Doing business in Brazil

Opinion article

Sao Paulo, Friday 26th October 2012, a quarter to nine in the evening.    I am running a lesson on change management at the Brazilian College, Ahanguera. A class of about forty students look at me, their faces full of expectation. As a joke, I ask in English whether there is any objection if I continue in English. There is no reaction. Not even when I ask a second time if those who do not object would raise their hands. Slowly I begin to realize that no one has understood my questions. I continue my lesson in Portuguese. This is an example of one of the things newcomers to Brazil have to overcome. According to "Catho", a research facility, only 11% of the Brazilian population speaks English reasonable.

Brazil has been in the spotlight as one of the BRIC-countries with lots  of opportunities for entrepreneurs. In recent years, The Netherlands has organized two or three annual economic trade missions to Brazil. Various significant developments have been accelerating the attention for Brazil. First of all, there has been an increase in the size of the country's middle class by 32 million since 2003. Secondly, the government will invest billions in infrastructure and logistics for the future. Thirdly, gigantic oil reserves were discovered off the coast of Brazil in 2008. And finally, Brazil is getting ready to host major world sporting events such as the FIFA Soccer World Championship in 2014 and the Olympic Summer games in 2016.

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Author
Peter van Tongeren

Title
Doing business in Brazil; Understanding the context has priority

Source
Fenedex, March 2013,  Volume 375, pp. 24-27

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