FIAM 2009 – Business in the Amazon

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Right now, you need to start getting ready to visit FIAM 2009. November is at hand for those of you that need to plan an international trip, right? You may read more about the show at Suframa’s web site in Portuguese, English or Spanish here.

The show is sponsored by the SUFRAMA (Superintendence of Manaus Free Trade Zone), an independent institution linked to the Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade. It is part of the Brazilian government official event schedule, and is aimed at fostering economic, social, scientific and technological developments, in addition to sustainability proposals for the Amazon.

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Fiam 2008 was a great success – ©2009 Antonio Carlos Rix

FIAM 2009 will take place in the heart of the Amazon rainforest? Manaus. To help out I interviewed Mr. Jorge Vasques, responsible for the organization of FIAM and at present the manager of the “Nucleo de Promocao Comercial at Suframa” in Manaus.

Dear Mr. Vasques, thank you very much for granting us this special interview. First, why people should come to FIAM 2009?

Vasques: In all approximately 300 booths of both companies and government institutions will be exhibiting products and services. Also during the show a series of academic and scientific events will take place, business rounds and also tourism. So this is an exceptional time to come to Manaus and check all the potential and business opportunities offered in the Brazilian Amazon.

Besides exhibiting innovative products and services in areas such as the electronics, information-technologies, and automobile industries, as well as environmental services, FIAM 2009 will also include several international seminars to discuss strategic regional issues, as well as business and tourism in round-table sessions, projects rooms, scientific exhibitions, technically-oriented visits, among other activities, for both investors and the general public.

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Highend Thechnology all over – ©2009 Antonio Carlos Rix

Regarding the show itself and also accommodation in the city of Manaus, what can the exhibitor and the visitor expect?

Vasques: The attractions of the state of Amazonas are countless. Manaus is a city with almost two million inhabitants in the middle of the rain forest. Manaus has an excellent network of hotels of all categories and rates. Visitors may check Amazonastur website here. It offers all the necessary information.

What was the volume of business generated during the last fair?

Vasques: Fiam 2008 Business Rounds have generated something closed to US$ 10 million in business immediately, with excellent prospects for other major businesses over the medium and long term in the field of regional products such as herbal and fruit cosmetics derived from plants, flowers and fruits of region, including the already famous acai; craft pieces made from natural fibers, boxes for packing wine made from recycled wood fiber, seed and vegetable peelings. Moreover, companies in the Industrial Pole of Manaus also made great business, but these numbers are considered confidential by them.

Who should definitely come to visit or exhibit products and services at FIAM 2009?

Vasques: All entrepreneurs wishing to visit the event may contact the coordinators of the event via e-mail: fiam@suframa.gov.br . Only businesses located in one of nine states of the Brazilian Amazon (Acre, Amapa, Amazonas, Roraima, Rondonia, Tocantins, Maranhao, Para and Mato Grosso) may expose the International Fair of the Amazon. Visitors are all very well received, and on the 25th and 26th only special guests will have access to the exhibit. On the other two days 27th and 28th, the Fair will open to the public.

Why are so many companies attracted to Manaus?

Vasques: By granting tax incentives, areas for installation of plants have exceptionally low prices, good logistics, a nice city, safe and with good infrastructure, universities, research centers and a huge field for investment, with competitive advantages to meet the large Brazilian market, South American neighbors and other countries such as North America and Europe, great importers of our products. The 550 plants in operation meet more than $6 billion in total investments focused on production. Together, these companies still produce around 500 thousand direct and indirect jobs. In the area of bioindustry, the Center for Biotechnology of the Amazon (CBA) has been an important partner for the development of this segment, which is in the Amazonian biodiversity vast source of wealth. Thus, investing in the Industrial Pole of Manaus (PIM) is part of a regional development model of success that contributes to the preservation of the Amazon forest.

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Rural production attracts buyers from all over the world – ©2009 Antonio Carlos Rix

Is FIAM a doorway for companies interested in Brazil, how and why?

Vasques: The International Fair of the Amazon is the largest showcase of Amazon’s businesses. It is certainly an attractive alternative for companies to invest in Brazil, and for investors to have access to products manufactured in the region. Come to Manaus and we will be glad to welcome any visitor and provide at the very least, a great experience visiting Brazil and the Amazon region.

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You will feel welcome – ©2009 Antonio Carlos Rix

Very nice and what help foreign exhibitors and visitors may receive from Suframa?

Vasques: In addition to the information in our website by e-mail and telephone, the staff of the Center for Trade Promotion SUFRAMA is available to provide all information requested. These services will be available from now and throughout the event.

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