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Italo-Brazilian Chamber of Commerce

Institution

The Italo-Brazilian Chamber of Commerce was founded in 1902, following the wave of Italian immigration to Brazil, with the purpose of building a bridge between Italian and Brazilian businesses. Today there are 74 chambers in 48 countries. The Chambers of Commerce are recognized and governed by Italian law (this entails the financing of 20-30% of the cost of projects) and are the widest Italian network working with the public. The Chamber offers professional assistance and business advice to Italians developing businesses in Brazil and Brazilians doing business with Italy.

Report

We were kindly greeted by the president and some associates at the offices of the Chamber of Commerce  in Sao Paulo. We were briefly told the history of the institution, followed by an explanation of the situation in Brazil.

Brazil

Since Brazil is considered one of the major worldwide players, all the multinational corporations have a presence in the country. Brazil has high ambitions, striving to be a great country, and it receives a strong political push with an increasingly prepared leadership.

The country is a demographic pyramid with a huge number of people living below poverty. President Lula helped improve the situation, but there are still repressed desires of consumption ready to “explode” at the slightest incentive.

At the urban level, there has been virulent city planning. In downtown Sao Paulo there is no more space to build and in suburban areas there is little space left. There is a high percentage of proprietary houses. The city of Campinas, 100km away from Sao Paulo, already has some million inhabitants and a GNP greater than Chile (in South America big cities essentially make up the national economy like Buenos Aires making up half of Argentina’s GNP).

Brazil is becoming increasingly competitive on many fronts (for example in the agro-food sector) and in this case Italy would hardly be able to compete on price. For Italy, the best strategy is to:
1. aim for outstanding quality
2. focus on the typicality of its products
3. leverage on its culture and traditions
4. avoid individualism and instead create an efficient and effective system

Activities

The Chamber is supporting many projects related to food processing and nanotechnologies. The institution is rooted in the territory and has relationships with many key players.

by Kiki Sideris

Chamber of Commerce website

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