A trade mission to Portugal, carried out by President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, was attended by the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (ApexBrasil) between the 23rd and 25th of April. The trip included a delegation of 75 Brazilian businessmen from sectors with high innovation potential, who participated in networking rounds, technical visits and the “Portugal-Brazil Business Forum: Partnerships for Innovation”.
Among all the announced novelties, stands out the opening of an ApexBrasil office in Portugal and the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the countries, which should ease the promotion and internationalization of startups and small and medium-sized companies. As a country that is extremely receptive to Brazilian brands, Portugal is now a priority market for Franchising Brasil — the result of a partnership between the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (ApexBrasil) and the Brazilian Franchising Association (ABF) — and the program’s actions.
Cristina Franco, Board President of ABF, participated in the mission and spoke with our communications team about the future and expectations concerning Brazilian franchises in the Portuguese market. Check out the interview in detail below:
FB: In general terms, what was the goal of the trade mission to Portugal, which gathered the President of the Republic and a delegation of 75 businessmen?
Cristina: The Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (ApexBrasil), with which ABF has an agreement signed for over 20 years, organized the delegation and invited us to participate in the mission, as it knows that Portugal is a target market for franchise exports.
FB: How was the Brazilian Franchising Association’s participation in the mission?
Cristina: Participating in this mission was extremely important for ABF, as Portugal is our main target market. During the mission, it was possible to expand the entity’s networking, drawing attention to our Franchising Brasil program, which has specific actions on Portuguese soil. It was also an opportunity to pay attention to the commercial relationships that arise and consolidate themselves to facilitate and expand our capacity to export Brazilian franchising brands.
FB: How do you evaluate the agreements signed by the two countries in the business field? How should this affect Brazilian companies?
Cristina: In the business field, I highlight the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between AICEP, the Portuguese counterpart of ApexBrasil, with which the Brazilian Agency will establish a partnership for the promotion and internationalization of startups and small and medium-sized companies, in addition to economic and commercial cooperation between countries of the Portuguese Speaking Countries Community (CPLP). Another point is the export promotion actions, which will undoubtedly increase the possibility of giving visibility to Brazilian franchises in Portugal and in the CPLP countries.
FB: And for franchises which already operate in Portugal or want to expand their operations to the European country?
Cristina: I believe the fact that the Brazilian government announced that it will open an ApexBrasil office in Lisbon is extremely valuable for these brands. It will facilitate a lot the support for the implementation and development of our brands in Portugal, for sure.
FB: What next steps or future trends should Brazilian franchisors who are looking to internationalize their brands keep an eye on?
Cristina: I believe that the internationalization process is a mature decision that Brazilian franchisors implement at a certain point in their strategic planning, equating cash, team, time and focus for this action. Once the decision is taken, every company must pay attention to the Franchising Brasil program, cross-referencing its target markets with those of the program, as well as the trade missions which ABF will participate in the target market of its interest.
About Franchising Brasil
Franchising Brasil is a joint project of the Brazilian Franchising Association (ABF) and the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (ApexBrasil), which aims to support the internationalization strategy of Brazilian franchise networks and their international trade promotion. The initiative was conceived to promote this recognized business model in the main international markets.