Brazil represents one of the largest markets for the Norwegian exporting industry, in fact the largest market for Norwegian firms outside the OECD area. A large number of Norwegian firms have been represented in Brazil over many years, including shipping, oil and gas, energy, timber, construction, and finance companies. The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs encourages positive ties between Norway and Brazil by supporting business relations, facilitating dialogue, and promoting cooperation between institutions in the two countries. As part of these efforts, the Ministry seeks a better understanding of potential obstacles to well-functioning business collaboration. This project will shed light on potential business climate challenges, in particular on issues related to corruption and other illegal causes of unfair competition.

The main objective of this project is to provide information about Norwegian firms' experiences with undue business practices and corruption in Brazil, with the aim of identifying ways of supporting positive business-relations between Norway and Brazil. The project aims to gather general information about the current situation. Thus, it will not provide sensitive details that can reveal individual actors' involvement in any forms of undue business practices. A clear ambition of the project is the achievement of improved insights on how to alleviate potential challenges identified, and support trade relations between Norway and Brazil - on the basis of fair competition and legal business practices.

The study will be based on interviews with business people in Brazil, primarily with representatives of Norwegian firms in different industries. The thematic approach will rely on an extensive review of the literature on business climate challenges, business-related crime and corruption, as well as media cases and reports of these challenges in the Brazilian context.

Tina Søreide is team leader for the project. Dr Søreide is an economist with substantial experience in research and policy analysis, mainly on issues related to business climate challenges, corruption, regulation and public procurement. Her work includes extensive analyses of business corruption based on surveys of Norwegian exporting firms, conducted in collaboration with the Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise (NHO). Søreide is currently engaged in a project with the World Bank that aims to illuminate the risks of corruption in private utility provision.

The project will be conducted in collaboration with Transparência Brasil (TB), a non-governmental organization with considerable knowledge and understanding of corruption and business climate challenges in Brazil. Transparência Brasil has conducted comprehensive surveys of the incidence of corruption in different fields, including the business sector. Mr Claudio Weber Abramo, executive director of Transparência Brasil, will be assigned to the task. Mr Weber Abramo is a mathematician with a Master's degree in logic and the philosophy of science, with concentration on the foundations of probability and statistics. He has directed a large number of surveys conducted by Transparência Brasil and is the author of numerous studies and academic papers on corruption and its measurement. In addition, Mr Eduardo Capobianco, Chairman of the Board of Transparência Brasil, will be involved in the project. Mr Capobianco is a well-known business leader with profound knowledge of the Brazilian institutional, managerial and market environment concerning public procurement. He has also co-authored (with Weber Abramo) papers on the subject.

Relevant information about foreign firms and corruption and feedback on our assumptions will be provided also from other anti-corruption organizations and research institutions in Brazil. Among these organizations are Judges for Democracy and Democratic Public Ministry, associations of public auditors, Amarribo (an anti-corruption initiative acting on municipalities) economists and social scientists that have worked with the subject in Brazil.