On Tuesday 9th April, Major Events International and Deloitte co-hosted a business briefing and networking seminar which sought to inform its audience on the latest developments and growth opportunities in Brazil. The event awarded particular focus to the country’s fastest growing region – the North East – with a live video link to Recife allowing the audience to interact with a local panel of experts on the commercial potential of the region. With over 60 people in attendance and an expert panel comprised of insightful and knowledgeable speakers, the event presented a fantastic learning opportunity for anyone interested in finding out what ‘doing’ business in Brazil really involves.



The event was opened by Roger Horwood, International Tax Partner at Deloitte, who set out the agenda for the day and provided a brief summary of the speakers present in the UK. Following Roger was Dennis Mills, CEO of Major Events International, who introduced the range and depth of opportunities that Brazil presents for companies of all sizes and sectors. He pointed to the extent of investment Brazil is currently undertaking around the 2014 FIFA World Cup, 2016 Rio Olympics and country-wide PAC program and the positive consequences that this has for global companies. The significance of UK companies being able to offer ‘International Best Practice’ to the Brazilian market was also mentioned as well as the increasing demand from Brazil for UK companies that can offer ‘training’ to local staff. However, Dennis was quick to point out the challenges associated with winning business in Brazil by emphasising the ‘failure of dabbling’ and stressing the importance of thorough preparation, continuous client communication and local support in order to build successful and profitable relationships with local stakeholders.

Luis Oroval, Latin America EMEA specialist, then provided an insight into the Merger and Acquisition trends in Brazil over recent years. He described the positive environment that the country currently provides for European companies looking to do business in Brazil and pointed to the fact that Brazil is comfortably the most developed M&A market in Latin America. Luis was followed by Alberto Bertocco, Deloitte International Tax Manager, who, despite describing a long list of seemingly daunting tax systems in place in Brazil, stressed the significance of a number of income tax relief incentives that are unique to North East Brazil and their positive financial implications for international companies James Crawford, Diageo M&A Director, took up proceedings with an extremely interesting account of Diageo’s recent acquisition of Ypioca, a leading Brazilian maker of cachaca. This provided the audience with a fantastic insight into the first-hand realities of business transactions in the country. Like Dennis, James stressed the importance of thorough preparation and the need for a clear and fully worked-out strategy in order to be successful

The final speaker from the UK was John Doddrell, British Consul General & Director of UKTI Brazil, who drew upon his local knowledge and experience to further explain the great investment opportunities for businesses in North Eastern Brazil. John stressed how significant it was that four of the FIFA World Cup host cities are situated in the North East of Brazil and mentioned how important the ports, oil & gas fields, and manufacturing plants were for the regions’ rapid recent development.

Live video link in Brazil

The event then switched attention to Brazil itself where representatives from Deloitte, the local MEI Team and representatives from the Recife government were all on hand via a live video link to provide their own perspective on the opportunities in the region and how they could assist UK companies in capitalising upon this. Ricardo Demarchi and Lucas Lacombe, MEI Associate Brazil Directors, introduced themselves to the UK panel and explained their own capability to support international companies in managing their business needs and activities in the local region. Marco Tulio, Investment and Promotion Director of AD Diper (Development Agency of Pernambuco) and Andre Pereira Medeiros, Senior Manager of Deloitte Brazil, then proceeded to provide their own expert opinions on commercial developments in North East Brazil.

Networking Drinks


Once the speakers had finished responding to a number of questions, the audience moved into the Deloitte lobby for some well deserved networking drinks. MEI would like to thank AFEX (www.afex.com) for sponsoring the networking drinks. AFEX offers a comprehensive range of international payment and foreign exchange services, including foreign currency drafts, wire transfers, risk management tools and designated corporate account managers. AFEX can handle every aspect of a client’s foreign payment needs, from risk consultation to transaction execution.

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