Cicex Wants to Be Brazil Exporter’s Right Hand

The Brazilian Minister of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade, Luiz Fernando Furlan, inaugurated yesterday a site where businessmen can clear all their doubts regarding export.

This is the proposal of the Foreign Trade Information center (Cicex), developed in partnership between the Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade and state governments.


Yesterday, minister Furlan inaugurated the Cicex in the state of São Paulo. Bahia and Pernambuco, in northeastern Brazil, Rio de Janeiro, in the Southeast, Rio Grande do Sul, in the South, and Goiás, in the Midwest, are the other states where there are also centers.


At the Cicex, businessmen can find various documents to aid them in exports, among them booklets with a step-by-step guide to exports, the Commercial Radar, which spots business opportunities for Brazilian businessmen and the Exporter Window, where businessmen may exhibit their products.


Apart from that, those interested may clarify specific doubts, like bank financing for foreign trade and exports through the Brazilian Postal Services (Correios). Inquiries may be made in person, by telephone or by e-mail.


In São Paulo, the ministry program is going to add force to the Export Logistics center (Celex), which belongs to the state government. The Celex runs the Exporter Service center (CAE), which was also created to clear exporter doubts regarding the state and to simplify foreign trade.


“With the partnership we will be able to expand the services,” stated Flávio Musa de Freitas Guimarães, a state Foreign Relations Advisor.


According to Musa, from August 2003 to April this year, the CAE answered around 3,980 telephone calls.


Of this volume, 52.27% were doubts regarding documents, 18.47% were regarding commercial promotion on the foreign market, 12.66% regarding starting exports and 11.91% regarding logistics.


“Micro, small and medium businessmen are those who most sought the center,” he clarified.


Agility


Another advantage of the Cicex is agility. “Information we cannot provide on the dot, which requires research, is provided within two days,” stated Andrea Belloc Nunes, who coordinates the Exporter’s Room, a program by the government of Rio Grande do Sul, which houses the information center.


In the southern Brazilian state, the Cicex has been in operation since December last year.


According to Andrea, an average of 50 inquiries are answered every month. Most of the doubts are about documents. In second place comes promotion on the foreign market.


“Businessmen want to know what strategy to use to publicize their products in other countries,” she explained. The textile and food sectors are the ones that most seek the Cicex.


Small entrepreneur Ilda Maria Mattiello, from Vila Flores, in the mountain ranges of Rio Grande do Sul, was one of the small entrepreneurs who recently asked for support from the Cicex.


The owner of a hand painted bed, table and bath fabric factory, she is getting ready to export.


“I sold to a customer from Spain (Madrid), who came to Brazil on holiday and took some products. She is now interested in selling the products there, so I went to learn about how to ship products abroad,” stated Ilda.


In the state of Rio Grande do Sul, the Exporter Room has 13 partners, among them the Commodities and Future’s Exchange (BMF), the Bank of Brazil (BB), the Customs Broker Union and the Correios.


“Some have employees here (BB and Correios, for example), others keep a channel open so that we may clarify businessmen’s doubts,” explained Andrea.


The idea is not to leave anyone with unanswered questions.


Bahia


Arthur Cruz, who is the Information manager at the Bahia State center of Foreign Business (Promo), where the Bahia state Cicex was established, follows the same guidelines.


“The lack of information is very large, so our part is to harmonize the answers rapidly,” he said.  Cruz believes that “only those who have concrete data can export at a profit.”


Different from the state of Rio Grande do Sul, there are no partners at the site, providing direct information, but all businessmen’s inquiries are answered.


“When we have no answer, we get in contact with those who can answer,” stated Cruz.


The step-by-step guide to exports is the document most sought by entrepreneurs from the state of Bahia.


The Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade plan is to install centers in all Brazilian capitals.


Contact


www.cicex.desenvolvimento.gov.br
Celex:  (+5511) 5073-9421
Exporter’s Room: (+5551) 3288-1100
Promo: (+5571) 3340-942


ANBA – Brazil-Arab News Agency – www.anba.com.br

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