Germany's economics minister has offered Brazil support as it prepares for the 2014 World Cup. German companies could provide Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro with a transport link.
Brazil's government is keen on a high-speed train link between Rio and Sao Paolo
Economics Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg is hoping German firms can scoop infrastructure, organization and security contracts by helping Brazil prepare for the 2014 soccer tournament. Germany was host nation in 2006 for the World Cup finals, winning praise for its organizational flair and business know-how.
"Germany wants to be a partner for the World Cup in 2014 and contribute to making it a success. I'm very optimistic and believe we are in a good position especially when it comes to working hand in hand with industry," Guttenberg told Deutsche Welle, speaking on the sidelines of German-Brazilian trade talks in the Brazilian city of Vitoria.
That partnership could translate into deals worth billions of euros for German industry, as it struggles to win back its title as world's number one export nation from China.
Guttenberg stressed that German firms were well-positioned and "brimming with confidence."
The "right profile"
Brazil's minister of development, industry and foreign commerce, Miguel Jorge, said that many Germany companies had what he termed the "right profile" to help Brazil prepare for soccer's premier event.
Guttenberg (middle) is hopeful that Germany can make money on Brazil's World Cup
Without naming names, Jorge said several German companies with experience in preparing for the country's 2006 World Cup submitted proposals to help build or refurbish roads, airports and stadiums for the event.
One prestige project that German entrepreneurs have an eye on is the so-called "Trem-Bala" high-speed rail link between Sao Paolo and Rio de Janeiro, which the Brazilian government wants to be up and running by 2014. The project would cost more than 13 billion euros ($18.6 billion).
Hans-Peter Keitel, head of the Federation of German Industry (BDI), was optimistic: "German industry never plays for a draw. We want to win here."
Next year alone, the Brazilian government will be investing an estimated $40 billion in the soccer fest. At all of the soccer stadiums that will be hosting the World Cup finals "large investments will be necessary, especially in the constructions of stadiums, airports, hotels and security," said Keitel.
A total of 1,200 German companies already have business operations in Brazil, contributing to 10 percent of the country's gross domestic product. Bilateral trade volume is worth nearly 18 billion euros.
Editor. Nancy Isenson