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Minister Nelson Jobim Calls On Brazilian Business to Invest in the National Defense Industry

By Dialogo
May 31, 2011

Defense Minister Nelson Jobim has issued a call to Brazilian business to invest in the revitalization and development of the national defense industry.

According to the minister, unlike in previous decades, the country is currently at a propitious moment for making “a qualitative leap” in this sector, especially following the changes that have taken place in recent years in the national political and economic panorama.

For Jobim, the efforts undertaken by the government in the defense arena have sensitized Brazilian political elites to the country’s need to prepare to safeguard its riches, such as its aquifers and its renewable and non-renewable energy-generation resources, such as its pre-salt oil.

That factor, linked to other aspects such as monetary stability and Brazil’s increasing international presence, the growth in state investment in the military, and the existence of business groups with available capital that are beginning to invest in the sector, forms the basis needed to sustain the revitalization of the national defense industry, in the minister’s opinion.

The invitation to business was issued during a speech by Minister Jobim to members of the Administrative Council of Odebrecht, in São Paulo, a firm that has expanded its activities from construction and infrastructure into the defense sector following its recent acquisition of Metron, a firm specialized in missile production.

During the address, Jobim reviewed the initiatives that the government is in the process of adopting in order to improve national defense from an institutional perspective. According to what he had to say, part of those initiatives belong to the state; nevertheless, the involvement of the private sector is required in the investment sphere.

From the public-sector perspective, Jobim affirmed, progress is underway in several areas, such as the implementation of a defense articulation and equipment plan and of modifications in tax and budget legislation aimed at giving predictability to the sector.

Nonetheless, the effort needed to modify the defense sector’s current state cannot depend solely on the government: “All the actors involved in this process need to contribute to building the desired reality,” he affirmed.