How the Canadian Consul General in São Paulo helped strengthen CCBC

The Canadian Consul General in São Paulo, Stéphane Larue, says goodbye after six years in the city. Married to a Brazilian, he learned how to make feijoada and was fell in love with the pork sandwich from the traditional Estadão bar downtown. This proximity to the local culture was also reflected in his activities at the Consulate. In addition to the strong partnership with CCBC, Larue will leave other important legacies, such as his participation in the Chamber revitalization.

In 2014, a committee made up of associates, the consul and the CCBC chairman at the time, Esther Nunes (2013-2017), planned a series of changes that helped shape the institution into what it is today. One of the news was the hiring of a permanent executive with experience in the market and foreign trade. “Considering the alternate terms of office of the chairpersons, the idea was that the presence of this professional would reinforce the stability and continuity of the institution’s management,” explains Larue.

The committee also encouraged CCBC’s repositioning with the creation of sectoral committees and the hiring of a branding agency.

The relationship between the Chamber and the Consulate, which is reflected in a series of joint events, is a source of admiration among Canadian representatives in other countries. “I talk to colleagues from different consulates, and they don’t hold so many events with the local chambers of commerce, the distance is greater between them. Here in São Paulo our relationship is unique,” says the Consul General .

Partnerships range from attending events in Canada to meetings in several Brazilian cities, such as in roadshows, seminars, missions, and business roundtables. One of the most memorable occasions was in 2017, in Canada’s 150th anniversary activities. A great show was held with Brazilian and Canadian musicians at Ibirapuera Park, in São Paulo, as well as a tribute to Canada at the Gramado Film Festival.

The Consul’s farewell will also be the end of a three-decade diplomatic career. He plans to return to Canada, spend a few months in Ottawa, and settle in Montreal, which he believes to be a dynamic city with an important Brazilian community, friends, and great professional opportunities. “I will dedicate myself to commercial development, talent recruitment, and investment attraction activities,” he says.

This was Larue’s second visit to São Paulo. From 2001 to 2004, he served as an immigration program manager whose role was to oversee immigration and visa programs.

A special message to the next consul

Having held the position since 2013, Larue will end his mission in Brazil in September and will be replaced by Heather Cameron, currently a high commissioner in Ghana, with experience in Central America, the Middle East, and Africa.

Admiring the city’s cultural diversity, he suggests that the new consul enjoy “museums, concerts, exhibitions, and some of the best restaurants on the continent.” Regarding the Consulate work, Larue has the answer on the tip of his tongue. “My suggestion is that the new consul’s first visit should be at CCBC.”