Brasil – Solid BRICs

Brasil is the first country of reference in the BRIC group of fast growing developing economies – together with Russia, China, and India, hold over twenty-five percent of the world’s land and forty percent of the world’s population. Recently, I was in a meeting with a global luxury retailer who referred to Brasil as unaffected by the global recession. Surely, no country is completely unaffected – though in relative terms, Brasil is experiencing a powerful convergence of forces – political stability, optimism, natural resources and enlightened corporate leadership that is unprecedented.


Sao Paulo - the largest and wealthiest city in Brasil, from the rooftop of Hotel Unique

Yesterday, a panel of Brasilian retail developers at the ICSC conference in Las Vegas presented their case for the great opportunities that abound in this country that is emerging from a long period of economic and political turmoil. Though there are effects of the global economy in play, there has been so much catching up to do that it is hard to feel the recession in play.  

Carbon-neutral corporate headquarters of a 4 billion dollar beauty products company

From The Economist “In some ways Brazil is the steadiest of the BRICs. Unlike China and Russia it is a full-blooded democracy; unlike India it has no serious disputes with its neighbors. It is the only BRIC without a nuclear bomb.” The Heritage Foundations’s Economic Freedom Index, which measures factors such as protection of property rights and free trade, ranks Brazil (“moderately free”) above the other BRICs (“mostly unfree”).



Team exercise break at the manufacturing facility

I had the opportunity of working with some of these retail companies over the past year, and I met business leaders who spoke of their increased alignment with the liberal democratic leadership of the country. I developed the deepest respect for the level of commitment to enlightened and sustainable business practices that far exceed any I have experienced. 


Oscar Niemeyer's cultural center - modern master architect

The cultural richness is vibrant, creative, modern, yet deeply connected to nature – which I discovered in a great variety of built environments – from stores, workplaces, cultural centers, and hotels. Watch Brasil go forward, into the future. I think it will be fascinating, and illuminating for us all.