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After a 2h and 14 h flight I arrived in Sao Paolo for my MBA Study trip
First impression was when landing, wow this is a big city as you only see houses and buildings
And indeed the city and surrounding is around 19 million habitants and the state more than 45
More than 4 times Belgium, so really Impressed
The first 3 days where passing fast and in a nutshell
Visited on Monday
Solvay- which explanation was why doing a joint venture is highly recommended when you wanted to implement in Brasil
Rabobank – Why there business model is financing big farms. And a big farm here is really an enterprise as it can go to more than 1 billion revenue and having more than 1000 workers
Roche: business raison to meet colleagues there visiting the site and starting the creation of the transitional service agreement
Two courses at the FGV university
Starting business in Brazil – Latam, what you need to know on a legal point of view. To make it short having a good fiscals and lawyer as laws changing fast and are really complex on a city – state – federal level
And sustainability and CSR
On Wednesday we meet one couple that left everything 15 years ago and started business in Brazil and doing Velcro’s for Baby diapers ( Parafix) and his wife importing Flamant furniture’s.
Katoen Natie big Belgian cie which core business is warehousing
Also on social events in the evening, we went to typical Brazilian restaurants and ate good meat ( really a lot and think of the cow massacre that must happen here) and as well good fish
Met also in a Belgalux event AWEX members, Belgian consul and a lot of expats that have shared their experience
What I will remember and keep till now
– Corruption is everywhere and you need to say no – but it will complicated the business
– Only 3 % of Brazilian speaks English the rest in Portugese. Nevertheless if you speak Spanish they understand you
– It’s not so unsafe and dangerous as told. I compare this with LA or other big cities. You need to be just attentive in which street you go
– Taxes ( import and others) are really really high
– Cost of living is as well high
– Brazilians are positive and think only on today. Future planning is not in the genes, During the stay there were water problems that could have been avoided
– Even if Belgium is a small country, we have big cie that are implemented in Brazil and creates value. We should sometimes be more proud of what we do.
– There a big opportunities, it’s a country with more than 200 million habitants speaking one same language.
– Inflation is a big issue and it can raise to 7 8% per year
– Workers council and social laws are complex and protecting a bit too much employees. This due to some cases from the past, but laws didn’t evolved since more than 50 years
In general all the people expats I met had the same language, it’s tough to do business here, it’s complicated , …. It’s a great learning as if you could do business here you could everywhere, you could do business as a lot of opportunities and from Brazil you could reach all Latam….. and finally they really enjoyed there life here.