Founder and Host

Founded in 2009 as the first English language Internet Radio Program. Business in Brazil and the world. Now in Podcast format.

BBC News - Booming Brazil held back by education gap

BBC News - Booming Brazil held back by education gap

The BBC's Katty Kay says tackling vested interests makes educational reform in Brazil extremely difficult

Related Stories

It's the start of the day for the students at the Wilma Flor public school in the eastern suburbs of Sao Paulo. Only it's not 8am, or even 9am. It's 1pm.
Wilma Flor runs three shifts. The first group of students has school in the morning, the next in the afternoon and the final shift doesn't start until 7pm.
Over the past 20 years Brazil has done an impressive job of getting more students into the education system. Many of the children here at Wilma Flor are the first in their families to finish high school. Some have parents who didn't even finish elementary school.
That's the good news in Brazil's education story. Here's the bad news.
Brazil now has the sixth biggest economy in the world, but its education standards lag far behind. In an international study of education systems,PISA, it came in at 53rd. That threatens to hold this country back.
Political will
No-one here disputes that those figures must change, and soon. Brazil's recent economic boom has depended in large part on exporting its vast natural resources to other growing economies.

As one Brazilian economist suggested to me, this country's rapid expansion can be explained in one word: China.
But if Brazil wants to move beyond being simply a commodity provider, or if China's growth slows and it demands fewer Brazilian resources, then what?
Put simply, if Brazil wants to develop from an emerging economy to an emerged economy it will have to do a better job educating its population.
Improving education takes time - time this country doesn't have much of. Tackling the vested interests of administrators, teachers' unions and bureaucrats makes it one of the most politically difficult things any country can do. Look at the fights America has gone through over standardised testing.
Priscilla Cruz, a campaigner for education reform from Todos Pela Educacao, sums up the challenge like this: "The political issue is that teachers are voters, and in Brazil there are two million of them that can decide elections, so it is very hard to make changes".
One change that teachers' unions reject would be to make it easier to get rid of teachers who don't perform.
In Brazil, teachers can get tenure after only three years on the job, and once they have tenure they can't be fired.
Out at the Wilma Flor school we found teachers clearly wanting to do better but held back, ironically, by a lack of teaching for themselves.
When Regilene Cunha entered her first classroom as a teacher she had zero practical experience. She had the university qualification to be a teacher, but it was all academic theory, no hands on practice.
It was, she admits, a terrifying experience: "I felt insecure and apprehensive. The same as new teachers now."
Importing Europe
If Brazil's schools and universities cannot provide the skilled workforce to satisfy its economic needs, then Brazilian companies will look elsewhere for labour.
The government is exploring ways to reduce immigration restrictions to make it easier for technical professionals, particularly those with experience in the petro-chemical industry, can come and work in Brazil.
It's not lost on Brazilian companies that the recession in Europe means highly educated people are prepared to travel across the Atlantic for a job.
Joao Nunes arrived in Sao Paolo a year ago from Portugal. He's an engineer who works for a head-hunting company.
"When you talk about engineers, Brazil has a huge demand of technical professionals to face the growth of the country," he says.
Yet even he admits this is a short-term solution to Brazil's problem.
In the long run, the country cannot rely on engineers from Lisbon to make up its labour shortage, it will have to develop them at home.

Ben Tavener, Freelance British journalist living in Brazil

Ben Tavener, Freelance British journalist living in Brazil

Ben Tavener, British journalist and amateur photographer living in South Brazil .
Ben works freelance, but has been Senior Reporter at The Rio Times since August 2011.

Listen to Tom Reaoch interview Ben Tavener, PLAY  or DOWNLOAD

Before moving to Brazil, he was producer at the BBC World Service, where he specialized in Russia and the Former Soviet Union after studying Russian at Cambridge and living in Moscow for over a year.
However, his blog, Ben´s Brazil, focuses on his insights into news, travel and life in Brazil and nearby.
Ben Tavener studied Modern & Medieval Languages at University of Cambridge and has contributed for a number of world media, including BBC News, CTV News, and Voice of Russia
He speaks English (native), Russian (fluent) and Portuguese (nearly fluent!), as well as good French & Spanish.

Danilo Telles, Trainee in Forensic Services at PwC Campinas, Brazil.

Danilo Telles, Trainee in Forensic Services at PwC Campinas, Brazil.

Danilo Telles is a trainee in Forensic Services at PwC Campinas- Brazil.
Danilo talks about challenges in finding employment in the UK and in Europe and why he returned to work in Brazil.
Listen to Tom Reaoch interview Danilo Telles  PLAY or DOWNLOAD

His professional experience  prior to PwC  includes a five year experience in London, where he  gained his Bachelor´s degree in International Business Management from London Metropolitan University achieving a second upper class honorsfinal grade.
Throughout his studies in the United Kingdom, Danilo worked in an entertainment company  where he became deputy manager, responsible for staff training, elaboration of reports, accounts, shop management , market research, audit, fraud prevention and deliver of an excellent customer service.
As part of his degree, Danilo successfully completed modules such as Business Accounting,Economics for Business, Management and the Global Economy, Data Analysis for Business Decision Making, Management Investigation and Report and Global Challenges for Business, Management and Leadership.

Language Barriers in Brazil Business

Language Barriers in Brazil Business | The Rio Times | Brazil News

By Ben Tavener, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – A report by the Economist Intelligence Unit says that Brazil is among the worst at coping with the language barrier of the English-speaking world of business, and that deals are being hindered because of it. Experts are warning that, with increased international interest in businesses based in Brazil, the need to break down the barrier has never been more acute.
Juventude Cidadã in 2009 was launched to offer courses in a range of fields with basic English in Bahia, Brazil News
Juventude Cidadã in 2009 was launched to offer courses in a range of fields with basic English in Bahia, photo by Aristeu Chagas/Agecom Secom Bahia.
The report says that 74 percent of the Brazilians surveyed admitted their company has suffered “financial losses as a result of failed cross-border transactions” – much higher than the global average of around fifty percent.
The Brazilians who took part in the study seemed to recognize the issue – described in the report as a “significant hindrance to effective cross-border relations” for companies – as 77 percent of them believe better communications could improve productivity, while in the UK, for example, the figure is only 43 percent.
Although expanding internationally is always fraught with complications, the prospect was seen as most difficult by Brazilian companies – nearly eighty percent of Brazilians surveyed said cross-border difficulties hampered their expansion plans.
With the boundaries between old and new economies become increasingly interdependent, experts are warning that good communication skills have never been more critical. English is the recognized international language of the business world, and as such Monica Szwarc - cross-cultural coach and Country Manager for Bridge Brazil - stresses the importance.
“Internationalization is becoming each day more relevant to Brazilian companies in general as they start to move beyond the local market to grow further aiming at sustaining long term competitiveness and becoming major players in the global economy,” she says.
English Lessons at school, Brazil News
The Ministry of Education says young Brazilians are much better prepared than their parents were for the English-language world of business, photo by Wilson Dias/ABr.
However Ms. Szwarc says that schools are taking the situation seriously, and are aware of the needs of the market in terms of the level of language control a student needs to exhibit – and to this end Bridge Brazil will be opening specialized, business-focused, and even oil-industry-focused courses from this August.
Ultimately, she concludes, the situation is definitely improving: “Young Brazilians are more familiar with English in general and very keen to invest in international education. Governmental programs have shown increased awareness of the need for English Proficiency and we now have kids that are able to face the challenge and compete at the best universities around the world.”
The language barrier can also be seen as an opportunity for those with an entrepreneurial initiative though, to capitalize on doing business where others dare not tread. As a positive example of work with Brazil, the report highlights the experience of Swedish truck manufacturer Scania, which now delivers more vehicles to Brazil than any other country.
Scania believes technology has played a huge role in improving the performance of cross-border teams, but that cultural barriers – particularly between Sweden and Brazil, whose work cultures the company describes as “pole apart” – are “always present and need to be constantly managed”, particularly at the outset.
Industry experts say that despite the possible setbacks caused by inefficient language communications, a multinational approach can yield the biggest gains, as long as initial cultural misunderstandings can be overcome.

Why The Bad Economic News From Brazil Is Not Just Cyclical

Why The Bad Economic News From Brazil Is Not Just Cyclical - Worldcrunch - All News is Global


Why The Bad Economic News From Brazil Is Not Just Cyclical
Dilma needs more than good will - (Planato)
By Patricia Campos Mello
FOLHA DE S. PAULO/Worldcrunch
SÃO PAULO - Under Dilma Rousseff's government, Brazil is now slated to grow at a slower rate than previously forecast. What has happened? Simply put: the current economic model has stopped working, says Samuel Pessôa, researcher at the Brazilian Institute of Economics at the prestigious FGV university.   
His widely debated article, (which predates the latest annual growth projections) published in Interesse Nacional magazine, asks whether slow growth — less than 1% in the first semester, comparing to the same period in 2011 — is cyclical or structural. 
Under ex-president Lula, a member of Dilma’s party, Brazil bet on reducing unemployment and raising capacity thanks to two factors that are not going to recur, Pêssoa says.
He says that, from 2005 until today, credit capacity and the rising wages across social classes fed consumption, thus fueling overall economic growth. Summing the rate of growth and rate of investment — absorption rate — outpaced population grown.
This model has hit its limit because it pushes up wages too high, destroys competition, and generates an anti-industrialization dynamic in society. “Dilma is an ideologist, she thinks industry is a special sector and won’t let it keep going down.” 
Bráulio Borges, head economist of LCA Consultores, disagrees. "Those who believe in it say that expansion of consumption wasn’t followed by investments. But government data show that this was not the case: investments were a bit more than 16% of the GDP from 2000 to 2007. Now it’s above an average of 19% from 2008 to 2011.
According to Alexandre Schwartsman, professor at Insper and ex-director of Banco Central (Central Bank), this model was effective while commodities prices were rising —in 2011, they reached a historic peak. “Global deceleration won’t let us keep the same rate”, he says. “This model is not necessarily finished, but now we will grow much less than 3%, instead of last year’s 4.5%."
Armínio Fraga, ex-president of Central Bank and founder of Gávea Investiments, agrees with Pessôa's theory.
Supply must fulfill demand
"It is natural and desirable that consumption grows, and that part of it takes place through credit," he says. "However, rising demand should be followed by rising supply, which hasn’t been enough to keep up with past performances,” he says.
According to the Central Bank, family debt in Brazil represents 43.4% of household earnings.
Pessôa says that Dilma’s places too much value in the effectiveness of interest-rate reductions. Lowering costs of public debts will ultimately have little impact.
The public sector pays about 5% of GDP in interest. Discounting currency adjustments and taxes over interest, the earnings would not cross 1.5% of GDP. "This is not irrelevant, but it isn’t going to save us.".
Pessôa says measures to stimulate the economy taken in recent years are reducing the fundamental efficiency and productivity of the nation. Schwartsman affirms this is the same action taken after 2008’s crisis—but this time it isn’t working. "In 2008, it worked because we were leaving behind higher unemployment rates."
Luiz Fernando de Paula, president of Brazilian Keynesian Association and professor at State University of Rio de Janeiro (UERJ) disagrees. "Considering the current panorama, with the strong tendency to reduceindustrialization, this is better than nothing. We need to change high interest rates and currency appreciation, combined with smart industry policies that stimulate high-value exports."
Read the article in the original language.
Photo by - Planato
All rights reserved ©Worldcrunch - in partnership with FOLHA DE S. PAULO

3 Experts, and Many Tips for Visiting Brazil

3 Experts, and Many Tips for Visiting Brazil -

3 Experts, and Many Tips for Visiting Brazil

To supplement my seven rules for lowering the cost of a trip to Brazil, I asked three Brazil-based colleagues to come up with their own tips. They are Ricardo Freire, widely regarded as the dean of Brazilian travel bloggers; Fábio Peixoto, the editor of a Brazilian travel guide; and Kevin Raub, a Lonely Planet author who lives in São Paulo.
I’ve condensed and edited their tips, and in the first two cases, translated them from Portuguese.
Mr. Freire blogs in Portuguese at and is working on an English-language site for foreign visitors to Brazil. Follow his travels on Instagram (@riqfreire). Here are his tips:
International travel to Brazil is relatively minimal; the country as a whole receives about as many visitors per year as Cancún. That means the tourism industry is dependent on the enormous domestic market, which has a particular quirk: Brazilians all seem to travel at the same time. That’s during January and June school vacations, Carnival (Feb. 9 to 12 next year), and onnational holidays that become long weekends no matter on what day they fall.
For the rest of the year, a majority of Brazilian destinations (with the notable exception of Rio) are nearly empty — even though in many cases the climate is actually better during the off-season. So plan wisely.
Jan. 10 is the magic date that the Brazilian summer stops being so expensive. Families have emptied their bank accounts to be on the beach during New Year’s and must begin to save for Carnival. Prices drop appreciably, and innkeepers and small-hotel owners are open to negotiations.
The best place to be is in Bahia state, in beautiful coastal villages like Morro de São Paulo, Barra Grande, Itacaré, Santo André and others that aren’t as expensive as upscale spots like Trancoso. You can combine that trip with agreat excursion to Chapada Diamantina National Park (seven hours by bus from Salvador, the state capital).
Southern Hemisphere fall, that is. In winter (July and August), Rio de Janeiro can actually get cold, so the ideal time to visit is in autumn, after Easter. May, with hot, dry days and cool nights, is the perfect time, with only one Brazilian holiday (May 1) drawing visitors. It’s also the perfect time for a side trip to the colonial town of Paraty, where things get rainy in spring and summer.
Upper-middle-class Brazilians won’t tell you this, because they can’t imagine themselves on an intercity bus. But the fact is that the Brazilian bus system works well, especially if you are traveling less than 200 miles. Alas, there is little information about bus trips online (and practically none in English) so your best bet is to go to the bus station where each company’s ticket booth has clear signs listing destinations it serves. A key word in Portuguese is “direto” (gee-REH-tew), which refers to a route with fewer stops. Keep your valuables close at hand (and gadgets in your pockets) in the stations.
The most convenient airline from the United States to Brazil is probablyPanama’s Copa, which has a code-share agreement with United, meaning a customer can buy a ticket with one airline but end up flying on a plane operated by the other. You can reach seven Brazilian destinations via a usually brief connection in Panama City, allowing you to, for example, arrive in Manaus in the Amazon and return from Recife in the northeast.
INTERNATIONAL SITES ARE GAINING HOLD has expanded rapidly in Brazil, registering pousadas (inns) and small hotels in remote places, saving foreigners from the complicated system of reservations Brazilians have invented (involving wiring deposits to innkeepers’ bank accounts). Hostelworld works well for hostels, and Airbnb is also making inroads for apartment rentals.
Fábio Peixoto is the editor of the Brazilian guidebook series “Guia Quatro Rodas” which publishes the Viajar Bem e Barato (“Travel Well, Travel Cheap”) guide. Here are his tips:
With Brazil’s strong economy, a new middle class has emerged with access to many modern comforts, including travel. That means that in season, destinations are more packed than ever. Hotel prices can triple over New Year’s and Carnival, and it doesn’t help much to book in advance. Weekends and holidays during summer (December to March) are usually hellish in terms of prices, availability and traffic. A good strategy if you’re here then is to go against the flow: spend the weekends in the big cities and weekdays on the beach. In the northeast, rains can be heavy from April to July, so September and October are great times to visit.
A good tip to eat for less is to focus on traditional quitutes or small, traditional dishes. In Salvador, there are dozens of street stands where baianas (women in traditional white dress) sell acarajé — a black-eyed pea fritter stuffed with shrimp, a sauce called vatapá and vegetables — for about 6 reais ($3 at 2 reais to the dollar).
In Amazonian cities you can get tacacá, a soup of shrimp and jambu, a slightly anesthetic herb, for 10 reais. In São Paulo, pastéis de feira are fried pockets of dough filled with meat, cheese or heart of palm and sold at street fairs for about 3 reais. No matter where you are, look out for the word “rodízio,” or “all you can eat.” There are all kinds of rodizios, including pizza, Japanese food or grilled meats, the latter usually accompanied by salads and side dishes. It might cost you $20, but it will be the only meal you’ll need that day.
Renting a car in the big cities is synonymous with expense and stress. Parking is complicated, and you can pay 12 reais for one hour in some places. And guys called flanelinhas will try to charge you almost as much for “taking care” of your car even if you find free street parking. Instead, find alternatives: Rio’s and São Paulo’s subway lines are small but clean and practical for getting to tourist attractions; in the northeast taxis are relatively cheap. But outside major cities, say along the coast or in national parks, being without a car means making yourself dependent on tour groups, making car rental the more cost-conscious option.
To step outside the typical tourist trail, try these three reasonably-priced islands: Ilha Grande (reasonably close to Rio de Janeiro, with beautiful beaches and cheap lodging); Ilha de Boipeba (paradise on Earth, a 30-minute flight from Salvador, cheap as can be, and many foreign-owned inns where English is spoken); and Ilha de Marajó (an Amazonian island in Pará state, where water buffalo and tropical birds outnumber people).
Kevin Raub is the coordinating author for Brazil of Lonely Planet’s “South America on a Shoestring.” Follow him on Twitter @RaubOnTheRoad. Here are his tips:
If you’re on a really tight budget, it is hostels only, and even then you are going to pay more than you are accustomed to in North America or Europe. I’ve found some good value spots like Favela Chic in Foz de Iguaçu (Iguazu Falls), where you can sleep in a converted van with a double bed for 50 reais as a single traveler. It’s unique as well as affordable. In Rio, my favorite is a new place called Oztel in Botafogo, where it feels like you are sleeping in an art gallery curated by an Andy Warhol fan. Aside from the sleeping in a dorm part, you’re getting a boutique hotel for the price of a hostel.
Though Brasília has a reputation of being about as friendly to budget-conscious travelers as a wasp-nest piñata, Brazil’s fascinating capital can actually be done affordably. Accommodations are expensive, but hotels slash prices on weekends. From there, it takes a little will but there is a way: buses comb the city, so you can get anywhere for two reais, flipping the script on a city that was designed for cars. Almost all the main attractions (including many monuments designed by modernist architect Oscar Niemeyer) are free, and restaurants serve all budgets.
The Pantanal is one of Brazil’s best-value spots to visit. Not only is it amazing in its own right, but it’s much more affordable than the Amazon and you will see much more wildlife for your money. After a one-day drive down the Transpantaneira highway, you’ll be sick of caimans, capybaras, macaws and toucans. In the Amazon you’ll pay five times the price and you’re lucky if a pink dolphin swims by once a week.
You’ll probably want to skip the traditional feijoada buffets, which are terribly good but always pricey, and go instead for the “por kilo” or pay-by-weight restaurants. Also look for PFs, or pratos feitos, homey set plates of a main course, rice, beans and juice for under 12 reais, or the slightly pricier and fancier pratos executivos or executive plates. Take advantage of the normally infuriating fact that restaurant dishes are priced and portioned generously for two. Single travelers ordering a half-portion (meia-porção) will pay 60 or 70 percent the price, but a party of three can beat Brazilian restaurants at their own illogical math game, ordering one dish and walking away with stomachs filled and wallets still stuffed.
Most big cities (including Rio, São Paulo and Brasília) offer direct and efficient airport shuttles for under 40 reais, which can offer considerable savings. I walk almost everywhere in Brazil — it’s free and you get a much better feel for Brazilian joie de vivre. Rio, São Paulo and Porto Alegre all have efficient metro systems that get you within striking distance of your destination; just leg it from there, and don’t forget about city buses. In São Paulo you can get accurate point-to-point bus directions from Google Maps, avoiding pricey taxis.
(Disclosure: Seth Kugel is speaking, unpaid, though his costs are covered, at a travel bloggers’ conference Mr. Freire has organized in Rio de Janeiro later this month.)
Follow Seth on Twitter @frugaltraveler, and at

Rio Oil & Gas Conference Arrives, September 17th - 20th

Rio Oil & Gas Conference Arrives, September 17th - 20th | The Rio Times | Brazil News

The IBP Rio Oil & Gas Conference Arrives

By Andrew Willis, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The Rio Oil & Gas Expo and Conference, perhaps the most important event of its kind in South America, is set to run next week (September 17th-20th) in the Riocentro Convention Centre in Barra de Tijuca. Organizers of the biennial event are expecting a record turnout of 55,000 visitors from over fifty countries at the expo this year, with 1,300 exhibitors.
Opening of the 2010 Rio Oil and Gas Expo and Conference, IBP, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil News
The Opening of the 2010 Rio Oil and Gas Expo and Conference, photo by IBP.
This year marks the 16th edition of the industry gathering. “The event has grown and strengthened in parallel with the changes in the Brazilian and global oil and gas industry,” according to event organizers the IBP (the Brazilian Oil, Gas and Biofuels Institute). “In the 1980s the event occupied two pavilions in Riocentro, now we occupy all five.”
Running in parallel to the expo, a four-day conference is expected to attract roughly 4,300 people, with keynote speakers including the CEOs of Shell and Repsol, as well as the presidents of the World Petroleum Council and the International Gas Union, among others.
Plenary session topics include the role of the petroleum industry in promoting sustainable economic development, challenges to energy supply in the 21st Century and offshore operational safety. “We have managed to broaden and deepen the discussion of topics … trying to always include foreign speakers,” said the organizers.
A number of new themes will be addressed this year, including the issue of non-conventional gas, especially shale gas, which has revolutionized the U.S. gas market and is now being explored for across Latin America and the rest of the globe.
Participants and the 2010 expo, IBP, Rio Oil and Gas, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil News
Participants and the 2010 expo, photo by IBP.
Writing in the August newsletter of the IBP, the institute’s head of gas, Jorge Delmonte, said that after the tragedy that took place at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan, gas power generation assumed “great and instantaneous” importance.
This year the Rio expo and conference are running under the slogan: ‘Innovation and growth with responsibility’. In keeping with this message, an area of the exhibition will be dedicated to improving social and environmental responsibility within the oil and gas sector.
“The industry is aware of its risks, but also the importance of sustainability for the planet and for future generations,” say event organizers. A series of legal cases against U.S. oil major Chevron are ongoing in Brazil after offshore oil seeps were discovered last November.
The expo and conference constitute an important date in Rio’s corporate calendar, helping to fill the city’s top hotels and restaurants as senior oil and gas executives flock to Rio to take advantage of networking opportunities and the chance to catch up on the latest technology.
It also comes at an interesting juncture for the oil and gas industry in Brazil. Delays in developing the much-anticipated pre-salt oil fields off the Brazilian coast have led to considerable debate, while the country’s state-run oil giant, Petrobras, recently reporting its first quarterly loss in over a decade

Tourisme Brésil - São Paulo, mégapole en effervescence

Tourisme Brésil - São Paulo, mégapole en effervescence | Le Devoir

Tourisme Brésil - São Paulo, mégapole en effervescence

Hélène Clément 8 septembre 2012 Voyage
São Paulo vue du toit, à 161 mètres, de l’édifice Art déco Altino Arantes, au centre-ville historique.
Photo : Hélène Clément
São Paulo vue du toit, à 161 mètres, de l’édifice Art déco Altino Arantes, au centre-ville historique.
São Paulo - Quand on parle de São Paulo, on imagine une mégapole congestionnée, polluée, risquée. Sampa (son surnom) n’a-t-elle pas autre chose à offrir que cette triste image ? Que oui ! La cité de 20 millions d’habitants, entrée en 2009 dans le top 10 des villes les plus riches au monde, bouillonne d’activité. Pour l’apprivoiser, il faut prendre le temps de troquer cravate et talons hauts contre jeans et souliers de course et filer à sa rencontre. À pied ou en métro. Elle se révèle alors vivante, créative, énergisante, gourmande… et plutôt belle.

Sampa n’est pas une ville axée sur le tourisme. Mais on y travaille. Selon une étude statistique menée par le magazine São Paulo Outlook, les visiteurs internationaux ne représentent en effet que 10 % du tourisme de la ville, alors que 20 % provient des autres États du Brésil et que 70 % des touristes sont ici par affaires ou pour participer à des foires, des biennales, des congrès. Les journées au boulot sont longues, on accorde peu de temps aux loisirs. Le voyageur passe donc de l’hôtel au bureau et du bureau à l’hôtel, sans doute aux heures de pointe, plutôt allongées, merci.
Pas surprenant qu’il ne retienne de São Paulo que ces interminables bouchons de circulation qui enveniment le quotidien. Moment précis où tous envient les riches Brésiliens qui se rendent au travail par la voie des airs. À São Paulo, on compte presque autant d’hélicoptères privés (452 immatriculés) qu’à New York, qui circulent dans le ciel. C’est dans le centre historique de la ville, au sommet du bâtiment de style Art Déco Altino Arantes, à 161 mètres, que le point de vue sur les 2500 gratte-ciel de la mégapole est spectaculaire. De là, on aperçoit les pistes de décollage sur le toit des immeubles.
Heureusement, avec la venue de la Coupe du monde de la FIFA en 2014, des Jeux olympiques de Rio en 2016, et avec la possibilité d’accueillir l’Exposition universelle en 2020, la ville de São Paulo s’est lancée dans une politique de grands projets — dont la sécurité fait partie — et prévoit notamment la construction de quatre lignes supplémentaires d’autobus ainsi que la prolongation de 62,7 kilomètres de lignes de métro, dont la mise en service se fera sur quatre ans.
Bombardier Transport est chargé de concevoir et d’installer le nouveau système de monorail (Innovia Monorail 300) sur la ligne appelée Expresso Tirandes, le prolongement de la voie bleue entre Vila Prudente et Cidade Tiradentes. Les deux heures nécessaires pour parcourir ce trajet actuellement seront réduites à 50 minutes et le service desservira 500 000 voyageurs par jour.
« Le tourisme n’a jamais fait partie des priorités des Paulistas [les habitants de São Paulo] », explique Eliena R. S. Souza, propriétaire de Spin Brazil Tours, une entreprise de guides touristiques basée à São Paulo. « La préoccupation première, ici, est de faire de l’argent. Pour se payer autos, logement, vêtements et nourriture. La ville se développe très vite et la vie est chère. »
Et puis après, il y a les clichés qui collent à la peau du Brésil. À la simple évocation du nom, l’imagination baguenaude vers des images exotiques de danse, de musique, de sensualité, de langueur, de fête et de forêt tropicale. « São Paulo n’est ni Rio, ni l’Amazone », concède Eliena.
Non, c’est autre chose ! Pas exotique, la mégapole, mais fascinante.
Pas de front de mer ni de perroquets aras ou de singes-araignées. Par contre, on peut voir ces animaux au Jardin zoologique de São Paulo, le cinquième plus grand au monde, situé dans la zone sud de la ville. Ces espaces verts, d’une superficie de 900 000 mètres carrés et recouverts par la forêt tropicale atlantique, abritent 3200 animaux, 200 espèces d’oiseaux, 100 espèces de mammifères ainsi que 98 espèces de reptiles.
Sampa est née du labeur de chacune des communautés qui y ont élu domicile. D’abord les indigènes, les Portugais et les Africains. Ensuite les Italiens et les Japonais. C’est la troisième cité italienne en importance à l’extérieur de l’Italie et la plus grande ville japonaise hors du Japon. Puis, il y a les Allemands, les Anglais, les Français, les Coréens…
Le Paulistano est charmant, courtois (sauf l’automobiliste, qui n’a aucun respect pour le piéton) et surtout très fier de son monstre urbain, même s’il râle sans cesse contre la pollution, la désorganisation et la circulation.
Gastronomie et architecture
Un tel brassage démographique a conduit à une gastronomie prédominante. On mange bien dans la capitale économique brésilienne. Le São Paulo Outlook établit le nombre d’établissements à 15 000 bars, 500 churrascarias (restos de BBQ), 12 500 restaurants dont 250 japonais et 1500 pizzérias. De la lanchonete (comptoir-lunch) du coin au prato feito (plat du jour comprenant riz, haricot, viande et salade) dans un bar, via le botequim (restaurant ouvrier), le rodizio (buffet ou plat à volonté) de sushis, de pizza ou de viande grillée et le restaurant au kilo. Il y en a pour tous les goûts, toutes les bourses.
São Paulo ressemble à New York il y a 20 ans. Une ville hyperactive, un peu intimidante par sa dimension, mais stimulante car elle est traversée par une colossale énergie qui se ressent dès que l’on débarque de l’avion, à l’aéroport international de São Paulo-Guarulhos. Cette ville à la verticale peut paraître anarchique mais elle dissimule bon nombre d’audaces architecturales. Comme l’immeuble Copan — du nom d’une ville maya au Honduras — signé Oscar Niemeyer.
« L’édifice, haut de 115 mètres sur 32 étages, représente un symbole important pour São Paulo. Au moment de sa construction, dans les années 1950, Sampa était déjà sur le chemin de devenir l’une des grandes métropoles du monde, dit Eliena R. S. Souza. D’une surface construite de 120 000 mètres carrés, le Copan se divise en six bâtiments et compte 1160 appartements d’une à quatre chambres, ainsi que 70 commerces. On estime que 5000 personnes y habitent. Il comporte 20 ascenseurs, plus de 220 places de stationnement et, compte tenu du grand nombre de résidants, son propre code postal ! Sa forme sinueuse contraste avec les constructions linéaires du centre-ville de São Paulo. Elle porte la griffe de son créateur. »
Autre œuvre de génie : l’hôtel Unique conçu par l’architecte brésilien Ruy Ohtake. Sa forme de grand arc inversé, troué de fenêtres circulaires tels des hublots surdimensionnés, rappelle un bateau. L’hôtel-boutique, situé sur l’avenue Brigadeiro Luis Antonio, dans le quartier Jardim Paulista, vaut le détour. Pour siroter sur le toit une caipirinha (cocktail national officieux du Brésil composé de cachaça, alcool de canne à sucre très fort, d’un jus de citron vert, de sucre et de glace), ou pour y passer la nuit.
Mythique et astucieux avec ses grandes allées, ses centaines d’eucalyptus australiens, son importante plantation d’arbres tropicaux, ses trois lacs, son pavillon japonais, son planétarium, son musée d’art moderne et son stade de 20 000 places, le parc Ibirapuera, d’une superficie de 1584 kilomètres carrés, le deuxième plus grand de Sampa et le poumon de la ville, mérite qu’on lui consacre une journée entière. Conçu par l’architecte-paysagiste Roberto Burle Max et inauguré le 21 août 1954, c’est à la fois le Hyde Park de Londres, le Bois-de-Boulogne de Paris et le Central Park de New York.
Le parc Ibirapuera est un condensé du Brésil. Au moindre rayon de soleil, on y fait bronzette, discute pendant des heures aux terrasses des cafés, pratique le vélo, le patin à roulettes, le jogging ou la capoeira. Le dimanche, c’est sans doute l’endroit le plus fréquenté de la ville après la cathédrale de Sé et la Basilica de Nossa Senhora de Assunçao, au monastère de São Bento.
Une journée de plus à São Paulo
Derrière sa verticalité, le vrombissement de ses autos, les cris de joie des Paulistas à minuit, après une partie de foot opposant les Corinthians aux Palmeiras ou São Paulo aux Santos, la mégapole qui occupe le 7e rang des dix plus grandes villes au monde réserve encore bien des surprises. Elle captive les artistes et les musiciens, séduit les gens d’affaires. « Stay another day » proclame la publicité de São Paulo Turismo.
Le message s’adresse aux voyageurs d’affaires, nombreux à venir à São Paulo sans jamais pousser leur curiosité au-delà du travail et de la piscine de l’hôtel, explique le président de ce bureau de tourisme, Marcelo Rehder : « Pour les encourager à explorer la ville, nous avons créé sept circuits thématiques dans les régions de Paulista/Jardins (avenue Paulista), du Centro (centre-ville historique), de la zone sud (parc Ibirapuera), de la zone ouest (quartier Vila Madelena, le SoHo de São Paulo) et de la zone nord où se trouvent les grandes écoles de samba qui ouvrent leurs portes aux visiteurs les jours de pratique, en préparation pour le carnaval de la ville. »
Foot, panoramas citadins, architecture, arts, histoire afro-brésilienne, du café, de l’indépendance du Brésil… Sept itinéraires accompagnés d’une carte et d’une description des lieux. Le circuit football mène au stade Pacaembu et à son musée du foot, ainsi qu’au stade de Morumbi. Berceau du football brésilien, São Paulo sera l’hôte de la Coupe du monde de la FIFA en 2014.
São Paulo Turismo propose aussi Turismetrô, une tournée de la ville en métro, avec un guide. Il suffit de se rendre au métro Sé, dans le centre historique, pendant le week-end, à 9h ou à 14h. La visite des sites se fait en anglais et en portugais, au coût du titre de transport.
Et la sécurité à São Paulo ? Attribué en grande partie à une présence policière accrue (et plutôt sympathique) et à de nouvelles lois, le nombre de meurtres est passé en dix ans sous la barre de dix pour 100 000 habitants. « En 2009, on parlait de 51 homicides pour 100 000 habitants, aujourd’hui de neuf pour 100 000. Et le travail se poursuit », affirme Marcelo Rehder.
En vrac
Transport. Air Canada dessert São Paulo àpartir de Toronto.
Hébergement. Si vous êtes à São Paulo en touriste et non par affaires, considérez le fait de loger dans la région Paulistas/Jardins, à proximité de la ligne de métro et des Avenida Paulista et Oscar Freire (magasinage de luxe), afin de vous rapprocher du grand centre, nouveau et ancien, de la ville. Pour un bon rapport qualité-prix : le Quality Suites Imperial Hall; pour une auberge de charme à coût modique : la Pousada Zilah. Très luxueux, l’hôtel-boutique Fasano.
Restauration. Dans Jardins Paulista : Le Rodeio pour une picanha fatiada (morceau de bœuf coupé à la base supérieure de la queue et servi saignant, salé et grillé), un palmito assaso (tronc de palmier grillé servi avec une sauce aux câpres ; le fruit et non le bourgeon) et un plat de cebola tirolesa (oignons panés coupés très fins). Et Figueira Rubaiyat, notamment pour son immense figuier au centre du restaurant. Dans Vila Olympia : Fogo de Chao, pour une churrascaria. Dans Moema : Badejo, pour une moqueca, un ragoût de fruits de mer ou de poisson, un classique de la cuisine bahianaise. Puis dans Vila Madalena : Feijoda de Lana, pour une feijoada (ragoût composé de haricots noirs mijotés avec une grande variété de viandes, notamment de la langue séchée et des parures de porc ; et San Cristovao, pour ses milliers de photos de football sur les murs, qui racontent l’histoire de ce sport roi à São Paulo.
Samba et carnaval. Le dimanche soir, l’école de samba Mocidade Alegre ouvre ses portes aux visiteurs qui souhaitent participer à la pratique (et danser avec eux) en vue du carnaval de São Paulo.
Guides. Comprendre le Brésil et Le brésilien pour mieux voyager, aux éditions Ulysse. Pour des adresses pratiques et de bonnes idées d’hébergement, Brésil, aux éditions Lonely Planet. Pour une bonne compréhension du Brésil, lire Tristes tropiques de Claude Lévi-Strauss, Les chemins de la faim et Cacao Jorge Amado.
Renseignements. Pour les services d’un guide urbain sur la thématique de votre choix (le guide fera tout pour vous accommoder, ainsi sont les Paulistas, des gens adorables), contacter Eliana R. S. Souza (qui parle anglais), + 55 11 99185-2623/5904-2269, Pour télécharger ou obtenir les sept circuits thématiques (en anglais) et de l’information touristique sur la ville de São Paulo.

GBTA forecasts continued growth in Brazilian business

GBTA forecasts continued growth in Brazilian business
SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) has released its second GBTA BTI Outlook report on Brazil as part of its semiannual series. The report, sponsored by Visa, includes the GBTA BTI, an index of business travel spending which provides a way to distill market performance over a period of time.

Key Highlights
  • Brazilian business travel spending will grow by 9.3% in 2012 to $30.1 billion and another 12.6% in 2013
  • Brazil is on track to overtake South Korea for 8th place in business travel spend world ranking this year
  • Organic growth is forecast to drive a 6% increase in hotel capacity. Whilst future hotel construction will be incentivized further by the forthcoming World Cup and Olympics, demand will still exceed supply
  • GBTA BTI is poised to return to a stronger upward trajectory in 2012-2013 on the rising strength of the domestic economy
  • Overall Brazilian business travel spending should expand even more rapidly as the global economy recovers
  • Brazilian business travel spending is heavily geared to domestic spend (c.80%) but in 2012 growth rates in international outbound travel are twice that of domestic travel
Wellington Costa, President of GBTA Brazil commented: “Brazil’s strong economic growth has made it one of the world’s key markets to watch for business travel. This report highlights the major issues in business travel spending and, by extension, in Brazil’s economy. Despite the challenging global economic climate, Brazil remains on a robust business travel growth track, especially when compared to the U.S. and Europe. The key question is whether Brazil can tackle its travel infrastructure constraints to meet its expanding business travel demand.”

Tad Fordyce, head of global commercial solutions at Visa Inc said: “Year after year Brazil has proven to be a formidable contributor to the global tourism economy. In 2011 global travelers spent more than $2.3 billion in Brazil on their Visa cards, an increase of 10 percent over 2010. This natural momentum combined with hosting the 2014 FIFA World Cup™ and the Rio 2016 Olympic Games is a tremendous opportunity for the burgeoning nation. Visa is committed to helping Brazil support the payment infrastructure necessary to capture this opportunity.”

Ripple Effect of the Global Economy
While the Brazilian economy has remained relatively resilient, it has not been immune to the recession in Europe, the slowdown in Chinese growth or the struggling recovery in the US. Despite these factors, GBTA forecasts that Brazil’s economy will improve slowly in the second half of 2012. Gathering economic momentum is projected to drive 4.1% GDP growth and 12.6% growth in business travel spending in 2013. However, this figure has been downgraded from GBTA’s spring forecast of 14.5% business travel spending growth.

Key Factors: Infrastructure Challenges and Domestic Demand
A lack of adequate capacity and infrastructure is the main drag on even higher rates of business travel growth in Brazil. Airport, hotel, and other travel infrastructure continues to lag increases in demand, particularly in Brazil’s major business hubs.

This may be set to change with 30,500 new hotel rooms either under construction or in advanced stages of planning – a 6% increase in capacity. However, the World Cup in 2014 and Olympics in 2016 will keep supply behind demand for the medium term.

In addition, the Brazilian government has introduced hugely popular policies to stimulate domestic demand and make up for a decline in exports. Household incomes should continue to expand in real terms in 2013 and beyond, and consumption has been further stimulated by a 14% increase in the minimum wage.

Costa continued, “The outlook for Brazil is encouraging for both the economy and business travel. The forthcoming elections in Brazil should create conditions for future growth as policies that stimulate domestic demand are set to continue. With travel spend growing in lockstep with this expansion in demand, GBTA is optimistic about the outlook for business travel and the economy as a whole.”

Brazil Set to Surpass South Korea in Business Travel Spending
If spending trends continue at current levels, this year Brazil is set to surpass South Korea to become the world’s eighth-largest market for business travel spending. Total business travel spending in Brazil should reach $30.1 billion in 2012, an increase of 9.3% from 2011.

Domestic business travel currently contributes 80% of this spending. However, in 2012 Brazilian international outbound business travel grew at twice the rate of domestic travel – indicating that as the global economic environment improves, the Brazilian business travel market should expand even more rapidly.

What Do Brits Know About Brazil? Not a lot, says the British Council

What Do Brits Know About Brazil? Not a lot, says the British Council | British Council

Talk 2 Brazil Guest Interview with Fernando Ikedo

Talk 2 Brazil Guest Interviews « Talk 2 Brazil, Talk Radio on Business in Brazil

Fernando Ikedo is a professional with 15 years of experience in technical, commercial and strategic activities in the Defense market. He is currently working as an independent consultant, as focused on Brazilian Defense Market.
He is a member of ABIMDE’s (Brazilian Defense and Security Industries Association) and also member of the ABIMDE Advisory Board.
Listen to Tom Reaoch interview Fernando Ikedo: PLAY or DOWNLOAD
He was Market Strategy Director at Embraer Defense and Security, with experience in market strategy, competitive intelligence, strategic planning, marketing and promotion, sales engineering and commercial proposals. He was also involved in partnership identification and mergers & acquisitions activities.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Electronic Engineering from Brazil’s ITA – Aeronautical Institute of Technology and an MBA in Entrepreneurial Business Management from ITA/ESPM.

He is currently working as an independent consultant, as focused on Brazilian Defense Market.  Fernando and I met recently at the IBCO ( Brazilian Institute of Organizational Consultants training course in Sao Paulo.

Most viewed

Featured Post

Manca Korelc, LinkedIn Therapist, Build Brand, Generate Leads, Slovenia

Today’s guest with us again is Manca Korelc talking with us from beautiful Slovenia and the city of Ljubljana. Manca is a world class Linke...