Companies interested in doing business in Brazil for the 2014 World Cup soccer tournament or 2016 Olympic Games can learn more at a seminar in Atlanta Wednesday, July 14.
The business program is part of of Brazil Fest Atlanta 2010, a series of events sponsored by the Consulate General of Brazil. Originally a cultural event only, the fest has been expanded to include the areas of racial and social equality and business.
The business seminar, which is free and open to the public, will be held in the ballroom of the St. Regis hotel, 88 West Paces Ferry Road in Buckhead, with registration starting at 8 a.m. on July 14.
It will feature a session on new investment markets in Brazil, including insights on Olympic and World Cup opportunities from both government and corporate representatives.
“We know that Atlanta has experience with the Olympics,” Adalnio Senna Ganem, Brazil’s consul general for the Southeast U.S., told GlobalAtlanta. “Maybe we can develop some partnerships.”
Brazil plans to spend $700 billion over the next five to six years on projects such as roads, ports, airports, trains and stadiums, to cope with an expanding economy and to be prepared for the world’s two largest sporting events, said Mr. Ganem.
Miriam Belchior, head of the Brazilian government’s infrastructure program, is scheduled to speak at the July 14 program as is Ralph Lima Terra, vice president of the Brazilian Association of Infrastructure and Supply Industries.
There will also be speakers on tourism, biofuels, oil and finance.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil’s second largest city and the host of the 2016 Summer Olympics, needs an additional 19,000 hotel rooms, said Mr. Ganem.
“If each hotel has an average of 200 rooms, that’s about 100 hotels, and that’s only in Rio de Janeiro,” said the consul general.
Brazil has recently discovered significant offshore oil reserves which it plans to begin tapping in the next few years, said Mr. Ganem. Marco Antonio Martins Almeida, Brazil’s secretary for oil, natural gas and renewable fuel, is scheduled to speak at the July 14 event.
Brazil’s ambassador to the United States, Mauro Vieira, is also scheduled to speak as is Ruy Nogueira, the country’s under-secretary of state for trade, cultural and technological affairs.
The cultural portion of Brazil Fest begins at 10 a.m. Thursday, July 15 in the Rich Theater of the Woodruff Arts Center, 1289 Peachtree St. It will feature a session on African Influence in Brazil and the U.S. Martin Luther King III, son of the late civil rights leader, and Elói Ferreira de Araújo, Brazil’s minister for the Promotion of Racial Equality, are scheduled to appear.
In 2008, Brazil and the United States, recognizing that both countries are multi-racial democracies, agreed to work together to fight racial and ethnic discrimination.
As part of the effort, called the Joint Action Plan to Eliminate Racial and Ethnic Discrimination and Promote Equality, the U.S. State Department sponsored a conference at Morehouse College in Atlanta in May on the topic.
Organizers of Brazil Fest are partnering this year with the National Black Arts Festival to host a variety of events through Saturday, July 17.
“We are bringing more than 50 Brazilian artists,” Mr. Ganem. “It was only possible to have this huge cultural event by partnering with the National Black Arts Festival.”
There will be two main concerts, one at Atlanta Symphony Hall and the other at Centennial Olympic Park, both on Thursday, July 15.
“We started this as a cultural event,” Mr. Ganem said of Brazil Fest. “Then the National Black Arts Festival proposed this partnership. Then the business people in the [Brazilian] government said. ‘Let’s benefit from this festival.’ Then both governments decided to use it as part of the Joint Action Plan to Eliminate Racial and Ethnic Discrimination and Promote Equality. The event has many angles and many facets.”
Atlanta is the perfect location for the event because of the strong African influence in the city, its hosting of the 1996 Olympics, and its efforts to host either the 2018 or 2022 World Cup, said Mr. Ganem.
In international trade circles, Brazil is considered one of the world’s most promising markets. In land size, Brazil is larger than the continental United States. It has a nearly $2 trillion economy and a population of almost 200 million.
For more on Brazil Fest, click here .