By VDMA Brazil
VDMA opened its liaison office in São Paulo in 2013. Having previously worked for the Legal Services department, Thomas Junqueira Ayres Ulbrich began his second position at VDMA with a database of nearly 100 member companies. Four years after the office was established, the database of members has grown to include over 300 VDMA companies in Brazil. The many events and site visits show that German mechanical engineering companies are very active in Brazil and that the local network is growing constantly.
But what links companies like Voith, Aumund, Arburg, Haver & Boecker and Multivac to the largest mechanical engineering market south of the equator? The answer is a long-standing tradition and a huge market. Voith established its first company in Brazil in 1964, Aumund celebrated 40 years in Brazil two years ago, and Haver & Boecker has been there since 1974.
Interest representation in technical matters
Sales of German machines increased over years. In the last two years, however, most sectors experienced a crises-related slump. VDMA member companies are the technological leaders in many areas, however, they have to handle a great deal of bureaucracy, excessive taxes and very complex bookkeeping, which makes everyday business more difficult.
One of the VDMA office's primary tasks is to represent the companies' interests in technical matters. Topics such as the NR 12 safety standard or duty exemptions due to technical specialties are a priority for lobbying and consulting activities.
Much has changed when it comes to the NR 12 safety standard and things have been moving in the right direction. VDMA is in contact with the Ministry of Labor, the powerful industry association FIESP in São Paulo and the Brazilian counterpart to the BDI, the CNI. A close network of mostly German-speaking consultants supplements the support for the VDMA companies in Germany and Brazil. The VDMA companies in Brazil regularly have the opportunity to exchange information in management meetings of the VDMA associations involved with the office.
Bridge between two countries
VDMA's network is constantly expanding. Mechanical engineering is one of the most important industrial sectors in Brazil and the upswing anticipated for this year cannot take place without new and modern machines. Many members of the Brazilian mechanical engineering association ABIMAQ are VDMA members. The active contact between the VDMA members in Brazil, the exchange of information for practical work and the network of like-minded parties help the companies to overcome many "probleminhas" (Brazilians love the diminutive form).
Right now, it is difficult to predict economic developments. VDMA's 2014 market study on Brazil showed a large market for mechanical engineering from Germany, broken down into individual sectors. However, this market has not continued to grow over the last two years, which is mainly due to homegrown political decisions. This year, there is well-founded hope that the minus will become a plus. The VDMA member companies have used the past two years to increase their competitiveness. VDMA supports the companies in doing so, for example by offering events for discussing strategies. This all highlights the fact that the VDMA office has successfully established itself and its network in Brazil and serves as a bridge between both countries.