Brazilian Week CCBC Online Festival brought to Canadians samples of culture and the yellow-green way of doing business
By Estela Cangerana
During 20 online sessions open to the public, which addressed different topics, with 70 invited speakers and more than 200 free contents on the website, the 1st edition of the Brazilian Week CCBC Online Festival brought to the Canadian audience a bit of the Brazilian essence divided into three thematic axes: innovation, business opportunities and culture. The event, which celebrated the 198 years of Independence of the Country, on September 7, 1822, took place from the 7th to 11th, an initiative of CCBC, with the support of the Embassy of Brazil in Canada, Brazilian Consulates in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver, in addition to other partners and the sponsorship of Air Canada.
For the first time the date was celebrated with a virtual event of approximation between the two countries, due to the restrictions caused by the pandemic of the new coronavirus. The physical distance, however, did not prevent a great gathering, with massive adherence from the public attending debates, presentations and contents of the highest quality and online.
“This event has become even more important in this time of isolation. In July we showed Canada to Brazilians during the Canada Day CCBC Online Festival, now it was the time to show Brazil to Canadians. And technology is allowing us to do that. I hope these are the first of several events together”, said the President of CCBC Paulo Perrotti during the festival opening virtual cocktail.
The session was also attended by the Ambassador of Brazil in Canada, Pedro Henrique Lopes Borio, the Canadian Ambassador to Brazil, Jennifer May, the parliamentary secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Canada, Robert Oliphant, the Director of Institutional Relations of CCBC and festival curator, Paulo de Castro Reis, and the General Manager of Air Canada in Brazil, Giancarlo Takegawa. The Canadian parliament member, Julie Dzerowicz, who could not be live, sent a recorded message. Each guest how important the approximation between the two countries is and the huge range of business possibilites between Brazil and Canada.
Opportunities on the radar
Within the webinars schedule aimed at discussing the economic-commercial field, the agenda included the presentation of trends in the Brazilian market, the largest in Latin America and one of the most relevant consumer markets in the world. Considering only the highest income portion of the population, the so-called classes A and B, there are more than 21 million people, according to a survey of Banco Bradesco, based on data from the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) of 2017. This is an audience able to buy even in periods of oscillations and crises, and which reacts positively to the offer of premium or gourmet products, for example. Another good opportunity may be in the franchise market, a sector with solid growth in Brazil, and which moved R$ 187 billion in 2019 (equivalent to about CAD$ 47 billion).
In addition to consumption, a developing country with large dimensions like Brazil reserves good opportunities in several other sectors. The more than 5.5 thousand Brazilian cities are a potential market for innovative solutions on the way to becoming smart cities, for example. There is also a broad field of possibilities for financial investments and infrastructure works, not to mention the long tradition of bilateral relations in areas such as mining. This last activity even had an exclusive session to discuss its female participation.
Within the business topic, the Brazilian Week sessions also addressed the creative economy, sustainability, technology and entrepreneurship.
As well as in Canada, one of the most relevant characteristics of Brazil is diversity, whether for their regions, population or their plural culture. This aspect is also present in innovation. Throughout the country, different hubs stimulate a rich production of innovative solutions, with new business models in fertile ecosystems in various sectors. All this diversity of Brazilian innovation was presented to Canadians in several webinars.
One of the highlights, and perhaps the best known business and research center in the country, São Paulo had a special session. The State offers a rich and dynamic market, structured with technology parks, incubators, accelerators, state-of-the-art universities and institutions to support entrepreneurship, starting with its capital, one of the largest and most important cities in the world. This city is also where the São Paulo Tech Week takes place, an event of technology and innovation of international proportions.
The diversity of Brazil innovative culture is also expressed in many sectors. Agritechs, biotechs, fintechs, edtechs, AI startups: the variety of promising business is great. Among them, research and development for a more sustainable agri-food production and cooperation in the health area were among the topics addressed with great success by the Brazilian Week.
As it could not be missing in a celebration of Brazil, the rich culture of the country really attracted the attention of Canadians during the Festival. The unique gastronomy was present in sessions that revealed the typical flavors in food and beverages, such as the famous cachaça. National literature was represented in a debate that recalled the 100th birth anniversary of one of the 20th century icon authors: Clarice Lispector. The internationally recognized Brazilian music had two exclusive sessions.
Finally, the cultural program of the event also presented the multiple faces of tourism in the country from the Canadian perspective and the experience of living in Brazil.
To learn more:
Watch the recordings of all sessions of the Brazilian Week CCBC Online Festival and access over 200 free contents at https://ccbc.org.br/brazilianweek/