As the seventh biggest economy in the world, it’s no surprise that Brazil is receiving a lot of attention from exporters around the globe. For UK engineering and manufacturing firms keen to venture into this expanding market and develop their business in Brazil, opportunities exist in a wide range of sectors.
The Brazilian way of doing business can be challenging for British firms. Some of the frequent challenges are around bureaucracy, a complex tax system, employment legislation, under-developed infrastructure, language challenges, and fitting in to a different culture.
But help is at hand. A new Brazil Business Hub is being launched on 29 January 2015, at the GTMA’s Manufacturing Resource Centre, Alcester, Warwickshire B49 6PU.
The Brazil Business Hub is a one stop shop for engineering and manufacturing sector companies looking to do business in Brazil.
The project is a partnership initiative between UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), the GTMA – a trade association representing engineering and manufacturing supply chain companies, and Commercial Doctor – a specialist consultancy with extensive experience in helping companies break into the Brazilian market
As well as putting firms in touch with relevant commercial services, the Brazil Business Hub will also provide a gateway to UKTI’s services including the Passport to Export programme for new exporters, Gateway to Global Growth, for more experienced exporters and the Overseas Market Introduction Service (OMIS), which puts firms in contact with key contacts overseas.
From initial advice, through to in-depth and long-term assistance in finding partners, engaging with major projects and setting up manufacturing operations, the Hub will assist firms optimise their potential for success in Brazil.
UKTI Regional Director, Paul Noon says:
“Brazil is now one of the major opportunities alongside China, India and the USA, for companies looking to expand into world markets. However, Brazil is not a place to make a quick sale. Doing business in Brazil takes time, understanding and perseverance. Just as with any new market, firms need to do their homework and minimise risk by seeking the help of experts such as at the Brazil Business Hub and UKTI who will help firms learn how to make the most of Brazil’s warm welcome to foreign businesses. With the right approach more UK companies will be able to make the most of this huge market opportunity.”
Philip Gray, MD, Commercial Doctor says:
“The Brazil Business Hub will place Brazil firmly on the map for UK firms. We are proud to be basing the hub at the heart of the UK’s engineering and manufacturing supply chain. The increasing dependence on engineering solutions for Brazil’s continued development provides an excellent opportunity for UK companies, which enjoy a world class reputation for sophistication, quality, safety and value.
“A key tip for doing business in Brazil successfully is to foster personal relationships – the human element is crucial in Brazilian business culture. We are looking forward to sharing our expertise to help firms in the UK succeed in Brazil.”
Several major UK engineering businesses are already present in Brazil including JCB, IMI, BAE Systems, Babcock, Rolls Royce as well as Jaguar Land Rover which is currently setting up a manufacturing plant in the State of Rio de Janeiro.
The Hub will also assist Brazilian companies to engage with industrial partners and technology sources in the UK.
One West Midlands firm who is already reaping the benefits of doing business in Brazil is Staffordshire company, Tractive Power Ltd which specialises in battery powered electric vehicles designed to push, pull and manoeuvre loads of up to 50 tonnes.
The Cheddleton based company recently won an order from a major Brazilian aeroplane manufacturer worth £8,000.
Tractive Power first starting exporting in 2009 when the firm sold units to Australia. Since then, the company’s exporting activity has gone from strength to strength and Tractive Power units are now in around 10 countries, including Switzerland, Turkey, Germany, Singapore, Thailand, and most recently, Brazil.
Brendan Ratcliffe, Commercial Director, Tractive Power Ltd said:
“We decided to approach Brazil as it’s been an expanding market for years now, and has attracted major international manufactures. These larger corporations bring their own corporate structures and ethos, which of course includes stringent health and safety guidelines. This, along with a drive towards improving efficiencies in manufacturing, creates a fantastic opportunity for our product.
“In October last year, we supplied our first unit to Brazilian conglomerate Embraer – one of the largest aircraft manufacturers in the world. Embraer produces commercial, military, executive and agricultural aircraft. Our unit has reduced the manual handling of the wings at the firm’s production facility to improve safety, as well as speeding up and streamlining the manufacturing process. Instead of half of the shop-floor fitters having to stop work to move a seven tonne frame, now a single operator can move the trolley with our machine. The initial order was for £8,000 but we are hopeful it will open doors within other areas of the company and we’re now tendering for additional opportunities.
“UKTI has really helped us. As well as advice and support, we’ve had funding for the travel and accommodation in Brazil so we could have face to face meetings with the management of Embraer. This was crucial in winning the initial order which we see as just the first step in a growing relationship. UKTI’s support gave us the confidence we needed to go to Brazil to make that first order happen, as well as plan future trips.
“Now we have a relationship with this major player, we are confident to secure more business in the near future and create a greater presence for Tractive Power in Brazil.”