In Brazil! After long flights from Oregon, two dozen Portlanders have collected in Sao Paulo for the start of our weeklong fact-finding trip Brazil. Why Brazil? It is one of the world's fast growing economies and, over the next few years, it will be front and center on the world stage as it hosts the World Games in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016.
Several Oregon companies already have a strong presence here, and we will visit with some of them about doing business in and with Brazil. And there is opportunity to grow more an even stronger connection, which will be explored by Greater Portland Inc., the Portland Development Commission and Business Oregon as part of this trip.
But first a taste of Brazilian culture: 12 of us went to a soccer game and it was wild! Soccer is, of course, the national sport and the fans are wild - basically, the Timbers Army, but multiplied in numbers by at least five. Luckily, the local Sao Paulo team won, so our section went home happy!
After the game, we went out for a traditional Brazilian barbecue dinner. Think meat. Lots of meat, carved from skewers at your table, nonstop, until you say you are done. Luckily, there was a salad bar for our vegetarian cohorts!