Jairo Kerr Azevedo, Director, Medical Division, Carl Zeiss do Brasil Ltda.
This article was originally published on the May/June ABCC Newsletter.
Anna White, Director ABCC Queensland
One of the great success stories in the Australia-Brazil bilateral relationship – international education and training – was the theme of the ABCC’s latest Business Briefing and Networking event in Brisbane in March. Study Queensland generously hosted the event and the then Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk delivered the key note address highlighting the importance of international education and training to Queensland. With over 12,000 Brazilians currently studying in Queensland, the Lord Mayor emphasised the role that international education experiences can play in building lasting relationships with investors and entrepreneurs of the future.
Brisbane City Council has introduced a range of measures to support international education and training including appointing International Student Ambassadors and expanding its internship programs to create greater opportunities for international students. In 2015, the Council reduced infrastructure charges for certain student accommodation developments to encourage greater provision across the city.
After hearing from Lord Mayor Quirk, the ABCC was delighted to be joined by a panel of experts comprising Shannon Willoughby, Executive Director of Study Queensland, Professor Stuart Bunn from Griffith University, Professor Asantha Goonetilek from QUT and Professor Gary Schenk from the University of Queensland. Honorary Consul of Brazil in Queensland, Valmor Morais, also shared his reflections throughout the panel discussion.
The panel shared their experience and insights into the strategic research partnerships which have been established between Australian and Brazilian universities in recent years since the conclusion of the Science Without Borders program in late 2015. Some partnerships have been facilitated through the Program of Internationalization of Higher Education – or “PRINT” – which was launched in 2018 by the Brazilian Federal Agency for Support and Evaluation of Graduate Education (CAPES) with a focus on the two-way movement of postgraduate students. Others have developed through the targeted coordination of joint efforts here and in Brazil.
While Brazilian universities have traditionally looked north to their American counterparts to collaborate on research projects, they are increasingly engaging with Australian institutions given the similar climate, environment and health impacts across the two countries. The Panel identified key growth areas in which Australian universities could further promote their expertise to Brazilian universities and direct to Brazilian governments and agencies, including water management, environmental management, resource management, biomass conversion and sustainable farming (particularly cattle breeding).
Access to government grants to support bilateral research projects in Australia is limited and there appears to be scope for alternative options to be explored, such as leveraged funding models. There also appears to be scope to expand internship programs which would enhance and deepen each student’s international experience.
Brisbane’s liveability and relaxed lifestyle hold great appeal to Brazilian students. Outside of structured university programs, student support services such as The Brisbane Study Hub and The Gold Coast Student Hub provided by Study Queensland and Study Gold Coast respectively provide essential services to Brazilian international students, particularly those undertaking English language courses.
With a move to increasingly targeted and specialised partnerships and a strong focus on academic performance, opportunities for Brazilian post-graduate students will continue to strengthen in Australia.
This article was originally published on the May/June ABCC Newsletter.
From your airplane window you begin to contemplate what it looks like to be a green ocean. You can then identify water cutting through the forest. It takes almost 7 million square kilometres throughout nine South American countries: Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana. The Amazon has the greatest biodiversity in a rain forest in the world and it attracts tourists from all over the world.
Manaus is the capital of the Amazon State is also called Paris of the Tropics, because of its intense modernisation during the Rubber Boom and the beautiful buildings built from materials imported from Europe. It is also the natural entrance for the people who want to visit the forest.
The iconic Amazon Theatre is a place not to be missed. This beautiful theatre was build between 1884 and 1896 at the height of the rubber boom, using European designers and decorators and raw materials and in the area.
Another must see is Ponta Negra Beach. Recent work has been done alongside its shoreline and it is a great place for a stroll where you will find many local delicacies such as acai and tacaca, a variety of soup cooked with tucupi, dried shrimp, cassava gum and jambu leaves. amongst other local delicacies. The wide river is very beautiful and perfect for a swim.
From there, you can make your way to the majestic Hotel Tropical, famous world wide for its rich timber work, vast corredors, wave swimming pool and a mini zoo, home to animals such as monkeys and “onca pintada”.
Boats are the main transportation to the rainforest hotels and to see the meeting of waters between Negro and Solimoes rivers, forming one of the largest rivers in the world: the Amazon. The two different colour waters meet and only mix kilometres later. One is darker tea colour tone and the other a colder brown looking one. This is a true nature spectacular site to see.
Whether your prefer to check out the historical buildings or to enjoy swimming with dolphins in the river, the impact of the abundance of water and green will forever stay with you forever.
This article was originally published on the May/June ABCC Newsletter.
Sérgio E. Moreira Lima, Ambassador of Brazil
The connections between the two giant territories of the South provide a remarkable foundation for understanding and facing our common contemporary challenges in conserving our rich and unique heritage and biodiversity. Australia and Brazil should further explore these links in the pursuit of sustainable development to ensure the wellbeing of present and future generations. It is therefore a reason to celebrate the efforts by the two countries to enhance their collaboration in science and technology. Both governments recently concluded a general agreement on the subject, which is expected to be in force in 2019. On its turn, CSIRO and EMBRAPA are finalizing an important agreement on R&D cooperation. These agreements will contribute to institutionalize and promote scientific cooperation in key economic areas, such as agriculture technics and methods of production. They will also assist both countries to fulfil their national and international responsibilities in food security and environmental sustainability.
2. CSIRO - Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation – is Australia's national science research agency responsible for overcoming the country’s greatest challenges using innovative science and technology. EMBRAPA - The Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation - aims at establishing a model of tropical agriculture and livestock to overcome the barriers that limited the production of food, fibre and fuel in our country. It has played a pivotal role in making Brazil - with its over 210 million inhabitants - not only self-sufficient in agriculture production but also a breadbasket of the world and an important contributor to global food security. Brazilian agriculture is one of the most efficient and sustainable in the planet. Brazil has incorporated a wide area of formerly degraded Cerrado lands, a savannah like biome, into our production systems; a region that now accounts for nearly 50% of our grain production. We have quadrupled the beef and pork supply and increased the poultry output 22-fold. These achievements have moved the country from the condition of basic food importer to one of the world's largest food producers and exporters.
3. The cooperation between Australia and Brazil is becoming more relevant and less fragmented. Brazilian scientists are in CSIRO and in other Australian research centres and Universities collaborating with their Australian peers. Yet much remains to be done in order to fully institutionalize bilateral cooperation. That is exactly the purpose of the EMBRAPA-CSIRO MOU. Besides, it aims at structuring, broadening and giving focus to Australia and Brazil partnership in agriculture and biotechnology. While growth in demand for food, feed, fuel and fibres presents significant opportunities for agriculture, our research institutions must provide the know-how to overcome challenges such as increasing productivity growth, enhancing environmental performance and adaptation to climate change, and improving resilience of farm households to market shocks brought on by weather conditions and other unforeseen circumstances. Farmers will have to adapt to the new instruments of the digital age. But governmental policies and research institutions must assist them in the process by creating incentives to the development of the better and more sustainable ways for agriculture production, which involves soil, seeds, pollinisers, production, rational use of water, smart management of crops, etc. Brazilian scientists collaborate with Australians in a project to identify the reduction of the population of bees worldwide and their
impact on agriculture. This is just one example of the activities of global impact in which Brazil and Australian experts are working side by side to increase farm sustainability, productivity, resilience and overall profitability.
4. In 2018, Brazil and Australia signed an MOU on the management of water resources. Australia provides an encouraging example of the use of desalination in its major cities around the country from Sydney to Perth. This is another area in which joint research can bring important solutions for both countries as they face the challenge of ensuring adequate water supply in hinterland regions where hydric resources are scarce. Brazil is keen to collaborate on the development of innovative and affordable technics that enable the desalination of salty waters sourced from artesian wells, especially in the northeast of the country, where a new and promising agricultural frontier can be opened.
5. About one hundred Australian companies are established in Brazil. Traditionally, mining has been the sector which has attracted most investments in partnership with Brazilian firms. In the last decade, Brazilian companies have increased investments in Australia, not only in mining but mainly in animal protein processing. JBS Australia has become the largest meat processing company in this country with a network of facilities from Queensland to Tasmania. It employs over 12,000 people across Australia and, besides maintaining its market shares, it exports from here quality products to over 80 countries.
6. This month during the Avalon Air show, an event that promoted the development of the aeronautical industry in the region, Embraer celebrated its 40 year presence in Australasia showcasing two of its most sold aircraft in the world, the Phenon 300 E and the Legacy 500 Executive jets. There are 34 Embraer aircraft that fly in the region, of which 25 are commercial aircraft and 9 are executive jets. Embraer has Authorized Service Centers located in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth. Embraer has changed the way to travel in Brazil and it is looking forward to expanding its presence in the Australian market with its new family of modern regional airplanes as well as new defence equipment, such as the KC 390 - a new generation of multimission transport aircraft. Embraer presence in Australia is a reason of pride for the Brazilian community and it is an encouraging signal of the enormous potential for trade in goods and services between the two great nations and the region as a whole. The Chambers of Commerce and the Business Council have a role in enhancing the possibilities for promoting exports of airspace equipment to Australia and strengthening regional aviation. In Melbourne during the week of the Avalon Airshow, I had the pleasure of meeting the Governor of Victoria and also attending a social gathering organized by ABCC with its local members and the Brazilian community.
7. The latest figures for Brazil and Australia bilateral trade in the year 2018 shows an overall trade of US$ 1.6 billion, with a significant surplus for the Australian side. Yet the numbers barely reflect the enormous potential for a significant expansion of both flows of exports and imports which might be more compatible with the size of both countries’ economies. In order to help to promote the role of the chambers, I participated in February in events organized by the Australia Brazil Business Council in Sydney and by the Australian Latin America Business Council (ALABAC). Brazil and Australia are considering negotiating agreements to prevent double taxation and to facilitate trade between the two countries. At the moment, APEX, the Brazilian Agency for Exports and Investment, is requesting Brazilian companies and exporters to provide information on trade
barriers which might improve the intelligence and the assessment of prevailing conditions for trade in goods and services between Brazil and other countries, including Australia. With the support of AABC and other relevant organizations, we hope this mapping of perceived barriers will assist us to focus our attention where it is most needed, helping to increase trade and investment between the two countries.
8. The assistance and advice of the Australian Brazilian Chamber of Commerce and its members will be invaluable to our common effort to improve current trade and investments as well as on bilateral cooperation. Together we will be able to create the necessary conditions to significantly improve economic relations between the two countries and raise science and technology cooperation to a new level.
This article was originally published on the May/June ABCC Newsletter.
ABCC member, Unik Vision, organises trade missions and special events to showcase the excellence on offer in Brazil. In September 2019, Unik Vision is coordinating a Brazilian Modernism Architecture Tour aimed at architects, engineers, designers and anyone interested in Modernism and the work of Oscar Niemeyer.
Unik Vision has appointed Brazilian architect, Simone Bigoto, to be the Ambassador for this upcoming tour. Simone recently caught up with the ABCC to explain her experience working with the famous Australian architect Harry Seidler in Australia and her connection with Oscar Niemeyer in Brazil which gives her a unique perspective on Modernism architecture across the two countries.
Left to right: Val Oscroft, Monica Rodrigues Sweeney, Penelope Seidler, Simone Bigoto, Dani Oliver, Richardo Bigoto
Australia and Brazil have a long history of connecting across different sectors, including architecture. It is an honour to be chosen as the Ambassador of the Unik Architecture Tour.
My relationship with both countries began 17 years ago when I first lived in Australia. I came to Sydney at the start of 2002 after having completed a Bachelor in Architecture at Mackenzie University – Sao Paulo. I came to Sydney to study a Post Graduate Course in Stage Design, because dance and architecture are two arts that have been part of my life since I was 14 years old.
During this time, I was preparing myself for a Business and English course at UNSW to get into the Scenography course I had planned and I applied for a job as an Architect which started my work with one of my mentors: Harry Seidler. It was a wonderful experience for me to have worked with Harry Seidler and all his team on my journey. After months working closely with him and his team, at the end of 2002 I decided to come back to Brazil to get married. As soon as Harry knew that, he kindly tried to convince me the opposite and asked me to stay in Sydney to continue working at his office but at that moment the better decision for me was to return to my country.
Before I left his office, Harry introduced me to his great friend Oscar Niemeyer. It was the most wonderful surprise that a young Brazilian architect like me could have! In 2003 just a couple of weeks before I get married I had the honour of meeting the genius Oscar at his own practice in Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro.
The connection between me and both genius architects never stopped even after I started my own architecture office in Sao Paulo in 2003... and here I am again, back in Sydney with my husband, Ricardo and my 2 children, Gustavo an eleven year old boy and Isadora, a ten year old girl. We all moved in February last year and I have been working in the architecture field in Sydney since April 2018.
As 2018 drew to a close, so too did Ambassador Manual Innocencio de Lacerda Santos Júnior’s post to Australia. The ABCC recently caught up with Ambassador Santos to ask about his Australian experience and what’s ahead for the future.
1. When did your Australian post commence and where had you been based prior to coming to Australia?
I arrived in Canberra on January 6th, 2016, and presented my Credentials to the Governor General on February 24th of the same year. I was posted before as Ambassador to São Tomé and Príncipe (2006-2009) and to Indonesia (2009-2011), and as Consul General in Faro, Portugal (2011-2015).
In my diplomatic carrier, which I started in 1974, I have been posted in Bonn, Prague, Baghdad, Bonn again, and Toronto.
2. What were the highlights of your Australian post?
Among the many important developments for the bilateral relationship during my tenure in Canberra, I would certainly include:
the two visits of the Governor-General to Brazil, in 2016, for the Olympics and the Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro;
the visits of different ministers from both sides, including the visit of the Brazilian Minister for Tourism and the visits of the Australian Ministers for Trade and for Agriculture; and
In 2017, a mission to Brazil from the Australian Parliament.
At a more technical level, I should also mention missions to Australia carried out by experts from our Ministries for Agriculture, to learn more about the Australian legislation on pesticides, and for Heath, to exchange experiences in the area of E-health, among others.
I would especially like to highlight the signing of the bilateral agreement on cooperation in the areas of Science, Technology and Innovation, which opens important avenues to strengthen even more the important links we already have in this area.
Finally, I cannot leave without mention the significant increase in the bilateral investment and trade flows. During my time in Canberra, Brazil has become the main Australian trade partner in Latin America.
3. What industry sectors were a particular focus in the bilateral relationship during your time here?
Among others, I would like to underscore the strong focus given to the education sector. Brazil is the eighth country of origin of foreign students in Australia, with more than 30 thousand enrolments per year. I worked hard to ensure that our respective institutions, especially our universities, can work together not only for sending students to each other but also to develop joint research and development projects. The more than 100 agreements already in place between our universities constitute an incredible asset that we need to cultivate.
4. What industry sectors hold particular promise over the coming years for the Australia-Brazil relationship?
It follows naturally from what I said before that the sectors of education, science and technology would continue to be some of the most promising for the continuous deepening of the Brazil-Australia relationship. I believe is also important to build on the initiatives already developed in the fields of agriculture and health, where we have a lot to learn from each other. Equally, the implementation of the MoU on cooperation in the field water management, signed between the agencies of our two countries in the first semester of 2018 holds significant promise.
5. How is the new Bolsonaro government likely to affect the Australia-Brazil relationship?
I am convinced that the new Government will work further towards the full exploration of the enormous potential of cooperation between our two countries. We must not forget that Captain Arthur Phillip spoke Portuguese fluently, having sailed with the Portuguese Royal Navy for many years. Because of his close friendship with the Portuguese Vice-Roy in Rio de Janeiro, in 1788, the officers and crew of the First Fleet were allowed to disembark and mingled with the locals in Rio for a month. When they sailed on, they filled their boats with what they thought was rum, but was actually cachaça, our sugarcane distillate. Australia´s founding was toasted with cachaça – that is a VERY strong link…
6. What will you miss about Australia?
Now, that is a very difficult question… Just about everything: the excellent wine, the fantastic food (kangaroo steaks are right up at the top), the informality and keen sense of humour of the Australians, which is very similar to the Brazilian posture towards life, and, last but not least, the great friends I have made there.
7. Where are you moving to next?
God knows… I will probably be assuming a position in our Ministry of External Relations, as soon as the new Government has taken office.
Dear ABCC members,
There’s no doubt that these are tumultuous political times globally, but especially in Australia and Brazil. History would say Australia’s economic performance seems little affected by what Prime Minister holds office year to year – although it upsets the party faithful no end when PM’s are handed early retirement by their colleagues. In Brazil, after the first positive year of economic growth after 2 years of contraction, the economic future is very much linked to the politics of the recent general election.
Through these politically choppy waters which our members, their companies, and our diplomatic and trade staff have to navigate, the Australia Brazil Chamber of Commerce’s raison d'être seems to me to be more important than ever. In such volatile times, in which the best business decisions are needed to ensure survival, the ABCC is a safe harbour in which members can share others’ experiences and views before making those difficult business decisions.
The ABCC’s primary objective is to connect and support businesses and business people in both countries with what they need so that their businesses end up being stronger and more successful than if they were not members of the ABCC. To achieve this objective, the ABCC needs to be financially stable and lead selflessly by professionals who can both understand and help solve member needs.
I am pleased to say that 2017/2018 s a year of financial stability and growth for the ABCC and most pleasingly a year during which we able to retain and attract amazing talent to the ABCC Board right across Australia.
High profile events throughout the year including; the September 2017 World Chambers Conference, the 2017 Christmas Party, the farewell reception in October 2017 for 25 university leaders from Brazil visiting Australia under the ABRUEM delegation (Associacao Brasileira dos Reitores das Universidades Estaduais e Municipais) and a number of cocktail events and business briefings with our Australian Ambassador to Brazil, His Excellency Ambassador John Richardson, Brazil’s Ambassador to Australia, His Excellency Ambassador Manuel Innocencio Santos and Australia’s Senior Trade Commissioner to Brazil, Mr Greg Wallis, were all very well attended by members and guests.
The higher profile events were interspersed with our ever-popular Mix@6 in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane which continue to prove to be a relaxed way for members and friends to connect in a social environment on a regular basis. Our co-chamber associations and events have also been a really great way to share diversity of views and cultures amongst business colleagues working in other countries and parts of the world.
We continued to publish our popular newsletter, Boletim Brazil, which during the course of the year published high quality self-sourced material on many legal, commercial and political issues to do with doing business between Australia and Brazil. None of the above achievements would be possible without the amazing energy and commitment of my fellow directors. Each of them commits their time and effort to the success of the ABCC totally voluntarily. Without that commitment and their energy, the great things that have been achieved during the last 12 months would not have been anywhere near possible and for that I thank them most sincerely.
Finally, it has been a great honour to serve a third year as ABCC President, I take great satisfaction in the successes achieved this year and very much look forward to working with the ABCC in the years to come as we deliver on our vision of creating Australia’s pre-eminent business chamber serving the exciting Latin America market.
The end of 2018 with it's new diplomatic appointments and the ABCC welcomes His Excellency Ambassador Sérgio Eduardo Moreira Lima who recently commenced his post to Australia and His Excellency Ambassador Timothy Kane who is now based in Brasilia. I’d also like to take this opportunity to acknowledge and thank Ambassador Santos and Ambassador Richardson for their support and commitment during their posts to Australia and Brazil respectively.
Australian Brazil Chamber of Commerce
This is a modified version of the report delivered at the ABCC’s AGM on 25 October 2018, by Rob Grant, ABCC President.