Brazil Teaches 4,000 Small Businesses How to Sell Overseas

Brazilian small business They want to see Brazilian small businesses prepared to compete on the foreign market. With this objective in mind, the Brazilian Micro and Small Business Support Service (Sebrae) – an organ belonging to Brazil's ministry of Planning – has launched the Program for Internationalization of Micro and Small Companies, which will start on October 1st.

The institution's target is to train 4,000 companies from all over the country, over the next two years, to operate in foreign trade.

Through this program, solutions to contribute to more competitive positioning by the companies will also be developed, adapted and implemented for the domestic market, which is getting more global.

"If we strengthen micro and small companies for the foreign market, we will also guarantee the domestic market, as we will have greater productivity, more quality, more jobs and greater income in the country," stated Sebrae president Paulo Okamotto.

The management of the Market Access Unit at Sebrae, Raissa Rossiter, explained that the program is going to operate on two fronts. "It plans to intensify the support to micro and small companies that have exported since 2003 and to strengthen the partnership with other institutions, both on the national and on the state scope."

According to the manager of the Internationalization Program, Louise Machado, it is important to point out that there is a difference between the export concept and internationalization. "A given company may have a localized export action, i.e., have one single foreign sale, and not have enough capacity to remain in the market, due to factors such as low production capacity, quality or promotion. A company that undergoes an internationalization process becomes able to enter the foreign market and remain in it," he explains.

The Program for Internationalization of Micro and Small Companies is aligned with the Production Development Policy (PDP), launched in May this year by the Brazilian Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade. One of the policy's four major goals is to increase the participation of micro and small companies in foreign trade.

By means of the policy, the government wants to increase by 10% the number of enterprises involved in the foreign market, which should total to around 13,000 small and micro exporter companies as of 2010. Presently, the country has 11,792 micro and small exporter companies, according to a survey ran by the Brazilian Agency for Industrial Development (ABDI) in 2006.

In order to surpass the goal proposed in the PDP, of training 1,792 companies and including 4,000 companies in the program, the strategy of Sebrae consists of working at first with 3,000 companies selected by Sebrae and by the Brazilian Export and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex-Brazil) in their foreign trade programs.

"These are companies or production arrangements that already have some experience in the foreign market, but did not stay in it. The remaining 1,000 are going to be reached through means of promotion and advertising actions under the Program, spontaneous demand, and Sebrae's 800-plus points of service," explains Sebrae manager Raissa Rossiter.

A major differential of the Program is the fact that it is part of the Brazilian Export Strategy plan, which aims to grant more agility and integration to foreign trade actions by government organisations, such as the Brazilian Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade, Apex-Brasil, ABDI and the Foreign Trade Board (Camex).

Export Policy

The International Business center (CIN), the Foreign Trade Theme Board and the University of Industry (Unindus), of the Federation of Industries of the State of Paraná (Fiep)> in partnership with the Brazilian Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade, are going to promote, on October 3, from 8:30 am to 12 noon, in the city of Curitiba, seminar Export and Defense Policies of the Brazilian Industry.

The schedule includes two lectures followed by debates. The first will be The Brazilian Export Strategy, presented by the secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Trade, Welber Barral. The second will be Defense of the Brazilian Industry, by the coordinator of the Trade Defense Department of the Foreign Trade Secretariat (Secex), Ana Carolina Meneghetti Peres.

Sebrae

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