The Brazilian Export Promotion Agency (Apex/Brasil), linked to the Ministry of Development, Industry, and Foreign Trade, concluded a contract last week with a Polish consulting firm to analyze the Eastern European market and identify business opportunities for Brazilian companies in fifteen sectors.
According to Juan Quirós, president of the Apex, the agency currently employs the services of 20 international consulting firms, with a focus on the markets of Russia, China, India, South Africa, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, the Scandanavian countries, Eastern Europe, Mexico, the Andean countries, the United States, and Europe.
With the support of these consulting firms, the agency sponsors what are called commercial intelligence activities, including business missions and big events to promote Brazilian products abroad.
“The biggest difficulty is not to export, it’s to consolidate the market and what happens after the sale. Which should be handled through commercial intelligence activities in conjunction with the private sector,” Quirós explained.
Apex should end 2004 with a tally of 500 international events, in which 13,522 companies participated, with exports equivalent to US$ 12 billion. 92 events were organized in the United States alone.
Quirós singled out the yearlong contract with the French Carrefour supermarket chain to sell Brazilian fruit throughout the world.
He also cited another collaboration in France, with the Lafayette Galeries; a three-week exposition in the British department store chain, Selfridges; and a partnership with the Spanish department store chain, El Corte Ingles.
The Selfridges chain by itself bought US$ 6 million worth of Brazilian products. He recalled the recent Brazil-Russia Fashion Week, which included a fashion show and Brazilian music and film festival, as well as a business round, at the end of September.
The president of the Apex informed that he leaves tomorrow, October 6, on a trip abroad to work out the details for the creation of overseas distribution centers for Brazilian products.
There are already definite plans for centers in Miami (United States), Frankfurt (European Union), Johannesburg (Africa), Shanghai (China and Southeast Asia), and Poland (Eastern Europe).
Quirós participated today in the panel, Independent Opportunities for Signing Trade Agreements, part of the seminar, International Negotiations: The Greatest Risk is Unfamiliarity, at the São Paulo American Chamber of Commerce.
Translator: David Silberstein