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Not your computer? Use Guest mode to sign in privately. Learn more. Next. Create account. Afrikaans . azərbaycan . català . Čeština . Dansk . Deutsch . eesti. were contracts for the rendering of services. UFABC - Fundação Universidade Federal do ABC .. Sascar - Tecnologia e Segurança Automotiva S.A. ABC BRASIL S.A. 01/31/ Average price (Zn) x Ptax .. Sistemas Automotivos S.A. providing for transfer of % interest held by the Company in. Automotiva for rendering of port operation services in connection with.

The conditions of the agreement between General Motors Brazil and the state of Rio Grande do Sul for the establishment of a GM plant near its capital, Porto Alegre, are also extremely beneficial for the company.

The protocol includes lending million reais ca. The repayment of the loan is to start in the year Tax breaks expand for a period of 15 years. In addition, the locality and the state have to provide the necessary infrastructure including all utilities, sanitation, and links to the road system. Water, electricity, natural gas, telecommunications, and sewage disposal are to be subsidised or, as stated in the protocol, "supplied at an internationally competitive cost".

However, the most stunning feature of the agreement is the development of additional infrastructure for the site. It was agreed that the state was to build private port facilities for GM and to dig out an access canal of a minimum depth of twenty feet, as well as to provide for the preparation of the site. Finally, the protocol also includes a series of measures destined to reinforce security at the site and provide public transport to the factory Protocol between General Motors Brazil and the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Ford signed a protocol with the state of Rio Grande do Sul a few months later which in many ways mirrored that of GM.

The protocol includes similar tax breaks to those granted to GM, plus the 13 In addition to a series of minor additional concessions and vague promises, such as to import all its vehicles through the plant at Juiz de Fora, to try to use local suppliers and to favour the development of co-operation with local research and development centres.

Ford will also be provided with a private sea and river port terminal Protocol between Ford and the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Justification and possible consequences of the bidding wars Engaging in the bidding wars is justified by state authorities from various viewpoints. FDI is perceived as the panacea for the dynamization of local economies and for the generation of employment. The final result would be the creation of new direct and, above all, indirect jobs, which will ultimately lead to the development of the state.

The state of Rio Grande do Sul also puts employment at the core of the effort in territorial competition. Rather optimistically, the document goes on to estimate the possible impact on the creation of employment. That is about indirect jobs per direct job created. Since the opening of the plant in the city of Betim has been thoroughly transformed.

Its population has jumped from 37, inhabitants in to , in the late s. The Fiat plant employs 12, workers and has attracted numerous suppliers, not just to the city of Betim, but also to the industrial belt of Belo Horizonte, the capital of Minas Gerais. In a document elaborated by the Department of Development and International Affairs of the state of Rio Grande do Sul this reasoning is stated bluntly.

First, and after acknowledging the massive influx of foreign investment that is taking place in the Brazilian automotive sector and which "is profoundly altering the spatial distribution of national development" Government of Rio Grande do Sul, 2 , it is pointed out that "the state of Rio Grande do Sul cannot remain aside from this whole process" 14 The documents underlines that "a car plant, being a labour intensive industry, tends to generate, a very high number of jobs, directly or indirectly in other sectors of the productive chain" FIERGS, 2.

However, as the whole process is taking place in "an atmosphere of unremitting competition among Brazilian states", there is a need to offer the "potential investor powerful incentives, capable not only of exceeding offers from competitors, but also of compensating the structural disadvantage of our location at the Southernmost end of the country15" Government of Rio Grande do Sul, 2. Hence, from this point of view, it becomes obvious that no Brazilian state can afford to avoid this sort of competition, since this would imply losing out the development battle and almost irretrievably curtailing its development potential.

However, there is little evidence that participating in the bidding wars will bring the benefits outlined in the documents drafted by most states involved in the process.

In fact, there are indications in the agreements that contradict the argument of the multiplier effects and spillovers linked to the construction of new car plants. First of all, the impact is likely to be felt at the level of the generation of direct jobs. New plants will certainly boost the low productivity in the Brazilian car industry.

This will imply, at best, jobless growth and, at worst, a reduction in direct employment, since any increase in productivity will be the result of a combination of more advanced technology and better organizational structures.

New technologies will therefore be in most cases developed elsewhere in the world and applied later in Brazil. Only the possible development of new models included in some of the agreements offers some ray of hope about the possibility of technological spillovers. The world launch in Brazil of the Fiat Palio may be an early indication in this sense.

In contrast with the clearly over-optimistic analyses used by state governments to justify the deals with car makers, several of the clauses included in the agreements may work in the opposite direction, not only not creating a large amount of indirect jobs, but also destroying some of the existing ones. The building of direct rail and road links to the plants, as well as of canals and private port terminals as in the case of the agreements signed by the state of Rio Grande do Sul , facilitates the export of cars to other parts of Brazil, South America, and the World.

But it also simplifies the whole process of importing car component parts. All that, in combination with the substantial tax breaks for the import of parts, is likely to work against the emergence of local suppliers and to put in increasing difficulty the powerful but struggling Brazilian component parts industry.

However, the rise in unemployment is unlikely to occur in the states attracting the plants, as a result of their lack of tradition in the car industry. Moreover, the chances that the success of the Fiat plant in Betim may be repeated are small.

First, because the establishment of Fiat took place under an authoritarian regime which kept territorial competition tightly under control. Second, the Fiat agreement was a one-off case, whereas incentive packages for foreign car manufacturers are now the norm. Third, the establishment of suppliers around the Betim plant in the s and s occurred in a context in which the import of component parts was heavily regulated.

Most recent protocols, as we have seen, included tax exemptions or abatements for the import of component parts. States vying to attract car companies are in fact financing a large percentage of the establishment and running of plants which would in any case have chosen Brazil as their location, mainly because of the growth potential of the Brazilian and South American car markets.

This in itself is nothing new. Efforts to bring in foreign capital in the automobile sector and the bidding wars related to them are not limited to Brazil.

Countries in Europe, but specially the Southern states in the US have recurred massively to these strategies in the last few decades. However and despite the similar nature of the deals, there are several factors which, in our opinion, tilt the balance in favour of large car manufacturers in Brazil more than in Europe or the US.

First and foremost, the lack of strong regulating bodies such as the European Commission -and of its Competition Commissioner, in particular, with its power to scrutinise state aids to business and to impose sanctions if necessary- represents a serious handicap. It is made up of the Secretaries of the Treasury of all Brazilian states and any decision should be unanimous.

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The unanimity rule renders the Confaz incapable of intervening in the bidding wars, since any state involved in a deal with a foreign car manufacturer would have the right to veto any decision. Second, the Brazilian states are less prepared that European nations or North American states to negotiate on a par with large transnational companies.

After years of implementing policies -especially during authoritarian periods- which were subordinated to federal government directives and which left little room for manoeuvre, states, regions and municipalities find themselves often unprepared to construct the new policies that the new economic and political conditions require. From this perspective, the bidding wars are often conducted using the old authoritarian political style at the state level Arbix and Zilbovicius, Conclusions The development of territorial competition among Brazilian states vying to attract FDI in the automobile sector to their territories since is risking any possible long-term benefits associated with the attraction of greater FDI in this sector.

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The bidding wars, presented by state governments as their main —and almost only- development strategy, are a pure waste since they do not lead to a significant increase in welfare neither at the local, nor at the Brazilian level. At the local level, Brazilian states governments are jeopardizing state budgets in order to fulfil what are no more than short-term political interests. With the excuse that they generate, on the most favourable assumptions, several thousands direct and indirect jobs and bring advanced technology, state governments are granting multinational car companies a series of subsidies and incentives that the car companies simply cannot refuse.

Indeed, in view of the advantages they may obtain from the bidding wars, car companies encourage such competition and play Brazilian states against one another in order to achieve the best possible deal. The net result is that in many cases the conditions granted by the states to car manufacturers setting up plants in their territory are putting an enormous strain on the limited budgets of the different Brazilian states, which are in general largely devoted to the payment of wages.

The consequence is that the limited resources that could be used for the implementation of public policies are being re-routed to subsidies and incentives in order to attract car plants.

In addition, states are going into debt. Many of the loans granted to the car manufacturers will only start to be repaid well 26 into the twenty-first century and almost certainly in a currency that will be worth much less than what it was at the time of the loan.

It, therefore, comes as no surprise that in January seven state governments declared themselves bankrupt, contributing to trigger with their action an economic crisis that led to almost the halving of the value of the Brazilian Real against the Dollar. Among the governments declaring themselves insolvent were several of the most active in the bidding wars: Minas Gerais whose newly elected governor, former president Itamar Franco, started the whole process , Rio Grande do Sul, and Rio de Janeiro.

Yet, all the effort put by local governments in the bidding wars is likely to yield little or no economic benefit.

At the Brazilian level, the outbreak of the bidding wars is also unlikely to increase welfare. States are bidding for FDI that, in most cases, was already announced to go to Brazil at the time of the signing of the New Automotive Regime. And the conditions the states are granting car companies are already having a negative impact on the whole of the Brazilian manufacturing sector, and especially in the car component parts sector.

Those few companies that were considered profitable have been bought by foreign companies and most of the rest are closing. What has been the role of the Brazilian state in all this process?

At the beginning incentives and subsidies as a means of attracting companies were encouraged in the New Automotive Regime. Later the federal government tolerated or even approved this sort of practice, which was made possible by the hybrid and partial opening of the economy. When finally the bidding wars got out of hand, the Brazilian state failed to set up the adequate institutions that would have prevented the development perverse forms of territorial competition. The fact that any type of restriction in the power of states to give incentives has to be presented and approved by the Parliament also did not help the government to limit the effects of the bidding wars.

In sum, it could be said that the bidding wars in the automobile sector represent a Faustian pact for the Brazilian state. The partial and haphazard opening of the economy, the weakness of the Brazilian state to control global processes and the populism of most Brazilian governors have contributed to unleash the most perverse effects of globalization; effects that, despite triggering short-term and geographically localized spells of economic growth, are likely to lead, in the medium and long-run, towards greater dependency, greater instability, greater disparities, and probably greater poverty.

Yet not all indications are negative.

There are encouraging signs in Brazil that the civil society is starting to realize the pernicious impact of the bidding wars and to mobilize against them. A clear sign of change occurred in the state elections of late Several of the governors who had more aggressively bid to attract car plants lost to their rivals.

In the case of the latter, the agreements signed by the regional government with General Motors and Ford became one of the key issues in the electoral campaign, and 28 the new Governor -Olivio Dutra of the Workers Party- asked for a re-egotiation of the agreements signed by the former government with GM and Ford.

This is a first step in what may be a change in the attitude of the Brazilian society towards the incentives and subsidies given to companies. However, in order to avoid further negative impacts, Brazil needs to build a new relationship between the public and the private sector and to design policies which will prevent the Brazilian state from becoming hostage to the specific interests of both multinational companies and local politicians.

Arbix, G. Baer, W. Growth and development.

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Praeger, New York. Arbix and M. Zilbovicius eds. Budd, L. Urban Studies 35, Blumenschein, F. Cano, W. Editora da Unicamp, Campinas.

Cheshire, P. Gordon Territorial competition and the predictability of collective in action. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 20, Gordon Territorial competition: Some lessons for policy. Annals of Regional Science 33, CNI, Rio de Janeiro. Coe, D.

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