Banking and Development in Espirito Santo

João Guerino Balestrassi, President of Espirito Santo’s Development Bank (BANDES)
The President of Espirito Santo’s Development Bank, João Guerino Balestrassi, talks about the role of BANDES and its importance for the development of the state. He also talks about investments in Espirito Santo.

Interview with João Guerino Balestrassi, President of Espirito Santo’s Development Bank (BANDES)


What is the role of the Bandes in Espírito Santo?

As our aim is to help the equal development of all our state, we work with agriculture and small companies, bringing resources to the countryside.

The role of Bandes is to support sustainable development throughout the state of Espírito Santo, especially in the countryside and small towns that are not priorities for other institutions. Usually the investors prefer to stay in the big cities, however we try to show to them what they can find if they invest in the other parts of our state. As our aim is to help the equal development of all our state, we work with agriculture and small companies, bringing resources to the countryside. We also work to attract new companies from Brazil and the other countries in order to create partnership with the local companies and with it help the development of Espírito Santo. We all work to bring development to the state and to keep it growing. The state is growing because it is in a very good position and has the necessary structure. We have very good ports, good railroads, and most importantly, we are near the big states of Brazil. That is the reason why the Bandes is so important for Espírito Santo. Our role is to attract the investors and help our companies in order to keep growing.

When compared with the other states, does Espírito Santo have any advantage?

Besides the geographic position, which is an advantage, our coastline is very jagged which facilitates the installation of ports. The other advantage is the fact that the population of Espírito Santo is well hospitable. The willingness to be trained is another attraction. It is important to say that the state is organized and we are always investing. In fact, Espírito Santo is the state with the best ability to invest in Brazil. In Espírito Santo government and companies are working together to bring development. In this respect the work of Bandes is essential: to promote installation and improvement of such companies through an incentive program, provide jobs and income for our state.

What are the major challenges the state will need to face in the future?

Our biggest challenge is to attract innovative companies, working with technology, to deliver a more polished product to the market. These companies also need to be willing to join with local businesses. These partnerships that generate employment and local income, are aimed at sustainability and local development. I would like to highlight companies involved in oil and gas, ornamental stones and renewable energy. Bandes has already mapped the best places in the Espírito Santo to work, for example, with solar and wind energies.

Can you give us examples of successful partnerships?

We have several important companies, which are local partnerships, entrepreneurs working in the textile industry, the ornamental stones, and the furniture sector. However, with steel, with oil and gas, we need international companies in order to help us to exploit these resources. We already had some successful partnerships in the oil and gas industry, but we think that we can receive more companies willing to work with the state of Espírito Santo. As this state has a very important quantity of oil, there are many opportunities for investors. We are buying the equipments, but with the help of big companies, we certainly could create a profitable partnership. We are also interested in creating a partnership with construction industries. Brazil is growing and the construction industry is important for the country, that is why we need sustainable buildings and an industry, which can offer sustainability.

industry Espirito Santo

What do you want for the future of Espírito Santo and how do you see that future?

We have designed plans for 2025 and we are working on plans for 2030. To realize these goals over the next year, we need to attract companies. We also need to decrease the migration process, find solutions so that the population remains in the field. That’s why we’re trying to attract companies to the country to provide better jobs for this population. We are working on it right now to bring development to other parts of the state. We’ve managed to bring WEG, which is a major undertaking for a city called Linhares. We also brought to the field a furniture factory called Itatiaia. The group Paranapanema and Marcopolo, which are also important companies, are other good examples. This is what we want. We see a better future with many companies bringing development to all regions of the state.

How is the bank interacting with the private companies?

We try to detect the needs of the companies. For instance, we visited the WEG Company and found out that they need 20 new suppliers. We offer loans to the companies, but we also offer them the training and the necessary orientation to a profitable business. The development bank is a bridge between the international companies and the local companies. When we have an important company in our state we work to help the local companies so that they can offer the equipment and the products for that big company.

How do you find these companies?

We use all the available means, their websites, their participation in conferences. We search for companies interested in working in Espírito Santo constantly and sometimes they look for us. But it is not simple. That is a difficult job, we have the profile of the companies we need in the state and we must work hard to contact and attract these companies. If we could know which companies would be interested in coming to Brazil, our job would be easier, because we could contact these companies to see what they are expecting. The development bank is always present helping the companies, creating partnerships and identifying their needs. Our state is an important coffee producer; therefore, we help all the companies, which work with coffee in Espírito Santo. We offer them the money to buy new equipments, but we help them with all sorts of things, training the managers, offering courses to the workers, creating the environment for the success of these companies. If more companies would come to Brazil, more specifically to Espírito Santo, we would work closely with them offering them our projects and our structure. The development bank is 45 years old and that gives us a good understanding to work with the local companies and find in the state the necessary structure to help our partners.

Do you already have projects for the next few years? What are the specific medium-term goals?

Our main partner is the government. The government has goals for the next years and we will follow these goals. But we want to improve the structure of the state and work with our farmers, offering them the necessary support. We want to invest in oil and gas, in the construction industry, in companies working with ornamental stones, the furniture factories and the textile industry.

What will be the importance of the World Cup for Espírito Santo?

It will be an important event even if we will not receive the matches in Espírito Santo. We are creating a specific loan for companies interested in specific building training centers. They will be near the states where the matches will be played and that fact certainly will attract many tourists to the state. We have lovely beaches and our mountains are amazingly beautiful. Espírito Santo is a small state, however you have different climates, in the coast you have a tropical climate, if you travel 30 kilometres you can go to the mountains and will find a different climate. That is an advantage for the tourism industry and for companies interested in investing in the state.

What would you tell the investors interested in coming to Espírito Santo?

I would say that Espírito Santo is a very good option for investors. The state is well organized, the government is interested in working with the international companies and we have clear rules, the investors will find in the state a willing partner. There are several opportunities in Espírito Santo, the state will keep growing and the investors can benefit from it. There are several sectors, which need investment, oil and gas, sanitation, furniture, many parts of the state are already receiving investments, but there are many opportunities. In the next years, we will invest 100 billions in Espírito Santo, the state will receive many important companies and the government will work harder to help these companies to achieve their goals.

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