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Sir Don McKinnon: Time to look at Brazil

Sir Don McKinnon: Time to look at Brazil – event: Brazil Business Forum, Nov 17

Brazil is rapidly on the move and now is the time for New Zealand businesses to know and understand the people in this country, says Chair of the Brazil Business Forum Sir Don McKinnon.

“Indian-American author Fareed Zakaria said: ‘We are now living through the third great power shift of the modern era. It could be called “the rise of the rest”’, and Brazil is at the fore with India China and Russia of the rest,” says Sir Don.

“New Zealanders who are succeeding in their business need to think “Where else can I go?” and start looking at countries like Brazil.

“I would say to anyone looking to consider new markets it would be worth their while to take the time and listen to what is going on in this vast country and to go away and think about what that could mean for their business.”

The Brazil Business Forum is being held in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, Nov 17, 18 and 19, and is being organised by the Latin American Business Council (LANZBC) in association with New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT).

The half day event is open to all New Zealanders looking to pursue business interests with Brazil. It features a host of expert speakers including Mario Marconini, Federation of Industries of São Paulo, Alexandre Pundek Rocha, senior advisor to the board of the Central Bank of Brazil, Renate Stille, Brazilian Ambassador to New Zealand and John Allen, MFAT chief executive. The event will conclude with a panel discussion chaired by business journalist Rod Oram.

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Sir Don says Brazil, with its population of nearly 200 million people, is a growing economy with huge resources but he warns Kiwis must do their homework.

“Any large urbanised population with a growing middle class will have demands for what New Zealand produces.

“Business people looking to enter Brazil need to read, study, look at statistics and get their hands on all the reports they can. They need to get a feel for Brazil even if it’s somewhat academic, and know who they are competing against before they buy their air ticket.”

He says when they do decide to enter the market they need to be tight and targeted in their planning.

“Just start by selling into one city such as São Paulo or Rio de Janeiro, or to a particular income group, just to see if it works,” he says.

Sir Don adds that New Zealand is in a unique position given its long running experience in dealing with the issues of indigenous cultures.

“Brazil, with a small indigenous group, was historically overwhelmingly populated by people from Europe, Africa and Asia and they have amalgamated arguably more rapidly than other countries. New Zealanders, from that point, are able to understand Brazilian culture.”


Notes for Editors:

Event: Brazil Business Forum – Auckland Forum
When: 11:30am – 6:00pm, Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Where: AUT Conference Centre, AUT University City Campus, 55 Wellesley Street East, Auckland City
Cost: $90 LANZBC / $100 non members
Web: www.nzte.govt.nz/latest-events

About the event
The Brazil Business Forum is being held in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, Nov 17, 18 and 19, presented by the Latin America New Zealand Business Council (LANZBC) in association with New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) and AUT University.

At the half day event, NZTE will discuss opportunities in the market for New Zealand companies; New Zealanders who have achieved business success in Brazil will present case studies; and the event will conclude with a panel discussion chaired by business journalist Rod Oram.

The forum will be chaired by Sir Don McKinnon with keynote presentations by:
• John Allen, MFAT chief executive
• Mario Marconini, Federation of Industries of São Paulo
• Alexandre Pundek Rocha, senior advisor to the board of the Central Bank of Brazil
• Renate Stille, Brazilian Ambassador to New Zealand
• Hamish Wiig, Business Development Manager, Tait Radio Communications
• Jessica Acherboim, NZTE
• Stephen O’Sullivan, South America Beachhead Adviser

ENDS

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