Dear Members and Friends,

Welcome to our February 2020 E-Newsletter.

February has been an extremely productive month for the Australia-Brazil Business Council board and its members.

Starting from the most recent, on 13 February, we partnered with the Australia-Latin America Business Council – ALABC, the Spanish Chamber of Commerce – La Camara, the Peruvian, Chilean and Mexican chambers of commerce to launch and host the first Ibero-American Business Networking Drinks of 2020, at the City Tattersalls Club, Sydney.

The event was a success with over 200 attendees amongst senior representatives of business working in Latin America, Spain and Australia and dignitaries such as Ambassadors and members of NSW Parliament.

The goal of the event was to kick start the year putting together in one room all members of the Latam business community discussing their views and projects for 2020, growing relationships between Australia and Latin America and continuing to build on collaboration between the two regions.

Our board meets monthly and over the last two encounters of 2020 we have been organising the rest of the activities for the year, including the upcoming 75th anniversary celebrations of diplomatic relations between Australia and Brazil, in April and an economic forum in the second semester.

With the support of the Brazilian Embassy, we will be hosting an event in Canberra to celebrate the longevity of the relations Australia-Brazil.

Brazil is one of Australia’s largest trading partners in Latin America, with a two-way trade of $3,590 billion in 2018.

Opportunities exist in Brazil for increased Australian trade and investment in areas such as aerospace, information technology, biotechnology, transportation and logistics, banking and insurance, mining, water and waste-water management, oil and gas, renewable energy, education, tropical medicine, science and technology, agribusiness, retail, tourism and infrastructure.

We have also been helping promoting the Jorge Benjor show, to occur on 4 March, at Luna Park, Sydney.

Jorge Benjor is an real icon of Brazilian popular music since the 1980’s with a style that fuses samba, funk, rock and bossa nova with lyrics that blend humour and satire. It is a true honour to have him in Australia with us.

We are also pleased to help diffusing and sharing with you the Brazilian Embassy in Canberra Newsletter which brings every month fresh updates about the economic scenario in Brazil, as relevant to Australia.

Members and Partners

After a successful meeting two weeks ago, we renewed our partnership with main sponsor Latam Airlines.

Latam has been a tremendous support to our association and members since its inception and we are very excited and honoured with the continuous vote and support.

We have welcomed new SME member Flamsteed Equipment Pty Ltd an earth moving and mining equipment dealer, located in Toowoomba, Queensland. They source and sell high quality used equipment worldwide. We are very excited to partner with Flamsteed Equipment and apply our resources to connect them with Brazil potential buyers and partners.

We also welcomed and appreciated a number of members renewing their membership with us.

Thank you.

Carnaval Update

We could not get passed the news that Carnaval is just around the corner.

The dates in Brazil change every year depending on the catholic church’s choice for the Easter holidays in accordance with seasons’ and moon’s calendar each year.

This year, the samba schools in Sao Paulo will parade on 21st and 22nd February (Friday and Saturday), and in Rio on 23rd and 24th February (Sunday and Monday). Monday, Tuesday and Ash Wednesday (24 to 26th Feb) are public holidays in Brazil and many people and businesses opt to extend it until the end of that week.

Hence, if you are planning to get anything important done sooner rather than later in Brazil, we recommend to act quickly before the country stops to showcase one of the seven wonders of the world, our magnificent samba schools.

Carnaval and commercial activities

The samba schools and the carnival started to become an important commercial activity in the 1960s.

Entrepreneurs and other legal business activities began to invest in the cultural tradition. The City Hall of Rio de Janeiro started to put bleachers and charge admission to see the parade. In São Paulo, there was also the development of the parade of samba schools from that period.

In 1984, the Passarela do Samba (samba arena), or Sambódromo, was created in Rio de Janeiro. With an architectural design by Oscar Niemeyer, the building became one of the main symbols of Brazilian Carnival. The Sambódromo hosts the parades of the samba schools in Rio de Janeiro.

Carnival, in addition to being a Brazilian cultural tradition, has become a lucrative business in the tourism and entertainment industry. Millions of tourists flock to the country at the time of the festival, and billions of reais are spent on the production and consumption of this cultural commodity.

Businesses in the hotel services, transportation and food sectors are the biggest beneficiaries.

Carnaval should not definitely be overlooked when it comes to culture, leisure but also strategizing a marketing campaign or even a market entry in Brazil.

Many large and medium local companies and multinationals participate in the pool of sponsors and supporters of the event each year.

For further reading about Carnaval click here.

A word of advice for new businesses

I have been a practising commercial and corporate lawyer since 1995 and run a busy law firm in Sydney, Oceania Legal, helping amongst others, enterprises establishing and growing operations in Australia and in Brazil.

I am very pleased to see the high level of interest of businesses in the Brazilian and Australian markets, and to note that this is a growing and forward trend.

With that in view, a quick word of advice for those wanting to start a business in Australia.

Please take your time to observe and absorb local business culture. Seek to know and follow the rules and laws that apply to your line of business without short cuts. It is a game of humbleness, observation and adjustment to what all you have known and learnt from your place of origin.

Also, be patient and diligent choosing your local partners. Surround yourself with the right people who will help your business move forward.

Seek advice from well-established licensed professionals before making rushed decisions. And don’t sign documents without having a full understanding of the content and implications. In doubt, have them translated to your language prior to signing. Australia has a high rate of contractual enforcement and a strong legal system that supports it.

Any doubt, seek professional advice, always.

 A wrap

I would like to express my gratitude, respect and admiration for all 10 members of our board: http://old.aubrbc.orgr/board-and-executive-members/

Our board members and advisers are responsible for the overall management, compliance and control of the business and affairs of our organisation, providing strategic direction, effective governance and leadership.

They have worked hard, always passionately committed to the cause, most on a voluntary basis and, despite their busy work and family schedules, manage to put together all the above activities, content and everything else that goes on behind the scenes of a not-for-profit association.

I would also like to welcome Renata Reis to our team, she is managing director of Collab360 Marketing (www.collab360marketing.com) who has done exceptional work for our council on a pro bono basis. We are delighted with her arrival and thank her for the wit that she has brought to the table so far.

As you can see, we have some very exciting events planned for this year and we encourage all to attend and continue growing your business networking and connections with Australia and Brazil.

Please feel free to share this newsletter with your associates and friends and help us spreading the word about what the Australia-Brazil Business Council is all about.

Wishing everyone a very happy Carnaval time and New 2020 Year.

Yours sincerely,

Flavia Canelhas Ribeiro de Souza


  • SILVA, Daniel Neves. “History of Carnival in Brazil”
  • Austrade website
  • DFAT website