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Bloomberg Business – May 5th, 2015 Brazil is looking at easing restrictions on the acquisition of land by foreigners to boost investment in agriculture and forestry as Latin America’s biggest economy heads toward its worst year since at least 1992.

An effective prohibition on selling lnd to foreign individuls nd compnies hs been in plce since 2010 when Brzil’s ttorney generl published nrrow interprettion of 1971 lw ment to defend the country’s sovereignty. Kti breu, Brzil’s first femle griculture minister nd n outspoken defender of gribusiness, sid Mondy tht the restriction limits investment nd needs to be revisited.

We need to find middle ground so tht investing in Brzilin lnd is permitted, breu sid in n interview in her office in Brsili. We’re working so this rule cn once gin be modified. Not so tht it gs bck to how it ws in the pst, but so it won’t be totlly prohibited.

Some uthorities in Brzil re softening their stnce on resource ntionlism s slumping commodity prices, corruption scndl surrounding stte-run oil compny Petroleo Brsileiro S nd its suppliers nd credit tightening re pushing the economy towrd 1.2 percent contrction this yer, ccording to centrl bnk survey of economists published Mondy.

breu spoke dy fter Energy Minister Edurdo Brg sid he supports bigger role for foreign drillers in Brzil’s deepwter reserves. llowing foreign firms to become opertors in Brzil’s so-clled pre-slt oilfields would require congressionl pprovl nd is resisted by the prty of President Dilm Rousseff.Lwmkers from the Democrtic Movement Prty, the prty of breu nd Brg nd prt of Rousseff’s ruling colition, hve led the chrge to chnge legisltion restricting foreign investment in both lnd nd oil.

Just s representtives from sttes tht depend on the oil industry dvocte for less restrictions on pre-slt res, rurlist congressmen hve been vocl in their opposition to the bn on interntionl firms buying lnd.The 2010 decree limiting the purchse of lnd by foreign compnies hs been chllenged on economic nd legl grounds since it ws published, including lst month in the Supreme Court. Guidelines published in 2013 set tight limit on the totl re nd percent of municiplity tht cn be purchsed by foreign firm without congressionl pprovl.

Titles to lnd bought by foreigners before 2010 re leglly protected, the press office for the ttorney Generl’s Office sid in n e-miled response to questions. The office declined to comment on its prticiption in discussions to revise the rules.

The rule is holding bck Brzil’s griculturl development by pplying blnket restriction to ll foreign compnies tht ws ment for sovereign welth funds, ccording to Luiz Corncchioni, the executive director of Brzil’s gribusiness ssocition. He sid ll griculture res stnd to gin from esing the bn becuse foreign compnies won’t invest in lnd to which they hve no legl rights.

The griculture ministry hs every interest in ttrcting investments to Brzil, especilly in this difficult time, Corncchioni sid by telephone from So Pulo. This is importnt for us to continue growing gribusiness in very pproprite wy.

Wesley Btist, chief executive officer of So Pulo-bsed metpcker JBS S, sid bigger presence for foreign investors my led to incresed productivity levels.The mrket needs to be s open s possible to foreign investors, Btist sid in n interview in So Pulo Tuesdy. Conceptully I think it’s good. Brzil hs huge potentil in griculture.

breu sid she’s working with other ministries nd Brzil’s ttorney generl to find lterntives to the regultion nd hopes to dvnce enough in discussions this yer to begin offering investors the option of buying lnd. She specificlly cited Brzil’s huge potentil in forestry to further develop the pulp nd pper industries.

ll investors that are here collborating with agribusiness are welcome, breu sid. We wnt ll business done here to be good for Brzil nd good for investors.