Brazil Uses Crisis to Find Opportunities Overseas for Small Companies

Brazil's export goods Apex, the Brazilian Export and Investment Promotion Agency. wants to train 5,348 companies this year in eight Brazilian states and in the Federal District. To promote the export culture in micro, small and medium companies, the agency counts on the Industrial Export Extension Project (Peiex), which involves investment of 12 million Brazilian reais (US$ 5.4 million).

The project, initially geared at targeting the states of Minas Gerais, Bahia, Ceará, Sergipe, Pernambuco, Rio Grande do Sul, Paraná and Goiás, as well as the Federal District, should include 25 operational nuclei.

This year, 216 technicians are going to help businessmen in consultancy work, problem diagnosis, management, analysis, sales and marketing and foreign trade.

"Initially, due to the crisis, I believe that we are not going to have a great number of companies starting to export in the short run, maybe 15% of them," said the coordinator of the Apex project, Tiago Terra. According to him, the expectation is for more companies to start exporting in the long run.

To Apex-Brasil president Alessandro Teixeira, according to a press statement disclosed by the organization, the year of 2009 is appropriate for investment in training for, in 2010, when the global economy is recovering, more companies to be ready for export. This is the same opinion as Terra's. "It is during the crisis that we find opportunities," he said.

According to the coordinator, the time for training of the company varies, but it is on average 40 to 50 hours of work. The company that is in the project should be accompanied by consultants for free for a period of one year. Terra added that the technicians are going to help the company become an exporter and are going to point out the best markets for the products.

The Apex-Brasil target is for, up to 2010, the program to reach 10,000 companies in 50 nuclei all over the country. The project also operates in the promotion of the offer of government products and services and of its partners for support to these companies, including credit programs and support to technological innovation.

According to Terra, the training program has always been a partnership between Apex-Brasil, the Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade, but it was promoted by the ministry. "Due to the importance that president Alessandro Teixeira gave to the training of new companies, we brought the project to Apex for further development here," he added.

Anba

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