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17 February, 2022updated 03 Mar 2022 07:19

How has Covid-19 impacted the FDI relationship between the US and Brazil?

Covid-19 caused FDI levels to plummet in 2020 before a recovery in 2021, but did the relationship between the US and Brazil follow this pattern?

By Glenn Barklie

In 2020, the US received 1,696 greenfield FDI projects, while there were 304 projects recorded into Brazil, according to GlobalData’s FDI Projects Database. 

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The number of projects into the US fell sharply, decreasing by 11% from 2019. During the same period, the number of greenfield FDI projects into Brazil actually grew by 24%. 

US outbound FDI into Brazil 

US-based companies created 83 projects in Brazil in 2020. This represented a 9.2% increase compared with 2019. 

Nominally, US-based companies primarily invested in the communications and media, tourism and automotive sectors in Brazil. Combined, these three sectors accounted for 51% of total US outbound FDI projects destined for Brazil. 

Proportionally, Brazil received a larger share of US outbound FDI in the engines and turbines (20% of total US outbound FDI in the sector in 2020), chemicals (15%) and paper, printing and packaging (14%) sectors. 

Top US-based investors in Brazil included Albaugh, Amazon and American Tower. Combined, these companies accounted for 29% of total project flows. 

In terms of total US outbound FDI projects, Brazil ranked as the 12th-largest recipient country in 2020. It was the 16th-largest recipient in 2019. 

US-based companies primarily established operations in São Paulo state. In fact, 41% of projects into Brazil by US companies were located there in 2020. Minas Gerais and Rio Grande do Norte were the next most popular subnational destinations. 

Brazilian outbound FDI into the US 

Brazilian-based companies created 23 projects in the US in 2020. The number of projects increased by 43.8% compared with 2019. 

Food, software and IT services, and financial services were the top sectors in which Brazilian companies were investing in the US. Combined, these three sectors accounted for 13% of total Brazilian outbound FDI projects destined for the US. 

Top Brazilian-based investors in the US included J&F Investimentos, Frente Corretora de Cambio and Odbinv. Combined, these companies accounted for 48% of the total number of Brazilian-headquartered projects established in the US in 2020. 

The US ranked as the leading recipient country of Brazilian outbound FDI in 2020. It was also the leading recipient in 2019. 

Brazil-based companies primarily established operations in Florida. In 2020, 19% of all Brazilian outbound projects destined for the US were created in the state. Georgia and New York were the next most popular subnational destinations. 

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