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Swiss SMEs not widely represented in Brazil

While Swiss multinationals such as Roche and Nestlé have been present in Brazil for decades, only few small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have invested in the Latin American country, says a Swiss business delegation visiting Brazil.

This content was published on July 7, 1999 - 15:08

While Swiss multinationals such as Roche and Nestlé have been present in Brazil for decades, only few small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have invested in the Latin American country, says a Swiss business delegation visiting Brazil.

"SMEs are too strongly fixated on Europe despite the restricted growth opportunities there," said Edwin Somm, outgoing head of the Swiss Machine Association. There was tremendous long-term growth potential in Brazil, he added.

"SMEs, which are largely dependent on exports, must diversify to be able to survive temporary economic crises in certain sectors of industry," said Somm, who is part of the business delegation accompanying Swiss Economics Minister Pascal Couchepin in Brazil.

Somm said investing in a cyclical economy such as Brazil was difficult for SMEs, as it could tie up capital over a longer period of time without providing returns. Investing in Brazil also presented the additional hurdle of high import tariffs on raw materials.

The head of the Swiss Federation of Commerce and Industry (Vorort) Andres Leuenberger said he had invited Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso to visit a Swiss SME when he attends the World Economic Forum in Davos next year.


Source: sda-ats

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