Brazil is open for business

Brazil is open for business

When the divisive Jair Bolsonaro became president of Brazil a year ago, it raised many concerns about the direction his country would take. The domestic and international business community has been relatively united in welcoming him and his strong free-market inclinations, which remain particularly attractive to foreign investors. For Gulf countries, maintaining good trade relations with Brazil is undoubtedly positive – but Bolsonaro caused controversy across the Arab world when, shortly after taking office, he announced a plan to move his country’s embassy in Israel to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv. It took a visit to Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar last October  – and many new trade deals – for the Brazilian leader to begin repairing relations.

Vietnam – not just a manufacturing hub

Vietnam – not just a manufacturing hub

Strong economic growth in Vietnam will help open up opportunities in a variety of sectors outside of manufacturing over the coming years, although the business environment remains challenging. Structural factors, including rapidly rising incomes, major urbanisation and an ageing population, will underpin expansion in three sectors in particular – construction, electricity transmission and distribution, and health care. 

Vietnam is a rising export hub, despite US tariff threat

Vietnam is a rising export hub, despite US tariff threat

Vietnam will continue to emerge as a global manufacturing hub in the coming years, particularly in the electronics sector. Despite rising trade tensions with the US, structural factors including low wage costs, a large infrastructure pipeline and recently signed free-trade agreements should sustain investment in the manufacturing sector. Long-term challenges include managing growing demands for political representation and rising concerns over the environmental sustainability of the country’s growth model.