Local July 17, 2015 | 4:22 pm

Nothing tawdry in Lula’s trips to Dominican Republic: Odebrecht

Santo Domingo.- Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht onFriday said it’s aware of an investigation into former Brazilian president LuizInazio Lula da Silva’s trips abroad including the Dominican Republic to determine if there was influence peddling to benefit the contractor.

It said the company maintains an institutional and transparentrelationship with Lula, “consistent with his position and the importance of hisrole as former leader of Brazil.”

In an emailed statement Odebrecht said Lula was invitedby the company solely to give lectures to business leaders, investors andpolitical leaders in events aimed at touting potentials of Brazil and itscompanies, as well as promote the full exercise of democracy and socialinclusion combined with economic development.

It stressed that Lula did exactly what presidents andformer presidents have done when they promote business outside of theircountries to seek a bigger share of global trade.

As to export financing from Brazil’s State-owned BNDESbank, Odebrecht said the process to select the company that exports goods andservices, which must be exclusively Brazilian, isn’t carried out by that bank.

He stressed that the selection process is conducted underthe procurement laws of the country that receives the loan, with Odebrecht hasobtained all contracts based on the laws in Brazil and the countries where itoperates.

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