The idea is to promote Brazilian architecture projects and services abroad. For that the Brazilian Association of Architecture Firms (AsBEA) and the Brazilian Export and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex) are going to promote several actions, among them a mission of architects to the United Arab Emirates, in October, on the sidelines of the participation in the Cityscape trade show, in Dubai.
This will be one of the first and largest actions under the program designed by the two organizations. The goal in 2010 is to export the equivalent of US$ 3.5 million in architectural services.
According to the president of AsBEA, Ronaldo Rezende, Dubai was chosen because of the Cityscape fair, one of the most important in the industry, and also because the emirate is an example of flamboyant architecture. "Many Brazilian architects dream of getting to know Dubai, and this will be a fantastic opportunity," he said.
The goal of the trip, apart from attending the fair, is to do relationship marketing with companies in the segment, in the United Arab Emirates, and visit the foremost buildings in Dubai, such as the famous Burj Al Arab hotel, The Palm island, the Burj Dubai tower, among others. According to Rezende, the idea is to bring approximately 30 architects. "Many have already expressed interest and are excited," he stated.
According to Rezende, this trip is only the beginning of a long-term effort that Brazilian architecture firms will need to put forth. "The important thing is to start working abroad. We do not possess the same command (over the foreign market) as other countries yet," he said, referring to the British.
"They have a huge project for exporting their services in this field. They offer their services to governments and win projects as they go along. The British are fantastic players in this market, whereas we do not have that kind of recognition. We must learn," he added.
The objective now, according to Rezende, is to study and to become prepared and become equipped to meet foreign market demands. "We have got creativity and competence, what we lack is the technology to compete abroad," he said.
"It is not just about seeking work in foreign countries, but also about attracting investors to our country." According to the president of the AsBEA, as a result of the economic crisis, many foreign firms are shifting their focus towards Brazil, which is a good thing for national companies to modernize and be competitive.
Another positive factor that Rezende points out is that by exporting architectural services, Brazil also makes room for expanding sales of other related sectors, such as construction material.
"Brazilian finishing material is exceptional, and we are capable of competing abroad," he said. According to a study by the Royal Institute of British Architecture, each dollar that goes into architectural services generates investment of another US$ 35 in construction and decoration services.
Out of 350 architectural firms affiliated with the AsBEA, 61 have joined the Apex program – a figure that is expected to double over the coming months with the seminars for promoting the program that will be held across the country.