By Alia Ponte | Translation: Edgar Lim
We will start with an introduction of the most important business city of South America: Sao Paulo. What is known as the biggest Brazilian city also goes by several other titles that go ‘under the radar’ by the masses, as exemplified by, the biggest “Japanese city” or the city that flaunts the “biggest Lebanese community outside of Lebanon”. Immigrants from all over the world can be found in this cosmopolitan city, which is also the meeting place where diverse nationals and people look for better business opportunities. This city’s diversity with these characteristics could not let its flame die down due to exponential statistics from the favorable, “Business World”.
Sao Paulo has a myriad of opportunities available for those faithful in their hopes of good business deals, either through fairs and trade shows or in several choices of goods and services. Some data on the city demonstrate its full potential as the business capital of Brazil, leaving to the other state capitals a small share, aggressively sought after. The numbers shown by Sao Paulo do not allow any doubt about the ability of the city to host events: one every six minutes. Hence, the city is famous for being “the city that never stops,” as the events hosted in the “Paulista” (derived from Sao Paulo) capital are booming, since trade shows, fairs and conventions in addition to shows, parties, meetings and ballads, totaling almost one hundred thousand a year.
The great trade fairs which are most relevant business deals are done happen in this city, with prominence going to the “Salão Internacional do Automóvel”(International Auto Show) – www.salaodoautomovel.com.br, an event traditionally performed in Parque do Anhembi; the “Expo Music” – www.expomusic.com.br, performed in Expo Center Norte; the “Salão de 2 Rodas”(Two Wheel Show) – www.salaoduasrodas.com.br, also performed in Parque do Anhembi; and “Sao Paulo Fashion Week” – www.saopaulofashionweek.com.br, performed in Pavilhão da Bienal do Ibirapuera, considered the major event in the Brazilian fashion business and of mega international prominence.
Mega events are also performed and bring great visibility to the city, generating millions of reais (Brazilian currency) in sales, specially to the service sector, such as “Grande Premio de Formula 1” – www.gpbrasil.com.br; the “Fenasoft” – www.fenasoft.com.br, one of the largest world fairs in information processing, and the “Mostra Internacional de Cinema.” Other events that attract huge attendance are the “Virada Cultural” (Cultural Changeover), which mobilizes the service sector and cultural affairs, the “Corrida de Sao Silvestre” (Sao Silvestre Marathon), globally famous sports event and the “Parada GLBT”, the largest gay parade in the world and one of the “tops 3” events in what refers to sales magnitude and attraction of international tourists.
One revealing fact of Sao Paulo, as a business magnet for meetings, is that 75% of the major Brazilian fairs happen in Sao Paulo soil. There are over 400k effective square meters of the area, with prominence to Parque do Anhembi, Expo Center Norte, the Centro de Convenções Rebouças, the ITM and the Centro de Convenções Imigrantes, among others. The business potential in Sao Paulo is revealed by the numbers shown in fairs: R$ 2.4 billion spent yearly, which is R$ 700 million in rental locations, R$ 700 million in service equipment and R$ 8 billion in travel, hospitality, air and ground transport expenses.
The city has an efficient network infrastructure that turns it into the leader in Latin America, and one of the best twenty cities in the world doing business deals, overtaking Madrid, Sidney and Athens. The huge number of hotels in the city is one great backing for major events. There are more than 42 thousand rooms available to tourists, while adding more than 33 thousand taxis, a fleet of 500 helicopters and over 200 heliports. Sao Paulo ranked second in numbers of private jets globally, and has two of the top busiest airports in the country: Congonhas, located downtown, and Cumbica, in Guarulhos, connecting more than 70 cities and 23 countries regularly through commercial flights.
For all that, Sao Paulo is considered by the magazine “Travel + Leisure,” one of the most prestigious print media publications on world travel, and as a city closest to being a “world capital” than any other “Latin America capital”, thanks to its mosaic of cultures and lifestyles with relevance in art, architecture, gastronomy and of course, business.
** Alia Ponte is a journalist, publicist and translator for many languages including Spanish, French and English. She is a native from Sao Paulo, Brazil and lives in Los Angeles, California.