Date: January 3-9, 2016
Program Fee: $2,870 with 19 participants
COURSE DESCRIPTION AND RATIONALE
The trip includes visits to numerous companies and other organizations in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. In this course we study fundamentals of international business, (ii) the environments and challenges of Brazil and other Latin American markets, (iii) strategies and operations for succeeding in such markets, and (iv) specific aspects of business in Brazil.
Brazil is home to more than 200 million people. Portugal colonized Brazil in the 16th century; the national language is Portuguese. We will visit the two main cities for business, Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. Soccer (futebol) is the most popular sport; Brazil has won the World Cup a record five times.
Brazil is the most important emerging market in Latin America. Emerging markets are countries that, in contrast to advanced economies (such as Germany, Brazil, and the United States), are undergoing rapid industrialization, modernization, and economic growth. Brazil is an attractive market and low-cost base for manufacturing and global sourcing. Increasingly, Brazil and other emerging markets (such as China, India, and Mexico) are giving birth to “new global challengers”, top companies that are becoming key contenders in world markets, and challenging multinational firms from the advanced economies. However, Brazil’s business environment entails considerable uncertainty, with evolving legal, governmental, and commercial systems. Corruption in business and government is substantial.
Brazil is the world’s eighth largest economy. A mostly rural economy in the 1950s, Brazil has developed rapidly since the 1990s, partly thanks to the government’s Plano Real, which curtailed high inflation, initially by pegging Brazil’s currency (the real) to the U.S. dollar. The dominant legal system is civil law, based on the Napoleonic code. Most of Brazilian law is codified, although non-codified statutes are also present.
Agriculture, mining, manufacturing, and services are key sectors. Brazil’s presence in international financial and commodities markets is expanding. It is the world’s fourth largest car market. Major exports include aircraft, electrical equipment, automobiles, textiles, iron ore, steel, and coffee. In 2015, Per-capita income was approaching $12,000 per year, which is significant by world standards. The middle class has greatly expanded in the past decade. While living standards are rising, poverty remains a big problem. However, Brazilians have reason to be very optimistic about their future.