Brazilian design context targets the American furniture market

Table of Gustavo Martini

The Brazilian furniture industry in the South city of Bento Gonçalvez (Rio Grande do Sul) will hold a contest to develop a line of Brazilian furniture designed to please the American taste.

A team of American consultants  will assist competitors to adapt their products to trends, preferences and requirements of the American market.

The Project Orchestra Brazil exists since 2006 and promotes the competitive insertion of supplying the furniture industry in the international market. The project has the participation of 72 companies and 38 design studios. In 2013, the participating companies reported significant increase in exports. Compared to 2012, exports increased 14.6%, completing four consecutive years of growth. In 2014, the project will participate in fairs FMC China (China), Intermob Istanbul (Turkey), Sicam Pordenone (Italy) and Fenafor Peru (Lima).

The initiative is a partnership between (Apex-Brazil) Brazilian Agency for Export Promotion and the Association of Furniture Industries of Bento Gonçalves (Sindmóveis).


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The Economist on World Cup

The Economist reviews Brazil’s game with Germany. Personally, I think the interest in soccer is overdone and too much attention has been paid to a game. On the positive side, the pacification police seem to have cleared some of the slums, which may help the new middle class hold some of their gains.  



Lessons of a footballing Armageddon

Brazil needs new ideas, on and off the pitch
Jul 12th 2014 | From the print edition

THE only previous time that Brazil hosted the World Cup, in 1950, it famously lost the final 2-1 to Uruguay, after shipping two goals in 13 minutes late in the second half. So deflated were Brazilians that Nelson Rodrigues, a playwright and journalist, described the occasion as a “national catastrophe…our Hiroshima”.

If that is the benchmark, then the 7-1 semi-final thrashing on July 8th at the hands of Germany in Belo Horizonte’s Mineirão stadium was Brazil’s Armageddon. It was not just the scale of defeat—the worst since 1920. It was also the manner in which Germany’s fast and technically superior players cut through the home defence, as easily as a machete through cassava. To rub salt in a gaping wound, it is Argentina—Brazil’s arch-rivals—who will face Germany in the final on July 13th.

This humiliation has left Brazilians shell-shocked. No other country in the world has a closer identification with football, as Rodrigues’s hyperbole highlights. That may partly be because Brazil has no real Hiroshimas to fear: apart from brief engagement on the Allied side in Italy in 1944-45, it has not fought a war since the 1860s (against Paraguay). Through good fortune and tolerance, it faces neither military threats, nor terrorism, nor ethnic or religious tensions.

But this identification with football is also because the sport has provided a national narrative and a social glue. In a country that for long periods has failed to live up to its potential, prowess at the game provided “a confidence in ourselves that no other institution has given Brazil to the same extent”, as Roberto DaMatta, an anthropologist, wrote in the 1980s. Brazil has won five World Cups but no Brazilian has won a Nobel prize.

In winning the right to host this year’s World Cup (and the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016) Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Brazil’s then president, wanted to highlight that the country now has other reasons for confidence beyond football. The tournament would showcase the planet’s seventh-largest economy, a vibrant democracy and remarkable social progress that has seen poverty and income inequality fall steadily in this century.

But the tournament has taken place just as Brazilians are feeling less confident about their country’s course. The economy has slowed to a crawl; inflation is at 6.5%, despite a succession of interest-rate rises. The $11 billion of publicly financed spending on stadiums helped to trigger huge protests last year over poor public services, corruption and the misplaced priorities of politicians. The last-minute rush to complete the stadiums, and the tragic collapse of a newly-built flyover in Belo Horizonte this month, have highlighted Brazil’s difficulties with infrastructure projects.

Contrary to some forecasts, the event itself has gone smoothly, without transport breakdowns or significant protests. Predictably, most fans have had a great time. Polls showed that Brazilians were warming to the idea of hosting the tournament. Despite being booed at the opening ceremony, Dilma Rousseff, Lula’s successor and protégée, had felt emboldened to announce that she would attend the final.

Brazil’s shattering defeat has robbed Ms Rousseff of any hope she might have nurtured that the World Cup would provide her with a boost in an election in October at which she will seek a second term. But in itself it will not help the opposition either. Things are not as simple as that. Brazilians were always going to have other matters on their mind when they vote in three months’ time. The incumbent president won in 1998 when Brazil lost badly in the World Cup final, after all; and his chosen successor lost in 2002 when Brazil won.

At a deeper level, however, the humiliation of the Mineirão is likely to reinforce the country’s negative mood. And that is potentially dangerous for Ms Rousseff. Though polls still make her the favourite, the campaign will only now start in earnest. Her approval rating hovers barely above 40%, and polls consistently show between 60% and 70% of Brazilians wanting change. With her centre-left Workers’ Party having been in power for 12 years, can she offer it? Her appeal is in essence to past achievements—to a huge rise in employment and real wages, both of which are only just starting to move into reverse.

Similarly, the Mineirão disaster showed that Brazilian football is no longer a source of national confidence. It too needs changes that go far beyond building shiny new stadiums. Its officials are corrupt and its domestic league poorly run. Living on past glory, it is inward-looking and tactically outdated. Brazilians may end up concluding that they need new management and new ideas, both on and off the pitch.

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World Cup – Halftime Verdict, Belindia, the Germany match

I am not much of a soccer (Futbol) fan, but with the Germany match all in the news, I will say this on behalf of Brazil, a country I have come to love in the last few years:

Arguably the most famous German, Gisele Bundschen is still Brazilian, graphic evidence that the best German genes found their way to Rio Grande do Sul between 1890 and 1950

This may seem like a cocktail tidbit, but it belies the reason Brazil is such a great nation — I’ve never seen a country that welcomes more of the World’s cultures within it’s own borders than Brazil.

The World Cup in Brazil

The half-time verdict

Expectations were low. They have been exceeded

THE winners of the football World Cup will not be known until July 13th. But the tournament is already a sporting success. Draws, especially of the goalless variety, have been mercifully rare (see chart). Not since 1958 have so many goals been scored per game in the group stage of a World Cup. What about off the pitch?

Start with Brazil’s economy. On the whole, economists agree, big sporting events have negligible impact on output. Money for the infrastructure bonanza beloved of politicians is not conjured from thin air; it is diverted from elsewhere. Productivity dips, too. Holidays have been decreed on some match days to ease pressure on creaking public transport. Before the Brazil-Cameroon game on June 23rd, for example, Brasília was a ghost town; to spare fans inevitable gridlock, public institutions and private firms let workers off early.

Comparing Brazil’s states

Welcome to Italordan

Brazil’s income disparities are great, but so is its progress

IN 1974, to capture the income inequality for which his country was infamous, Edmar Bacha, a Brazilian economist, coined the term “Belíndia”—a small rich Belgium surrounded by a vast poor India. Football players and fans descending on the country for the World Cup, which began this week, will still see several Brazils, if not the disparities of Belíndia.

As our map of Brazil’s states shows, the richest part of the country, around the capital, Brasília, is not quite at Belgian levels. But it is as wealthy as Italy, measured by GDP per person in 2011 (the latest available data set) at market exchange rates. India, meanwhile, is much poorer than even the most destitute Brazilian states, Maranhão and Piauí, where income per head is three times higher than on the subcontinent and roughly equal to that of Jordan.

Football in Brazil
Out with a whimper

Jul 8th 2014, 23:42 by J.P. | SÃO PAULO

“TO EXPLAIN the inexplicable is complicated.” That is how Júlio César, Brazil’s goal-keeper, summed up the 7-1 rout by the Germans in the semifinals of the World Cup on July 8th. The 2-1 defeat to Uruguay at Maracanã stadium in Rio de Janeiro in 1950, the last time Brazil hosted the event, looks mild by comparison. So does the 3-0 loss to the then-host France in 1998.

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Myths about Brazil revisited by King’s College scholar Anthony Pereira

The less you know Brazil the more you might be susceptible to embracing myths like: it is the country of football, samba, mulatas.. and so on.


Anthony Pereira

If any case, I recommend reading CNN’s special article written by King’s College Brazil Institute director, Anthony Pereira.

Of course, myths might be true in some extent but generally they lead us to misinterpreting reality.

And what do you think?


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The Economist on Brazil: Futbol, Art, etc

Scanning The Economist newspaper weekly for articles relating to Latin America is one barometer of how the English speaking financial world views Brazil, Mexico, and the other major economies Central and South America. Of particular interest this tidbit, from the second to last piece, a book review: “He rightly derides FIFA, football’s international governing body, for its imperious attitude. But, according to Mr Goldblatt, this institutional culture originated in Brazil. He explains that João Havelange, a Brazilian who served as FIFA president for 24 years, “brought to the institution the unique imprimatur of Brazil’s ruling elite: imperious cordiality, ruthless clientelistic politics and a self-serving blurring of the public and private realms”.” As a traveler/ trader to Brazil, my view is to be short Rio (RJ), but long all other Brazilian states, especially SC (Santa Catarina, with no World Cup or Olympics), and RS (Rio Grande do Sol) as The Economist’s bullish (2008) and bearish (2013) case are both true, but geographically separate: that is, while one may encounter hubris in RJ perhaps because it is overbought, one may encounter more genuine welcome in RS and SC because these areas are still relatively undervalued. 



Beautiful game, dirty business

Football is a great sport, but it could be so much better if it were run honestly

THE mesmerising wizardry of Lionel Messi and the muscular grace of Cristiano Ronaldo are joys to behold. But for deep-dyed internationalists like this newspaper, the game’s true beauty lies in its long reach, from east to west and north to south. Football, more than any other sport, has thrived on globalisation. Nearly half of humanity will watch at least part of the World Cup, which kicks off in Brazil on June 12th.



A game of two halves

The world’s largest nations will play almost no part in the World Cup. But there are signs that, eventually, football will become a truly global game

DEEP in the jungles of Myanmar there is a camp stocked with guns, maps and medical supplies. Medics and former rebels regularly practise dodging bullets on its flat exercise ground. Then they dust themselves off and kick a ball at makeshift bamboo goals. The communication difficulties attendant on the aftermath of civil conflict mean they may not have seen Real Madrid win the European Champions League last month. But they know how its famed Portuguese winger, Cristiano Ronaldo, stands over a free kick.


Medellín’s comeback

The trouble with miracles

The transformation of Colombia’s second city will be hard to copy

UNTIL a few years ago, no outsider would have dared to set foot in Comuna 13, once the most dangerous neighbourhood in Medellín, Colombia’s second city. Now travel agencies offer tours to look at the district’s many murals, or to ride the long outdoor escalator built to ascend the steep flanks of the valley in which the city of 2.4m people sits. Such excursions are not just for tourists; mayors from all over the world are trekking to a city that has become a model of urban development. How did the “Medellín miracle” happen? And what can it teach other cities?


The growing stink at FIFA

The case for a replay

New light is being shed on the choice of Qatar to host football’s biggest event in 2022

EVER since 2010, when Qatar was chosen to host the 2022 World Cup, there have been suspicions about how one of the world’s least suitable football venues succeeded in snagging the sport’s greatest tournament. So revelations published on June 1st by the Sunday Times, a British newspaper, of e-mails detailing lavish campaigning by Mohamed bin Hammam, a disgraced former FIFA vice-president from the tiny, hot and scorching Gulf state, shocked, but did not surprise. Football’s tarnished world governing body is now under pressure to re-run the bidding process—pressure that on past form its 78-year-old president, the ineffably complacent Sepp Blatter, will try to resist.

Football and Brazil


The making of football’s spiritual home

Futebol Nation: The Story of Brazil through Soccer.By David Goldblatt.Nation Books; 320 pages; $16.99. Published in Britain by Penguin Press as “Futebol Nation: A Footballing History of Brazil”; £9.99. Buy from

The Country of Football: Soccer and the Making of Modern Brazil.By Roger Kittleson.University of California Press; 328 pages; $26.95 and £18.95. Buy from

Brazil’s Dance with the Devil: The World Cup, the Olympics, and the Struggle for Democracy.By Dave Zirin.Haymarket Books; 246 pages; $16. Buy from

HOLDING the World Cup in Brazil, football’s spiritual home, sparked many fantasies of samba-infused spectacle. Those illusions were shattered last June when protests swept across the country during a warm-up tournament; a year on the discontent still simmers. The government’s slum-clearing efforts have met violent resistance. In May demonstrators incensed by the billions being spent on stadiums and security set tyres alight in a new wave of protests. The sports minister has felt compelled to reassure visiting fans that they will find Brazil safer than Iraq.

Art from Brazil

Tropical growth

Government intervention threatens the spread of Brazilian art

 Flower power

BRAZIL’S footballers can legitimately claim to have turned a sport into an art. But the country does not want for flair when it comes to other forms of artistic expression. Brazilian artists are as sought after by curators and collectors as the Canarinhos are by football-club owners.

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Thoughts on the D Day celebrations and Portinari’s War and Peace at the Grand Palais

Brazilians didn’t have much to do with the Second World War but here in Paris it is hard to forget the date. Celebrations are extensive. Tv and local newspapers have a huge coverage of the event and of course, the odd thing: in the midst of conflicts in Ukraine, Obama and Putin are in town at the same day.

On the other hand, Brazil’s iconic painter Candido Portinari (1903-1962) “is” also in town with his masterpiece “War and Peace”.  It was donated by the Brazilian Government to the United Nations, and installed in the lobby of the General Assembly in 1957.

Artists capture truth that is often not easy to express in a rational way. Tolstoy crafted the title of his romance “War and Peace” and the dramatic tension of the two concepts is timeless. It seems we always remember war as a way to praise peace. Do we really turn into daily actions?

Images, paintings, speeches. May we celebrate the day, honor the victims, congratulate the liberators of Europe. May we live today, celebrating peace choosing peace over war in today’s challenges: Ukraine, Syria .. wars and conflicts in the world.  

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“Welcome to the dump that is Rio,” Germany’s Sailing Team

RIO DE JANEIRO — Nico Delle Karth, an Austrian sailor preparing for the 2016 Summer Olympics, said it was the foulest place he had ever trained.

Garbage bobbed on the surface, everything from car tires to floating mattresses. The water reeked so badly of sewage that he was afraid to put his feet in it to launch his boat from shore.

“I’ve never seen anything like this before,” Mr. Delle Karth said of Guanabara Bay in Rio de Janeiro, where the Olympic sailing and windsurfing events will take place.

Even as Brazil scrambles to finish an array of stadiums for the start of the 2014 World Cup soccer tournament in less than a month, it is already coming under scathing criticism for its handling of the next mega-event on its plate, the 2016 Summer Games.

Francesco Ricci Bitti, president of the influential associationrepresenting various Summer Olympic sports, said the Rio Games were in “the most risky position” of any Olympics he could remember. John D. Coates, an International Olympic Committee vice president, said last month that Rio’s preparations were “the worst I have experienced,” with construction yet to begin on the Deodoro sports complex, the second most important site after Olympic Park.


Well-financed efforts to clean up the bay have proved disappointing for decades, undercut by mismanagement and allegations of corruption.CreditAna Carolina Fernandes for The New York Times

Guanabara Bay, nestled between Sugarloaf Mountain and other granite peaks, offers the kind of a postcard image Rio’s authorities want to celebrate as hosts of the 2016 Summer Olympics. But it has become a focal point of complaints, turning Rio’s polluted waters into a symbol of frustrations with the troubled preparations for the Olympics.

“Welcome to the dump that is Rio,” Germany’s sailing team said in one typically blunt assessment of the site for the Olympic regatta.

Brazilians training here agree.

“It can get really disgusting, with dog carcasses in some places and the water turning brown from sewage contamination,” said Thomas Low-Beer, 24, a Brazilian Olympic hopeful who sails in the bay. He shuddered when recalling how his dinghy crashed into what he believed was a partly submerged sofa, capsizing him into the murky Guanabara.

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