Category Archives: South America

Bank Vice-President Marcio Alaor Thinks Brazil Has Some Cities That Are Ripe For New Business Ventures


Brazil is an enormous country. Brazil is 8,515,767 square kilometers, and that’s nearly double the size of European Union’s 4,381,376 square kilometers. The United States is 9,857,306 square kilometers. Brazil is an enterprising country that offers a variety of resources and a large consumer market that spends money even though the country is in a deep recession. Most businesses are immediately drawn to São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro and for good reasons. São Paulo is the business capital of the country, and Rio is a business and party center, but both cities present a variety of challenges to foreign investors.

Marico Alaor, the Vice-President of BMG Bank, recently spoke about the business opportunities in several Brazilian cities. Alaor based his speech on the Endeavor index. Endeavor is the organization that supports entrepreneurs. The index listed five top cities, and it was no surprise to Alaor or anyone else when São Paulo was the first city on the list. The other four cities are about an hour or so away from São Paulo by airplane, so location is not an issue. Those cities are Florianopolis, Victory, Recife, and Campinas.

Businesses that open branch offices or have a partnership with a Brazilian company in one of those cities do have hurdles to overcome due to government regulations, the country’s tax structure and cultural differences, but Alaor thinks those challenges are manageable. Alaor and bank President Ricardo Guimarães have invested in several foreign businesses in the city of Belo Horizonte, and thanks to their leadership, BMG Bank is a well-known bank in Brazil. BMG Bank is known for giving consumers low-interest payroll loans with good terms.

In fact, Alaor is responsible for turning the small Bank of Minas Gerais into a medium size bank that competes head-to-head with the big government banks in the country. BMG Bank is considered the leader in the consignment credit industry and Alaor plays a major role in producing record-breaking bank profits.

One of the main attractions for businesses that want to expand to cities like Recife, Florianopolis, Victory and Campinas is the cost of living. The cost of living in those cities is 33 percent less than São Paulo, and 77 percent less than San Francisco or New York. The other attraction is the food. That may not sound like something businesses would consider when expanding, but good food is essential to the well-being of foreign employees. The climate is another attraction, according to the Endeavor index.