Saturday, May 1, 2010

Latin America Study Tour Begins

[LAIST Tour Begins, Fazenda Tozan, Churrascaria – Nova Pampa, Port of Santos, Deloitte, Embraer, Natura, Gol de Letra, Bom Bril, Agencia Click, Nextel Institute, May 6, Rio, Rio Weekend, Petrobras, PREVI]

Our study tour begins on a lucky note, as all of us are able to come in on the same flight leaving Toronto (for the first years, this is immediately following our Operations Management exam and a quick round of pints at Bedford) where we had a quick bite and night cap at Pearson.

Upon arriving in Sao Paolo airport this morning, we were greeted by Peiro, our guide and Santana, our bus driver who took us to the hotel. Laura was there cheerfully waiting for us and welcomed us with a round of hugs. After the necessary paperwork and unpacking, a few of us felt a bit adventurous and began wandering the city under the leadership of “Bovespa”.

We found a fresh juice shop where we ordered a variety of exotic fruit juices: Mango, papaya etc. We proceeded to find a nice little restaurant serving a buffet of local fair. It was exceptionally interesting to try to explain that some of us were doing the all you can eat R$ 20,80 (R$ 1.6 = CND$ 1) while some were going for the food by weight R$ 2,80 per 100g.

After a bit of exploring in the city we found a beautiful lake with locals enjoying the good weather. Tomorrow, our study tour begins with a visit to a coffee plantation. A heavily resourced based economy and the B in BRIC countries, Brazil has a bright future as was highlighted in the Toronto CFA talk on Geopolitics of Investing. Coffee was one of Brazil’s earliest successful and staple exports and continues to play a large role in their economy today.

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