Brazil has an area sixteen times bigger than France and more than twice as big as Europe. It takes five hours by plane to cross the country from North to South! There are 191,700 millons inhabitants. There are so many facets and it would take years to understand them all.
- Brazil, a mixed society
Discovered by the Spanish but surrendered to the Portuguese (who brought black slaves from Africa), the country was inhabited by native Indians before the arrival of the Western settlers. However the mix of different populations doesn’t end there as the French colonized the Bay of Guanabara (Río de Janeiro) while the Dutch conquered Recife, Natal and Salvador…yet there was still one final touch missing in this special mix; nothing happened until the settlers had children with the black slaves or Indians…
As you can see, above all Brazil has a thoroughly rich ethnical history. In fact all these peoples have always lived side by side…the European conquerors, French Dutch, Portuguese, came as settlers and found a new home in Brazil, which has become the melting pot for all the peoples and cultures.
The settlers were also greatly held back in their attempts to push further inland. In the end they stayed mostly on the coast line, meaning the native population survived.
Little by little, during the times of the gold rush in Mato Grosso, the populations open to each other. In this sense, Brazil was a perfect example of an ethnical and cultural mix. The result is an extraordinary people, relaxed, welcoming and naturally friendly which can hardly fail to stand in stark contrast with the Europeans who come from big cities in which only too often there is a sense of manic selfishness and high level of aggression.
- Brazil, the future
Brazil is a miraculous and surprising economical success. It has resisted the crisis affecting the rest of the economic world which is seriously weakening the European economies. Currently, its GDP is still growing at 4% a year (2011 prediction)
The opportunities are great and as is the case with China, it seems there are no limits for anyone who is prepared to invest heavily in creativity and hard work.
Zweig was a visionary when he wrote in 1953 “Brazil Land of the Future”… Yes, Brazil represents the country of the future, an economic and entrepreneurial Eldorado.
- Brazil a world of business, still conquering
Unlike Asia where everything seems very new and different, Brazil bares strong resemblance to Europe as far as lifestyle. However the methods in the business world seem more like those in China than Europe.
The Brazilians do business amongst themselves; they don’t have the same business ethics or the same emphasis on keeping their word as is expected in Europe; working with them sometimes means treading carefully and playing a challenging role. As with China, it would be delusional to think you can arrive in Brazil and just do business, sign some contracts and few days later disappear. You need to spend time with the Brazilians to merit their respect and put into effect the signed agreements. You must constantly be on your guard for the arrival of new potential competitors who could unscrupulously establish themselves.
- Rio, a magical city
Río de Janeiro, where we decided to establish our new offices, is an extraordinary city, without doubt one of the most beautiful in the world. The photos are well known and reviewed. Corcovado, Sugarloaf, Floresta da Tijuca (the largest city forest)…Yes, Río grows and increases the postcards.
But Río is above all a city with a soul where new, mysterious and occasionally magical places can always be found. What differences between the poor areas in Moro de Allemao and the Zona Sul. The diversity between the city centre and the enormous beaches in the East… The difference between the touristy parts of Copacabana and Ipanema and the old parts like the one in Santa Teresa.
Río de Janeiro is a magical, dangerous (think of the film BOPE 1 and 2), friendly, beautiful, tropical (when the temperatures drop below 15°C the people from Río de Janeiro panic!), cheerful (the locals love to laugh).
Río, the city of music, dance and festival offers magical and intense moments, like the new year's day when two million people, all dressed in white, rush to the beach at Copacabana to see the fireworks flickering, lit in the middle of the bay, or like the fascinating carnival, the biggest and most extreme in the world.