It was a week of intense immersion into the Brazilian business culture and political environment. Brazil is currently the sixth largest economy in the world. It is anticipated to be the fifth largest by the end of 2012. There are many opportunities in Brazil for U.S. companies to invest and prosper. Depending on the statistics used, Brazil is either growing at the fastest or second fastest rate in the world. They will host the 2014 World Soccer Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics.
Dobson said that what he found most interesting were the parallels and contrasts to the United States economy. The current political leadership of Brazil believes the path to success for their nation rests on several key factors. Those are: lowering the effective tax rates on business and industry, reducing bureaucratic burdens on the same, energy self-sufficiency, attracting foreign investment in key initiatives, and improving aged infrastructure to support the country’s growth.
Dobson says the challenges for Brazil are great. They have a workforce that is not ready for 21st Century challenges. Their infrastructure is woefully inadequate. Political corruption can stand in the way of progress, and world perception is that Brazil hosts a third world economy. “Yet in spite of that,” Dobson indicates, “they move forward with a can-do attitude..”
He says they seek to empower businesses to help solve these dilemmas. They don’t believe the path to prosperity for all Brazilians lies within the government – it is in the citizenry, the private sector, and the effective use of resources in their Country that will keep them on track.
“Interestingly, they look to the United States for leadership on these issues,” Dobson indicated.
He said that quite often he was engaged with people who could quote the U.S. Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, or our concepts of individual liberty. So, he came back to the U.S. remembering that we do have our challenges – but refreshed knowing that those countries who desire prosperity do so trying to emulate the greatest country in the world – the United States.
“This trip reminds me of the need for your Chamber to remain strong in our advocacy on behalf of Northern Indiana businesses,” said Dobson. “It remains a part of our mission to create an atmosphere of prosperity in Kosciusko County.”
WKChamber must continue to monitor proposed legislation that impedes economic growth. WKChamber will work with our high quality educational institutions to train the next generation of workforce, and continue to embrace the can-do attitude that makes WKChamber one of the best chambers of commerce in Indiana.
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