The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Brazil successfully organised a three-day trade and tourism promotional event in Sao Paulo, the commercial capital of Brazil, from 20 to 22 February. The event drew the interest of a large number of prominent Brazilian importers, trade consultants, officials of trade associations, travel journalists and travel trade industries based in Sao Paulo.
The first day of the trade promotional event held on 20 February, organised with the support of the Chamber of Commerce of São Paulo (ACSP), was attended by over 40 major Brazilian companies. This event focussed exclusively on introducing Sri Lankan export products to the Brazilian market and creating a positive market access condition for those products in Brazil. Addressing the forum, Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Brazil Musthafa Jaffeer emphasised on the necessity to put in more efforts to improve the current status of trade relations between Brazil and Sri Lanka. In this respect, he underscored the need to identify the underlying barriers that discourage the entry of Sri Lankan businesses into the Brazilian market and find solutions to those impediments as a priority to improve the present bilateral trade condition. He further observed that the apparent distance and language barriers between the two countries could be eased if business enterprises allocate more resources to find out innovative solutions using information technology platforms to share information.
While expressing his delight over associating with the Sri Lankan promotion event, Vice President of the Chamber of Commerce of Sao Paulo Roberto Tocoulat stressed the importance of Sri Lankan agencies undertaking sustained promotional activities in Brazil in order to gain market understanding and access for Sri Lankan exports. In this regard, Tocoulat assured the readiness of the Chamber of Sao Paulo to work with Sri Lankan trade agencies in the latter’s future promotional programmes and trade activities. Three companies, namely; M/s Hitec Solutions Ltd., M/s Worldmart Ceylon Ltd. and M/s Lalan Rubber Ltd. from Sri Lanka representing the areas of electronic and electrical equipment, steal construction industry, tea, spices and rubber products joined the trade promotional activities in Sao Paulo.
The second day of the event was devoted to promoting Sri Lanka as a travel destination. This event was organised with the support of Sao Paulo Travel Trade Association (ABAV) and attracted over 50 tour operators, travel companies and travel journalists. Introducing the country’s tourist interests, Ambassador Jaffeer highlighted the diversity of Sri Lankan people and described their friendly, hospitable nature as a unique hallmark for the country’s image. He also briefed the audience on the country´s rich cultural heritage, world renowned historic cultural sites, authentic cuisine and Ayurvedic and health facilities as well as the array of flora and fauna and rich bio diversity that the country possesses. Tereza Lobo, representing Sri Lankan Travel Company, M/s Tour Blue Ltd., made a presentation on the Sri Lankan travel packages that her company offers to travellers while Adriana Lage Toma, Travel Journalist of M/s ACamminare, shared with the audience of her memorable personal experience related to her 10-day visit to Sri Lanka.
Coinciding with this promotional event, the Sri Lankan delegation held business meetings with the Brazilian Chamber of Importers of Industrial Machines (ABIMEI), the Super Market Association of Brazil (ABRAS), the Sao Paulo Super Market Association (APAS), the Brazilian Association of the Industry of Rubber Artefact(ABIARB), the Federation of Industries (FIESP), the Brazilian Chamber of Industrial Machines (ABIMAQ) and the Chamber of Textile Machinery to identify potential market opportunities and learn about key areas that foreign exporters should be aware of to comply with Brazil’s import regulations.
The State of São Paulo, which is one of the 26 States of the Federative Republic of Brazil, is the economic, industrial and agricultural hub of Brazil and a home to 45 million population. Sao Paulo State accounts for 34% of the Brazilian GDP (PPP) with over one trillion US$. The promotional event, which was organised under the Economic Diplomacy Programme of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka with the patronage of the Department of Commerce, Export Development Board, Sri Lanka Tourist Board and Ceylon Chambers of Commerce, aimed at identifying new market opportunities for Sri Lankan export products and services and also boosting tourist arrivals in Sri Lanka from an important South American country, Brazil. The organisation of the promotional event was assisted by Seevali Wijewantha, Commercial Officer of the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Brasilia and Eduardo Oliveira, Honorary Consul of Sri Lanka in São Paulo.