Basque entrepreneurs convened by the Basque Government meet in Brazil
Begoña Aldekogaray, Head of the SPRI Latin American Department, and Elvira Cortajarena, Basque Country Delegate to Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, led the meeting of Basque companies from various sectors operating in Brazil.
A total of 31 people, representing 25 Basque companies, five of which set up in Brazil in 2010, were at the meeting held in Sao Paulo this month.
During the meeting, the delegates were told about the support activities for companies organised by the Sao Paulo SPRI office throughout the year (market research, searching for partners and distributors, helping the BEC to organise delegations of visitors to trade fairs and specific support depending on the different types of need).
The speakers were Enrique Asenjo and Cristina Salazar, Chairman and Technical Director of the CESCE Group respectively. The Spanish Government holds a 50% stake in the Group, with 20% held by Banco Santander, 20% by BBVA and the remaining 10% by German investors. Their speech, entitled "Financial Crisis - Protection Mechanisms", considered defaulting guarantees and insurance, which are still at an early stage in Brazil.
Before the event ended, the Basque companies were able to outline their activity and discuss their experiences on the Brazil market. They pointed out that despite the exchange rate not being favourable for Europeans and all the difficulties inherent to an emerging company, Brazil continued to be very attractive for their investments. This is based on the considerable size of its domestic market (190 million inhabitants), its human capital, the abundance of natural resources, the institutional strength and good governance that encourage clear market rules that enable long-term planning. It was also stressed that the recently-elected government guarantees a continuance with the work of its predecessor.
Finally, they highlighted the business opportunities for Basque companies: the basic energy materials market and the future international sports events (the World Cup and the Olympic Games), which will involve significant investments in infrastructures and other services.