Message of President

11/04/2006
Ernesto Moeri

Annual Report 2005; pag. 15
The Brazilian economy has been showing reasonable numbers; however, it still suffers from excess bureaucracy, a suffocating tax load, obsolete labor laws, and extremely high interest rates, besides an inefficient judicial system, which, instead of assuring citizens’ safety, leave opportunists free to act.

Due to these obstacles, Brazil lags behind other countries, such as China, Russia, and India, when it comes to attracting investors, and the advantages this huge country has to offer go unnoticed. The policies implemented by Minister Furlan and the efforts of the Ministry of Development, Industry, and Foreign Trade are promising, but it takes time to put the economy on the right track. Consequently, other countries attract deals that Brazil would be able to conclude.

Currently, the country’s hope seems to be focused on sustainable energy sources. The world is turning their eyes to Brazil and its huge potential as producer of alcohol and biodiesel from sugar cane and oleaginous plants. With its favorable climate and huge territory, Brazil is ahead of any other country in the world in terms of available land and ideal conditions to implement these programs successfully. However, it is necessary to bear in mind that such projects can only get off the ground with the right incentives, security, and access to credit.

Despite all obstacles, Brazil represents a large consumer market and offers innumerous opportunities, which make it still attractive to investors. Swiss companies established here for a long time go on with their activities in the country and believe in the future.

It is important to note that Swiss companies interested in investing in Brazil, must seek, above all, high-quality legal and business advice to avoid complications. This is one of our trade officers’ main responsibilities. In addition, they answer over 600 inquiries per year and give support to SMCs setting up operations in the country. The motivation of these SMSs to come to Brazil is the opportunity to participate in our Swiss pavilions in renowned fairs. In seven months, we organized three collective stands, in which Swiss companies could show their products and services to the Latin-American market. They were FIMAI (International Industrial Environment Fair), HOSPITALAR (Hospital Sector Fair), and CIOSP (International Odontology Congress).

Always seeking new opportunities, SWISSCAM has been supporting Brazilian companies who want to penetrate the European market through Switzerland. We assist Brazilian companies through identifying distribution channels and searching for potential customers and business partners, always making sure they have the necessary capacity to meet eventual future demands, and the stability and quality required by the Swiss market.

The annual fees paid by our members account for less than half of the Chambers’ total revenues. The largest part of our income is made up of fees charged on several services, such as answering inquiries, conducting research and market reviews, as well as organizing projects and events. Although the exchange rate is unfavorable, SWISSCAM’s budget is in good shape and we keep on attracting new memberships. Our office in Rio de Janeiro focuses on larger events, which we organize in partnership with other institutions, thus attracting a significantly higher number of participants.

After six years serving as president of SWISSCAM, I pass the responsibility on to my successor. It has really been a great pleasure and a big challenge to serve as president of SWISSCAM all these years. I would also like to thank SWISSCAM’s team, which has always worked with team-spirit, dynamism, and motivation. I will be glad if I can be of any assistance to the new board, to exchange ideas and contribute for SWISSCAM to keep growing as a reference in Brazil and abroad, through promoting integration and strengthening the relations between our countries, which are so different, but equally beloved by me.