Brazil should be concerned with the message it sends to the world, in addition to the definition of regional targets for FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) and trade (link to previous post here). While some countries are stereotyped and a few others are not, many of them invest in very-focused, specific messages that they deliver to the world. An ordinary marketing expression applied to Brazil would be: The country needs to identify its brand and communicate it to global markets in order to facilitate business. Table 1 presents a simplified list of general strenghts and qualities associated with selected countries. From an international trade perspective, Brazil sends no clear message to investors worldwide.
||Business strengths and messages associated with to country
||IT services, software programming, spiritual life
||Engineering, precision, rigor
||High technology, R&D, consumer electronics
||Innovation, capitalism, multinationals, top level universities, technology
||Think-tanks, English language, Oxbridge, tradition, royalty, stability
||Aerospace technology, wines, fashion, sophistication, gastronomy,
||Industry, multinationals, low-cost manufacturing
||Fashion, design, arts, gastronomy, history
||Rain forest, exotic places.
Table 1: Messages delivered by several countries
An interesting free report about country-level brands can be downloaded for free from FutureBrand (a consultancy) website. The material presents major points about the messages delivered by several countries and points out that Latin America has potential for strong country brands but currenly no country in the region developed a strong brand worldwide.
As usual, a question to my demanding readers: Do you know a country that positively changed its message over time?
Link to Country Brand Image report developed by FutureBrand here
Link to image of flags here
Image of country ranking taken from FutureBrand´s Country Brand Index 2014-2015.
The economic science has taught that resources are finite. Therefore, prioritization is the name of the game for institutions, managers and even countries. Lourdes Casanova and Julian Kassum, in their great book “The Political Economy of an Emerging Global Power – In Search of the Brazil Dream” address the unfinished debate about the priorities of Brazilian foreign policy. The authors argue that Brazil needs to find its role on the global stage. Which regions or countries should Brazil focus its efforts to increase trade and invest in order to make a difference in the global arena?. As Prof Casanova and Mr. Kassum clearly puts: “Where Brazil should go?” The many geographical options include, but are not limited to, Brazil´s own neighbors – Latin America, Brazil´s traditional commercial partners – the US and EU, Brazil´s newest trade partner – China, other BRIC countries – Russia and India, and the newest trade frontier – Africa. Table 1 presents a brief, unilateral and unfinished comparison between the pros and cons for each option. As usual, this blogger kindly accepts any comments and criticism.
||Size of Brazilian economy compared to the economies of other countries; long history of intraregion trade; peaceful frontiers
||Diminishing intraregion trade over time, growing populism in the region; situation of Venezuela and Argentina
||Size of US domestic market; US as a source of technology and innovation
||Subsidies to local producers of steel and ethanol, among other items
||Size of EU markets, strong presence in LatAm of EU multinationals from Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Sweden
||Subsidies to many agricultural products
||Size of Chinese domestic market
||Possible deceleration of chinese economy, very large CAGE distance
|Other BRIC economies: Russia and India
||Size of market, alternative sources of technology (aerospace, computer science)
||Non-tariff trade barriers, large CAGE distance, different political agenda
||Potential trade frontier with the political and economic stabilization of the continent; Brazil can be a source of technology and high-value services (expertise in large infrastructure projects, project management); strong cultural ties between Africa and Brazil
||Lack of knowledge of local markets, obscure regulations
Table 1: Brazil´s geographical options for investment and international trade
The crossroad that Brazil currently faces is not uncommon because many other countries had to make difficult decisions in the past. Japan became an industrialized country during the last century because it reshaped its foreign policy and South Korea is currently a rich country because invested heavily in education. It´s time for the latin giant to make choices. Brazil needs a plan to improve its position in the world and a strategy that answers a critical question: Where Brazil should go?
As usual, I leave a question to the followers of this blog: Do you know any other country that survived a difficult scenario and succeeded after making hard choices?
Source of image of “International Trade” here; source of image of Brazil here