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Bias, mistakes and omissions dominate BRIO´s article on the BNDES

06/10/2015

BRIO’s report on the BNDES’ financing for Brazilian exports to civil works abroad is biased and mistaken. The site claims it began analyzing data in 2013, but only contacted the Bank to request information for the report on Monday, June 1, 2015, after 10 p.m.

Worse than the surprisingly short time lapse between requesting data and publishing the report, even prior to the Bank sending its answers, parts of the report were already being disseminated on the Internet. It was more than clear that any answer provided by the BNDES would have little or no influence on the essence of the content.

If the unorthodox approach were not enough, one of BRIO’s main cases is the “invisible hand of the BNDES in Latin America” in the form of a project for a highway in Peru that was never financed by the Bank. In this case, operations were truly invisible, completely imperceptible, because they did not even exist. This fact did not stop the site from presenting an extensive report, casting suspicion on the Bank’s efforts in matters to which it had no relation whatsoever.

The texts are full of bias, mistakes and omitted information. The reports do not offer basic data on the BNDES’ operations, which would be useful for readers to at least have some idea of what the Bank’s version is. 

The BNDES’ resources are not used to “pay for projects in other countries” and are restricted to exports of goods and services used in these civil works, generating jobs and income in Brazil. BRIO claims that financing for the San Francisco hydroelectric power plant, in Ecuador, was “the first approved in the policy to internationalize companies in 2003”, while the truth of the matter is that the BNDES has been financing exports of goods and services to engineering works since 1997. The text on financing for the subway in Caracas omits the fact that the first contract for BNDES support for exports of goods and services to the civil works was signed in 2001.

Another issue is that, in all these financing deals, the default rate is zero. This is objective data that proves the BNDES’ highly efficient procedures in analyzing projects, which is carried out impartially and involves dozens of skilled technicians and collegiate organs.

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