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US on Brazil investment radar despite spy claims - analyst

Bnamericas Published: Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The US remains a key investment partner in Brazilian energy and infrastructure projects despite friction caused by claims of espionage, according to investment bank Goldman Sachs.

Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff canceled a state visit to Washington this month amid allegations the US National Security Agency (NSA) tapped emails and messages from her government and state-run oil companyPetrobras (NYSE: PBR).

But Goldman Sachs' Latin America chief Stephen Scherr revealed Rousseff had discussed cooperation with the US during a meeting with the firm in New York last month.

"She came to the UN general assembly meeting and also visited Goldman Sachs with a specific purpose of talking about infrastructure and how she can grow the economy and continue to attract capital into the country," Scherr said in an interview broadcast on the bank's website.

"It would suggest that despite issues Brazil has with Washington there is an economic agenda that needs to be met."

Scherr says energy investments, not just infrastructure projects for next year's FIFA World Cup and Rio 2016 Olympics, would trigger future economic growth in South America's largest nation.

"The Olympics and the World Cup are part of a much larger and more ambitious infrastructure play that the Brazilians are focused on," Scherr said.

"It's about infrastructure around oil exploration for Petrobras. It's about generating alternative energies, it's about building up a much larger infrastructure to facilitate commodity trade, whether it's agriculture or resources.

"Infrastructure in and around the country needs to get built and is essential for Brazil to regain some of the growth it was experiencing several years back. The World Cup and Olympics are just a part of a much larger issue."

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