A look on Brazil issues

Archive for the ‘Brazilian market’ Category

An environmental vision.

Posted by Nadiva Olivier on September 26, 2009

American Hardwood Export Council, an organization that represents “companies and trade associations engaged in the export of a full range of U.S. hardwood products, including – lumber, veneer, plywood, flooring, moulding and dimension materials” – is doing an aggressive effort toward Brazilian furniture industry. The environmental legislation of the country (in force for 70 years) had a consequence: the expansion of forest resources in the U.S. has been greater than its use for 50 years. And they do not have large forested areas. A few years ago, businessman Lawrence Castelan, Florense Furniture (from the south of Brazil) said that he was importing three types of wood from the United States. This is something that is not recent. It is remarkable that Americans export quality wood for emerging countries….


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Single tax, an old ideal in Brazil.

Posted by Nadiva Olivier on July 18, 2009

money-treeGlobalization is eroding the efficiency of conventional taxes, such as value added taxes. At the same time, a new form of taxation, levied on bank transactions, was used in Brazil (1993-2007) and proved to be evasion-proof, more efficient and less costly than orthodox tax models.

The significant revenue-raising capacity of bank transactions taxation revived the centuries old ideal of the single tax.

The book of Marcos Cintra, a Brazilian that is a full-professor and vice-president of the Getulio Vargas Foundation in Brazil, just launched in USA, carries out a qualitative and quantitative in-depth comparison of the efficiency, equity and compliance costs of a bank transactions tax relative to orthodox tax systems, and opens new perspectives for the use of modern banking technology in tax reform across the world.

Take a look at the Book at Amazon website: Bank transactions: pathway to single tax ideal.

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Almost 80% of Brazilians have a mobile.

Posted by Nadiva Olivier on March 23, 2009

crazy-mobile-man1Anatel, the agency that regulates communication in Brazil, just announced that the total number of cell phones in Brazil are 152.364.986 (Feb 2009) which amounts to almost 80% of the number of inhabitants in the country.

One can presume that people are high-tech down here but the truth is that many has two or more mobiles.

The mobile concentration is, of course, in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and other big cities in Brazil. So is the number of cell phones per person. In Rio de Janeiro, for instance, each person has more than one mobile.

Image from

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Dubai, a Brazilian object of desire.

Posted by Nadiva Olivier on February 19, 2009

dubai_mallBrazil international calendar starts with Gulfood Fair – United Arabian Emirates. This food and hospitality trade fair registered almost 40,000 trade professionals in 2008 and its 14th edition will be on Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre from 23 to 26th February 2009, Carnival period in Brazil.

The Emirates signed a cooperation intent agreement with Mercosur countries in 2005, aiming to configure a free trade area, but negotiations are frozen with no estimated data for a closure. This is not a problem for the most interested sectors like airplanes, automobiles, motorcycle, shoes, furniture and food and beverage.

Anticipating Gulfood, Apex will lead 40 Brazilian companies that will offer a gourmet experience to importers from 11 Arabian countries – Saudi Arabia, UAE, Iran, Lebanon, Egypt, Yemen, Oman, Kuwait, Syria, Jordan and Catha – in an event called Flavors of Brazil (Sabores do Brasil) that will take place in Feb 20th and 21st. As Brazil has always a friendly face, each participant will receive a book on The Arab Influences in Brazilian Life. Its last chapter is on Arabian recipes according to the “vision” of Brazilian chefs.

In March or April a diplomacy appointment: the visit of the Brazil’s President to UAE.

In the same period, an Apex Business Center will be launched in Dubai. Meanwhile, Emirates started a direct flight Sao Paulo – Dubai recently and Dubai Tourism Department is opening a representative office in Sao Paulo in order to follow up the increasing interest Brazilians have in Dubai.

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Respect for local culture.

Posted by Nadiva Olivier on November 23, 2008

Brazilians are enjoying a series of posts about India in the blog

This is a very good initiative as the so called Brics should really know each other better.

Last post was on India tradition of arranged marriages, still real for this country. In India culture a pre-planned marriage is a symbol of love.

PepsiCo respected the local scent and made a TV ad on its product Kurkure in the middle of the presentation of the groom to the family. The bride’s father analyses the groom and think that he is apparently very “delicate”. The groom eats Kurkure and starts performing a real “macho”, then convincing everyone. See the ad below.

That’s why PepsiCo leads the Indian “cola” market instead of Coca Cola. Coca Cola’s ads follow the world campaign and do not pay attention to local culture.

The reading of this post on PepsiCo respect for local culture in India reminded me of the recent movie The Hulk (2008) and its disrespect for Brazil’s “guarana”, a local soda. Guarana drinks and sodas are very popular in Brazil (where guarana is considered to be a health tonic), almost as popular as cola-based sodas. Sweet, carbonated guarana drinks include the popular brands Guaraná Antarctica, Guaraná Brahma, and Kuat (from Coca-Cola Company).

The first scenes of Hulk are located in Brazil, at the Rocinha (favela) and at a factory that produces “guarana”. Some errors are made at these scenes in Brazil. Movie’s enthusiasts already have noticed it: 1) packages of guarana bottles where ‘Brasil / U.S.A’ is printed on the side to show its destination. However, while Brasil is depicted with its Portuguese spelling, the acronym for the United States of America in Portuguese is ‘E.U.A.’ for Estados Unidos da América, not ‘U.S.A.’. 2) During the Brazil chase scene, the time of day appears to change from night to day and back to night again.

These are not the main mistakes however. The idea of a country whose native product, the so called guarana, is produced under so bad circumstances that a drop of Hulk blood falls into a bottle is an incredible (Hulk) mistake. Brazilian Guaraná is distributed in 1 million points of sales in Brazil and it is the third major world market of sodas. Today, the guaraná flavor is the 4th most consumed in the world and Guaraná Antarctica is among the 15 sodas most sold in the planet. Of course you will see Coca Cola in a lot of scenes of this movie. Bad marketing.

Hulk script is not just disrespectful to Brazil culture but also to people’s I.Q.

See the good PepsiCo Indian movie made by JWT ad agency in India.

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Posted by Nadiva Olivier on December 31, 2007

le-ballet-des-grandes-aigrettes.jpgAt this December 31st, 2007, as always happens when the year ends, we are in the mood to make reflections, to establish our wish list and to evaluate the value of the year that is ending.  

Business… There is a great future for this country – Brazil – although it is still the last GNP among the BRICS. Some countries and groups are already connected to main stream that brings venture capital or solid investments to Brazil. Our growing taxes are around 5%  this year. Ok, ok, it is not 11,5 like China or around 7 like India and Russia but it is very much more promising than the around 2,6 for UE or 2,1% to US. It is obvious that 2,1 for US is much much more than our 5 but, when you consider vitality index, this is something to think about. 

United Kingdom is a good example. Its representatives decided to double economic relations with Brazil in the next two years and some decisions are already planned. Two commercial missions are still planned to North and Northeast.  Brazil’s Real State area is supposed to double the estimated GNP rate in 2008. Prudential Real State Investors, that manages assets of US$ 60 billion, had just landed here through the partnership with a local engineering company. Those who track trends can tell you about a lot of other areas with intriguing opportunities down here. 

If someone asked me why invest in Brazil and not in China and India, promising countries among the BRICS, I would say: try our people. They are really good partners. Entrepreneurship and a diplomatic way of being are special qualities in this world in constant turbulence. Other reasons? Resources. We are not supposed to have natural resources, we indeed have them and they are of a special quality. We lack of technology and research investment. But you have it, right? So come on, baby! Let’s dance a real mambo together…excuse me: I mean samba! Forget about beautiful women, Carnival and all those childish factors we are so naively proud about. Think about the gift that is a land with a people that has grown up surrounded by all these abundant resources and that is fond of life. Still. Try our people and our land but please respect both of them. Do not bring alien ideas. Experience the richness that we have here. You will do well for you and for us. And the world will profit of it. This country is so invigorating for the uncommon variety of choice selections you can have here.  

Politics could be considered as a sort of risk in Brazil. Nevertheless, all noise made by Venezuela’s blasé clown Chavez, Colombia’s FARC and neighbourhood countries signs a frame of risky situations that can establish the perfect environment for our actual President take it desired place in the Safety Council of the UN, don’t you think so? So, don’t worry about it. He will play by the books. Just follow next two years facts and try to be next to the politicians in order to influence them in the safe and peace way they had already been. Consider another information: catholic bishops are very well received in Brasilia. They are working for a “continental mission”, as suggested by last coming of Bento XVI do Brazil, in oder to awake people and catholic institutions all over the continent on the need of an evangelization mission. So, God is at our side too.

No more business talking. Hope you have a good partner at your side to cheer with this night. Love is a great thing to live and nobody should miss the chance. Human beings are splendorous also. When all that fantastic fireworks enlighten the night in your city, in a “salute” vibe to 2008, think about how gorgeous is to find yourself still here, enjoying this magnificent world. Humans can offer real joy to each other when they are invited so. 

An astonishing 2008 for you! Salute!

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Sao Paulo: the 20th richest city in the world in 2020.

Posted by Nadiva Olivier on October 29, 2007

Sao PauloI live in Sao Paulo and I am very aware of how rich and diverse this city can be. When I go to New York I feel the same. Diversity, a wide mix of different business, a big offer of cultural experiences, a brain stock that challenges all areas of knowledge, an ambitious energy that go for more every day. If you come to Sao Paulo and come back a year later, you will find a different city: new buildings made in a few months, new restaurants, new cozy places, new business trends, new seminars… It is the intelligent life itself happening here. People from every country in the world are coming here for business. 

A person that is not familiarized with the city and has not someone to help is really challenged to live and make business here. The city has no urban planning that has guided its growing in the past, so the first obstacle will be the million avenues and streets, and traffic signs. If someone that really knows the city is at your side, this will be easily understood in some days. There are business regions here and things start to become easier if someone make a business map for you in the first place. I will never forget the experience of a Cuban, a fellow in a Seminar in the northeast, which asked me to present him the city with the restriction that he had just three hours between two flights. It was a challenge that makes me discover a great solution: this business map. From that point of view, he understood quite well the whole city and its possibilities despite just visiting two or three places by car. 

If you are a business person coming to Brazil for the first time, your destiny should be here. Meetings with people in your business area can be arranged in order you can evaluate your possibilities and possible partners for the first steps. To give you and idea I have to mention similar job for Brazilian businessmen that wanted to be in touch with potential partners in Mercosul. I arranged meetings in Buenos Aires during 15 months, looking for at least four partners for each business. There is a big difference to do that in Buenos Ayres and in Sao Paulo. Let’s imagine that we are talking about furniture business. I can find two wholesalers, two or three retail proprietors and maybe an investor, in Buenos Ayres. In Sao Paulo, you will find a lot of wholesalers, diverse offer of different retail business, many investors and also different and exquisite strategies for you to start in this country.

The secret in Buenos Ayres is to have the right connections with a quite static business pyramid. In Sao Paulo it is important to have the right connections but most of all you have to look for the right approach, to define a strategy and then starting to build proper relationships with anticipation of a few months, before the meeting. That is why just come to an exposition, or a fair, doesn’t make a great difference for business targets. Be in a fair can be a good step but it is not the whole thing definitely. 

If you do not have time to prepare these steps and do not have time, you have to delegate it to someone here so you can build a good relationship with possible partners. I can give you an example. The CEO of a lipstick company came to Sao Paulo to evaluate her business possibilities in Brazil. She had a lot of meetings, no time for pleasure (what is a waste of time in a so rich and cultural city like Sao Paulo) and was really stressed when met us in our office. I started offering her a good explanation of the production and commercial chain for the beauty industry in Brasil, and the particular aspects of this business and product in Sao Paulo. She has a very good product and had added value to a very common product. The market as not used to the special and different product she had. She would have to invest in direct mail supported by viral marketing in order to allow people to know and test her product without expending a lot of money. She realized also that the travel should be more profitable if she had come two months before to participate in a beauty exposition that was held in Sao Paulo, and also organizing a business roundtable with five companies that would really appreciate the added value of her product. 

Sao Paulo is a dense forest that you have to approach as a clever hunter. A naïve or traditional approach is not appropriated. The projections for the future indicate that Sao Paulo is going to be the 20th richest city in the world in more ten years. It is a treasure you have to discover first. Plan your trip to this city in 2008 in order to enjoy the most interesting opportunities.

P.S. In the last State of World Population 2007 – 30rd UN report on this issue – it is written that “in 2008… for the first time in history, more than half its human population, 3.3 billion people, will be living in urban areas.” Growing and very populous cities like Sao Paulo must be managed carefully in order not to increase social and economic problems. In Sao Paulo, a very interesting social movement was born to deal with this challenge, discovering and discussing ways to make another Sao Paulo (“outra sao paulo”), avoiding existing problems. You can see their propositions at


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