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Substantial interest has been shown by the global investors in Brazil, Russia, India, and China, the countries that form the BRIC nations. Nearly a decade back, these nations were projected to become the largest global economies by the year 2050. As a international Operations Manager of an Australian retail chain, I conducted an analysis of the various risks as well as challenges that are faced by companies especially those belonging to the retail sector, who wish to conduct business in these emerging economies. The opportunities present in these nations for foreign companies to do business were also examined. It was revealed that increasing capability of the BRIC nations in exercising their power as well as influence on the global stage has led to the generation of several new risks along with new opportunities (Kolstov, 2013).
Brazil has shown fantastic potential for economic growth in the coming years. The middle class is strong and growing which leads to high demand in the domestic market. It also faced the economic crisis better than others and has little chances of exposure to natural disasters (Wade, 2013).
The trade policy has been marked by numerous protectionist measures like the requirement of content, import tariffs along with other trade barriers. The pressures from the local industrialists whose strength had been lost due to the appreciation of currency along with the decline in global demand during the global economic crisis period as well as the unionists fearing loss of jobs resulted in new policies. The sectors that are labor intensive have been seen to struggle in the face of global competition. The administration also promotes local presence in the key sectors. The tax structure is very complex and compliance is difficult due to overcomplicated laws and growth of the market has been slow (Grant Thornton, 2012).
In Brazil, for making trade payments, tax ID is needed along with the invoice for the item for which payment is being made and the documentation with the bank needs to be signed by the final beneficiary for receiving the foreign currency. The controls are stricter for capital payments and the payment has to be executed by an onshore resident bank in case the Government requires it. The currency lacks liquidity which has led to volatility concerns. The rules regarding foreign exchange allow free repatriation of dividends as well as capital to foreign investors. However, some states impose restrictions (PNC Bank, 2015).
Although the stable political environment of Brazil attracts investors, they have to face bureaucracy at various levels, complex tax structure, corruption, slow legal processes as well as crime. Enforcement of the law is poor. The high opportunities that are available to foreign companies in the growing economy of Brazil are weighed down by high rates of taxes with several layers along with the high cost of labor. Full-time employment is discouraged. More interest is being shown by the companies in risk management services as the markets have opened up (Business Insurance, 2015).
The culture of Brazil is open which can easily accommodate several ethnicities. Work processes are usually conducted laterally. Titles along with hierarchies are significant in business. Conversations are mostly lively but at times disagreements and heated debates may occur. Office standardization exists and the use of technology is pervasive (Miller, 2010).