"Brazil is unique. For us “emerging” means we’re driven, continuously innovating, and improving."
SHIRLEY BRADY: Mauricio, what was the goal of bringing Brazilian brands, established and emerging, to New York for the Be Brasil pop up event?
MAURICIO BORGES: We want to build relationships and tell the United States, and the world, about the innovative, competitive, and sustainable Brazil. Our goal for this first iteration of Be Brasil was to invite New Yorkers to experience the spirit of Brazilian creativity and innovation. That is why we displayed some of the great products being created in Brazil and presented them in a unique backdrop, a venue that featured Brazil’s unique approach to design. The idea is to promote our competitive offering and feature the competitive advantages of Brazilian products and services.
SB: Now that it’s wrapped, would you call it a success?
MB: Success for us is about a new way of seeing Brazil. Be Brasil helped our partners and the 45 participating companies and brands to have a stage to engage in a powerful way. This was both a business-to-business and a consumer engagement opportunity. Thousands of people visited our pop-up experience and now they have an enhanced perspective of our country.
SB: The 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics will put Brazil in the global spotlight. How can Brazilian brands leverage this attention?
MB: Brazil is experiencing a unique and historic moment. Today we are on the path to becoming the world’s fifth-largest economy. Brazil’s economic rise and our position in the global marketplace is the subject of conversations around the globe. The World Cup and the Olympics give us an opportunity to showcase our unique business opportunities, our infrastructure and incentives, and the entrepreneurial spirit of our creative class. There is much more to Brazil than soccer and we need to show the world that we are also an attractive investment destination.
SB: What differentiates Brazilian brands globally?
MB: Ours is a culturally rich country. We have a diversity of ethnic groups whose influence is reflected in our cuisine, our music, architecture, and art. Brazilian brands display the unique creative and fun flare of our people. And in today’s global and digitally connected economies, brands with such appealing cultural currency for consumers are bound to have an added advantage. Our products frequently show a sustainability touch hard to find elsewhere.
SB: Has Brazil outgrown the BRIC acronym?
MB: Brazil is unique. For us “emerging” means we’re driven, continuously innovating, and improving. So yes, that is our vision. As the largest economy in Latin America we have consolidated our role as a relevant platform for the American continent. We stand on our own as a global benchmark thanks to our sustainable economic growth, and an industry that is under constant modernization. And as Apex-Brasil, it is our commitment to help Brazilian companies lead the way.
Why should global companies look to invest in Brazil? What makes it such an attractive opportunity?
MB: Brazil has evolved dramatically in the last few years. Our stable economy, strong domestic market and focus on environmental sustainability matches the priorities of today's investors. We have clean and abundant renewable energy and a science and technology agenda that encourages research in areas that are ripe for development. And most importantly, Brazil has more than 100.1 million people in the labor market, and a purchasing power of more than 2 trillion. We're here to stimulate the conversations and connect companies to the right opportunities.