies in Rio, including Brazilian oil giant Petrobras, before heading to Brasília for talks with President Rousseff. Photo from Yahoo! News.

This and other visits between the U.S. and Latin countries scheduled for 2013 have been billed as “the most active high-level engagement with Latin America in a long, long time.”

Biden began his three-day visit to Brazil in Rio where he is spending two full days meeting business figures, particularly from the energy sector. He is also expected to meet with community leaders, including a visit to a pacified favela community.

Biden will meet President Dilma Rousseff and Vice President Michel Temer at the Planalto in Brasília on Friday 31 May.

An official statement said the Vice President looks forward to discussing “ways to deepen our economic and commercial partnerships and further our engagement on the broad array of bilateral, regional and global issues […].”

Ahead of the trip, Biden praised Latin America’s achievements in reducing poverty and noted the region was “experiencing a unique moment,” as he told Veja magazine.

The U.S. has made clear that it wishes to forge stronger ties with its partners in the Latin region through strong trade and investment. Recently, U.S. oil companies ExxonMobil and Chevron bought stakes in Brazil’s 11th oil and gas auction, signalling a return for the companies to Brazil.

Some commentators are suggesting that Vice President Biden’s visit to Brazil will act as a precursor to a rare state visit by Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff to the U.S. later this year – the first state visit in almost 20 years.

Commentators say that both regions want to seize on opportunities missed in the past. Brazil, for its part, has been accused of focusing too close to home, particularly on Mercosur, in terms of trade agreements in recent years. Brazil’s 200 million-strong population is seen as a big potential growth market for U.S. companies.

This fourth visit by Biden to Latin America as Vice President builds upon President Obama’s recent visit to Mexico and Costa Rica. Meanwhile, the White House has also announced visits to the U.S. by the Peruvian President Ollanta Humana and Chilean President Sebastián Piñera in June this year.

Read the full article on The Rio Times website.

The Brazilian government has announced that the application process for work visas to Brazil has been simplified significantly in response to demands from industry, calling for more qualified overseas workers to fill gaps in the Brazilian labour market.

Brazilian visa. Photo by Ben Tavener.

The process for applying for a work visa to Brazil should now be quicker and require fewer documents. Photo by Ben Tavener.

The government says it hopes that regular work visas, which currently take around three months to be issued, will take just 30 days.

The new rules, published under Normative Resolution (RN) 104, aim to speed up the process by requiring fewer documents and allowing documents to be sent online.

Industry and foreign workers have long complained that the process for granting a work visa was too long and overly complicated, requiring some fifteen documents and sometimes a number of visits to the Consulate; just three documents will now be required.

The government admits the new rules were a direct response to demands by industry, which struggles with Brazil’s lack of specifically qualified workers – particularly engineers, oil and gas experts, and systems analysts – to help ready the country host the World Cup and the Olympics.

Two other recent changes in work visas should also prove interesting to companies in Brazil and foreign students:

Resolution RN 100 provides a work visa of up to ninety days to foreign nationals providing technical assistance or technological know-how to Brazilian companies. Applicants go straight to their local Consulate, without the need for a permit from the Ministry for Labour and Employment (MTE).

Resolution RN 103 allows students with a Master’s degree or above to work up to ninety days in Brazil during their vacations. This work still requires MTE authorisation, but is expected to be popular with temporary jobs appearing for highly-qualified professionals for the World Cup and the Olympics.

Despite past concerns that Brazil should not encourage foreigners to work in Brazil but instead focus on improving the quality of homegrown professionals, Brazil’s Minister for Labour and Employment, Manoel Dias, says that boosting worker numbers from abroad would not take jobs from Brazilians.

Read the full article on The Rio Times website.