Adicione: By Rebecca Carvalho
Brazil has the largest economy in Latin America, its economy is also among the largest in the world. It has a growing domestic economy that has brought up the “status” of the country at the international level, allowing it a favorable economic environment for foreign investment and exportation opportunities. According to Apex Brasil – Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency, in recent years Brazil has been strengthening its economic role as a major economic platform, and becoming an important market for investors around the world.
A promising example of the economic relationship between Brazil and foreign markets is the Brazil – Peru business roundtable that took place on August 25th of 2011 in Lima, Peru. According to Andina (Agencia Peruana de Noticias), Peru is the sixth largest market for Brazilian exports and Brazil is the third largest provider of Peruvian imports (after the U.S. and China).
Also in the year 2011, the Brazilian meatpacker Marfrig agreed to acquire American company Keystone Foods. . Marfrig will become a leading supplier to American fast-food restaurants like McDonald’s and Burger King. Following this wave of corporate acquisitions, in July (*2011) the American company Dow Chemical’s agreed to sell two plants for production of polypropylene (a type of plastic) in Texas for Braskem, a Brazilian plastic producer.
Although marketing agreements reaffirm the important image of the Brazilian economy abroad, the presence of Brazilian high-quality products in international markets plays an important role in breaking stereotypes and disseminating various nuances of the Brazilian culture.
Over many decades, Brazil was considered the country of samba and soccer and only a “supporting actor” in the international economic scenario. While some Brazilian companies have gained international prominence, as is the case of Embraer and Alpargatas (Havaianas), the words “Made in Brazil” come to have strong meaning and represent these days “cool stuff”. Another interesting factor is that the internationalization of the companies helped Brazil to attract more investors to the country.
An interesting international project came from Leblon, a distillery from the state of Minas Gerais which aimed at internationalizing a typical Brazilian product: cachaça. Leblon introduced its products in the U.S. in 2005 and, a year later, in the UK and France. The company concept was to present a highquality cachaça at accessible prices to foreign markets, and also started to teach consumers about Brazil’s cultural history.
At the cultural marketing level, it was a very strategic move. The goal was to popularize cachaça in the world by introducing consumers to the cultural connotations behind it. The company also was eager to teach the difference between cachaça (a Brazilian product) and rum (Caribbean). In the U.S., it is common to hear cachaça being called “Brazilian rum”, however the two drinks are prepared in different ways.
In 2008, Leblon started caipirinha-making lessons. Since then they have spread through Europe and went to Thailand. The campaign to popularize caipirinha, while giving it international quality, helped the cachaça to gain recognition as an authentic product “Made in Brazil.” When a popular high-quality product is associated with the image of a country, it strengthens cultural ties. For example, USA Today called cachaça “the essence of Brazil in a bottle”.