Brazil visit opens doors for trade

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A firm that makes soundproofing for excavators and tractors has unearthed $10 million of potential business in Brazil after a week’s visit.

Jason Lippitt, managing director of Chesterfield-based TMAT Acoustic Technologies, announced earlier this year that it hoped to open a factory in Brazil to capitalise on demand ahead of the World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics two years after.

The boss of the Holmewood Industrial Park-based firm recently spent a week in Brazil, holding meetings with potential customers.

He said: “The evidence of construction – or planned construction – is everywhere you go in Brazil, which is absolutely fantastic to see.

“The fact is, though, that red tape, cumbersome logistics and taxes on imports are a real obstacle to construction actually getting under way, let alone completed, ahead of the fast-approaching World cup and Olympics.”

Brazil is undertaking more than 12,250 infrastructure projects before 2016, involving roads, ports, airports and power plants; and the Brazilian Government wants to see products sourced locally, rather than shipped in from abroad.

Importers face a number of hurdles, including a public financial credit support scheme that offers attractive financing conditions that favour local production and content, but heavily taxes imported parts.

It can also take more than 12 weeks for components to be shipped in from Europe and the rest of the world.

One potential customer told Mr Lippitt he had been waiting several years for a company like TMAT to set up a business in Brazil.

TMAT says it plans to retain engineering design and intellectual property at its Chesterfield site and believes that opportunities in Brazil could well create further UK jobs.