source: New European Business Confederation
According to Mr. Bernardin, it is the perfect time for European investors to invest in Brazil: “Experts say that in 2015 the Brazilian growth will only be 1% or -0.5%. It is very important to not be too scared by this numbers as this is a macro-economic aspect. Investors should take more into consideration micro-economic factors because if you want to make an accurate decision you have to look at other aspects like the position on the market of your company and its potential. For example, the digital market will increase by 25% in 2015. That is very interesting for a company that operates in this filed or even sells products though internet to come to Brazil. Everything depends on your market.”
For Mr. Bernardin, there are three main reasons why a company should invest in Brazil right now:
1) Brazil is bounded to be a fast growing market: There is no doubt that the Brazilian economy will bounce back quickly as there are many opportunities over there. It is important to be ready for when growth comes back.
2) The currency exchange rate: At the moment the Brazilian real is not high which makes the Euro stronger. European investors can benefit from this situation by paying less.
3) It is a good moment to make purchases in Brazil: Whether it is the purchase of a company or goods, there are great deals to make at the moment. Brazilians are less demanding because of the economic situation leading them to not overprice and are willing to give a discount even when they are selling their own company.
As for the problems inverstors might face in Brazil, Mr. Bernardin has a few words of encouragement: “Corruption is the biggest issue in Brazil. It has always existed and public markets are the most sensitive when it comes to corruption. If you want to win a public market, you will have to negotiate with authorities and put money on the table, which is the normal procedure dictated by the law. Big companies are used to recruiting local people who are used to negotiating this kind of things. As for the private sector, in 19 years, I never had to negotiate any corruption. SMEs can do B2B business here without having to worry about these kinds of problems. So I would advise investors to not pay too much attention to what the media are saying when it comes to corruption as this is a macro-economic issue. Plus, we are seeing a change in people’s mentalities. There is a new generation coming from all social classes and that are coming together through the social media and are more demonstrating in the streets, asking for a change in politics. So things are also changing on a social point of view.”