At a Major Business Congress Held in Florianopolis (Santa Catarina, Brazil) the Federation of Business Associations of Santa Catarina (FACISC) focused on how to resolve the current and future economic development challenges facing their country in order to achieve “the Brazil we want”.

Peter Wallis, President and CEO of the Van Horne Institute of Calgary, challenged the Congress to develop Brazil’s export capabilities and offered examples of how the Calgary Region has created a high level of expertise in supply chain, logistics, transportation and warehousing for that purpose.

Linda Lucas, President of ELLE and Associates, also challenged the women delegates to take their place as equal partners in business and leadership roles. Her presentation entitled, Empowering Women: Building Nations, drew on Linda’s experiences as a business leader in Calgary and her role as leader in the Van Horne Institute’s recent Women in Supply Chain (WISC) initiative.

Wallis’ presentation was followed by the signing of an Agreement between the Institute and FACISC. The Agreement included the development of exchange and training programs between Santa Catarina and the Calgary Region in the area of supply chain management. In addition, an Agreement was signed between Mount Royal University and Itajai Valley University for faculty and student exchange programs in the fields of transportation, logistics and supply chain management.

Southern Brazil boasts a flourishing emerging economy endowed with diversified industries, rich natural resources, and a vibrant business community. Significant opportunities exist for trade with Alberta in areas such as farming, IT, logistics, oil and gas, as well as for Brazilian investment in the regional distribution centres located in the Calgary Region.

Future trade missions between the Calgary Region and Santa Catarina are planned into 2014 and 2015