According to data from the Brazilian government’s Export Promotion Agency (Apex/Brasil), for the first four months of 2005, the trade promotion activities held in France as part of the Year of Brazil in France have already produced results.
Brazilian exports to France rose 16.7% in comparison with the same period last year, for a total of US$ 782 million.
In 2004, France was the 10th largest market for Brazilian exports. Sales there came to US$ 2.189 million, 27.6% more than in 2003 and equivalent to 2.3% of Brazil’s total exports.
“There is a very large growth potential. Our activities are intended to establish the habit of consuming Brazilian products and create a permanent export flow,” affirms the Apex’s director of Trade Intelligence, Lilia Miranda.
André Midani, Brazilian commissioner of the Year of Brazil in France, is another optimist when it comes to the results of the commemorations that are taking place on French soil during the year.
“The French are showing an enthusiasm over Brazil that we could never imagine,” Midani says.
“Since the beginning, when we inaugurated the year in France, there was an immense interest on the part of the French press. Various magazines prepared special editions on Brazil, and the Paris subways are full of posters advertising sales promotions in the big chains,” the Brazilian commissioner recounts. “We are using cultural activities to penetrate the country,” he sums up.
Midani also emphasizes the significance of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s being invited to participate in the July 14 festivities.
Brazilian troops were invited to parade with the French troops – which has only happened 3 times before in history.
“This shows the geopolitical importance that France is assigning Brazil. All this should have a huge cultural impact and should produce numerous trade agreements,” he assesses.
From April 7 to May 7, Printemps, a sophisticated French department store chain, was the site of the project, “Frénétique Brésil,” which displayed Brazilian male and female fashions, cosmetics, gems, and costume jewelry in all its Paris stores and those in 18 other French cities.
Exhibits, workshops, dance classes, and sessions to sample products and services were part of the Brazilian trade promotion event, in partnership with the Apex.
For its part, the Casino chain, continuing its partnership with the Sugarloaf Group, is promoting the sale of 220 Brazilian products in 3,207 stores.
The products that are being offered include food, housewares, textiles, and furniture, most of them supplied by small and medium-sized firms.
Carrefour, in turn, estimates that its total sales will surpass US$ 42 million. It sells products from over 60 Brazilian suppliers in 746 stores.
The sectors represented are furniture, textiles, fruit, food in general (palm hearts, cheese bread, powdered guaraná, coconuts and coconut by-products, peppers, beans, and others), handcrafts, ceramics, Brazilian stones, fish, meat, organic products, beverages (guaraná, beer, sugar cane liquor, coffee), exotic flowers, and shoes.
There are plans to hold promotional activities such as tasting sessions, fashion shows, and capoeira presentations in the stores.