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  • Writer's pictureKino Brasil

Trade with Brazil? "Building trust is the most important thing," says businessman Pavel Šembera

Almost everyone has tasted Brazilian coffee. But what else is brought from Brazil to the Czech Republic and what do we sell to such a large country on the other side of the hemisphere? This is one of the many questions that Pavel Šembera, a businessman, traveler, owner of the website and author of two books about Brazil and Latin America, answered for our team member Barbora Kovářová.

How did you get to Brazil?

I have had a relationship with Latin America since childhood. I lived in Mexico with my parents for 5 years as a child. I was always drawn there by that language, by Spanish. I didn't know about Brazil for a long time. I once took a bigger trip and that's where I started in Brazil. There I discovered that Spanish was not enough. I started making new friends there and thought to myself that it's a great country and I need to get to know it more. And so I started learning Portuguese.

How did you get into doing business with Brazil?

I studied foreign trade and at one time I thought that the regional focus was interesting, so I offered Czech companies trade mediation in South America. Brazil has its position because it is the largest country in South America, so a great opportunity. At the same time, it is a quite closed country in terms of trade, it is difficult to apply in the market there.

You mainly supply products from the healthcare sector to Brazil. Who is interested in these products?

There are many healthcare companies in the Czech Republic that are competitive. The opportunity for Czech companies is therefore interesting. I work through local partners. There is a local company that imports the products, and they do specific sales. I do not sell to the end customer, but they need to be supported, e.g. go with them to the hospital.

In the book Trader in Latin America, I was interested in the fact that you write about experiences with the people you do business with. Is it easy to get close to them?

Brazilians are generally very communicative and open. Whoever comes there, they take him in. This is the advantage of the country in the first place. Building personal trust is important for business and it takes time. You need to spend time together, and trust is then the cornerstone of business. One must primarily take care of the relationship and you cannot break trust. My work is mainly about contacts, and that's what I enjoy most about traveling.

Watch the full interview here:

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