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swissnex Personal Mobility Program: Magnificent Brazil

Thanks to the swissnex mobility program, I was able to spend two weeks in Brazil this March. Not only did I learn a lot about an important topic, I also had a great time discovering this magnificent country.

In March this year, I had the opportunity to visit Brazil to gain a deeper insight into the topic area “Recycling of White Goods in Brazil”. (White goods are large electrical home appliances such as refrigerators, ovens, air-conditioners, and washing machines.) During this very successful visit, I met with various stakeholders of the value chain in the recycling sector, including:

  • Dr. Dirceu Tornavoi de Carvalho, Professor for Marketing and Consumer Behavior, Universidade de Sao Paulo (USP)
  • Dr. Katja Regina Alves Nunes, Specialist of Waste Treatment Study Group, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ)
  • Gabriela G. P. Otero, Coordinator, Abrelpe (Brasileira de Empresas de Limpeza Pública e Resíduos Especiais)
  • Érica Sepúlveda / Naira Tavares, Recicloteca (Centro de Informações sobre Reciclagem e meio ambiente)

Any Fruit You Can Think of: Colorful Mercado Municipal

Cristos foggy

Not a Perfect Postcard Picture: Cristo Redentor in the Fog

Focus on Two Metropolises
My research trip started in São Paulo, Brazil’s economic, financial, and technical hub as well as its biggest city. Much of the recyclable waste from all over Brazil is transported to São Paulo to be processed. Another important city in terms of recycling waste is Rio de Janeiro, the second location I visited during my stay. The highly informative conversations I had during my stay gave me a clear understanding of the recycling situation in Brazil, its challenges and opportunities. Follow-up meetings are scheduled to discuss a possible future collaboration with local contacts. Since I work for the Center for Business in the Americas, I deal with the Latin American market. Brazil is one of our main focus countries, as it is the seventh-largest economy worldwide. Thanks to this trip, a first network in one of our center’s focus topics (Cleantech) was established. I would like to take the opportunity at this point to express my gratitude to all the people who have supported and kindly received me before the trip and on site.

An Open and Cordial People
I had never been to Brazil before. The swissnex mobility program gave me the chance to learn more about the Brazilian culture and business environment. The atmosphere at the meetings was always relaxed and the people I met were open and cordial. They readily talk about personal topics, and a handshake as a greeting and two kisses as a farewell are usual. One of the highlights of my stay was the visit to the “Mercado Municipal”, a large covered food market in São Paulo, where the streets are full of music, dancers, merchandising stands, etc. Another lasting memory is the trip to “Cristo Redentor” and to “Sugarloaf Mountain” in Rio de Janeiro, albeit the view was not as spectacular as it could have been because of fog and rain. In conclusion, it can be said that my stay in Brazil was rewarding and informative from both a business and a personal perspective.

Contact: Stephanie Haelg, Department of International Business

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