Brazil has established itself as a global player in the past decade, following tangible breakthroughs on the economic, cultural and social fronts.
The international community sees these achievements as part of unique directions, new perspectives and above all positive growth compared with current global trends.
However, it should be recognized that these advances are primarily due to the organisational structure the city of São Paulo offers its citizens and above all visitors and international investors, who see its potential. The reasons for this are plentiful.
The largest city in Brazil and seen as one of the most important cities worldwide, São Paulo stands out for its economic might, unrivalled consumption, cultural dynamism and its countless investment opportunities. The city hosts the leading fashion shows, the leading corporate events and international shows and world-famous automobile races.
São Paulo has built on its position as the wealthiest city in Brazil to progressively establish itself as a major player in the global economy. It accounts for over 15% of the country´s GDP. The state capital generates more wealth than any other Brazilian state.
São Paulo state as a whole accounts for 34% of domestic GDP (USD 467 billion), outperforming Argentina, most Latin American countries and developing nations, such as South Africa.
With respect to financial services, the biggest banks of Brazil and the world are located in the city. It has one of the largest stock exchanges in the world in terms of market value, the second largest in the Americas and the largest in Latin America. On several occasions this year the São Paulo stock exchange (Bovespa) has outperformed the New York, Dow Jones and Nasdaq exchanges and several European exchanges, which is now set to become the norm as a result of the volume of trading generated, which is somewhere in the region of R$ 8 billion a day.
People who believed and invested in the city are now reaping the rewards. The whole world does business in São Paulo. The state capital also excels in other sectors, as testified by the more than 300,000 retail stores and 75 shopping centres, visited by 30 million consumers daily.
São Paulo also hosts an incredible number of trade fairs; 90,000 events a year, or one every six minutes. It is no coincidence that 75% of business meetings take place here. Put into figures, organising these big corporate meetings generates annual revenue of R$ 2.4 billion, with the annual circulation of 4.3 million visitors, who spend R$ 8.5 billion on travel and accommodation, in addition to R$ 700 million on equipment for services.
According to the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), 79 major international events took place in São Paulo in 2009, which ranks the city amongst the Top 15 destinations for international events and ahead of established cities like Rome, Sidney, Montreal, Munich and Cape Town. A study commissioned by América Economia Intelligence, the research facility of magazine América Economia, found that São Paulo is the best destination in Latin America for doing business.
As would be expected of a state capital, in cultural terms the city is an extremely welcoming and diverse powerhouse. In the past five years the city has become a must venue for a wide range of musical styles and famous groups.
By the end of 2010 this will generate revenue for the city of R$ 60 million, from the nearly 30% of visitors who come here to see international groups and shows rarely seen elsewhere in the world. We are of course referring to the Broadway shows, which has made the city of São Paulo the third largest destination of its shows, ahead of Tokyo and Los Angeles.
The city does, however, offer much more. The cuisine is exquisite and the city has been considered the global gastronomy capital since 1997. These flavours can be savoured in the approximately 38,000 bars and restaurants and more than 5,000 pizzarias, each of which is unique and special.
São Paulo is the only Latin American city to host Formula 1. Diversity thrives as a result of the city holding the annual and largest GLBT parade in the whole world, which further boosts the local economy. We are also an established venue for international fashion.
This is an ideal place to invest, and all segments and markets are expanding. Our infrastructure, advanced technology and highly skilled professionals guarantee meaningful results in the friendliest of environments. We are a perfect blend of good deeds and capacity, and are helping develop all those around us.
By Annie Morrissey (president of the São Paulo Convention & Visitors Bureau)