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Explore these funding options for market expansion

In the latest Ask the Trade Commissioner Service column, a cosmetics company is considering Brazil to boost their export sales but is wondering if there are government funds available to support fact-finding travel. A Trade Commissioner from São Paulo responds.

Dear Trade Commissioner Service,

We are a Canadian company in the cosmetics industry and we are looking to expand our reach and penetrate the Latin American market, starting with  Brazil.

Is there a program that helps support international fact-finding travel and other expenses related to increasing our exports to these markets? Secondly, could you track down appropriate distributors for our products in Brazil? And which trade shows would be worthwhile for us to attend?

Company has chosen to remain anonymous.

Ask the Trade Commissioner Service

If you are a Canadian entrepreneur and you have a business-related question, ask us! We might even post your question and the answer on ;our website. (We'll ask you first of course.)

Dear Anonymous,

Thank you for your email regarding your interest in Latin America and Brazil. My name is Ana Licia Sudo and I am the trade commissioner responsible for the consumer products sector in Brazil.

The Latin American market is large and diverse for the kinds of products you are selling so narrowing your market to Brazil is a good idea. Brazil is home to the third-largest toiletry, perfumery and cosmetics market in the world behind Japan and the U.S. When it comes to competitors, international brands such as L'Óréal, Avon and Revlon are the big players but there are two Brazilian brands that have a big share of the market as well. They are Boticário and Natura. Natura does not sell through stores but through sales representatives like Avon.

For funding programs, I would encourage you to read about Funding Options on the website of the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service. There you will find both government and non-government programs that are designed to help companies export or invest abroad.

I understand that you have also spoken with Angie de la Cerna, my colleague at the Toronto Regional Office of the TCS. As she has already suggested, another good option is the Ontario Chamber of Commerce’s Export Market Access (EMA) program. If your company has 5 or more employees and annual sales of $500,000 or more, you may qualify for a contribution covering up to 50% of eligible costs incurred to develop export sales. Eligible activities include market research, marketing tools, direct contacts and foreign bidding projects.

To qualify, you must submit an online application. Our Toronto Regional Office works closely with the manager of the EMA program.

Ms. de la Cerna and I recommend that you email him before you submit an official application. In the email, list all the activities you wish to undertake. Within seven calendar days, he will reply with either a yes or a no or he may offer you advice on how to put your application together.

If you decide to go ahead with the EMA , mention in your application that you contacted our São Paulo office as well as the TCS Regional Office in Toronto. The manager of the EMA program may ask for a letter of reference from either myself or Ms. De la Cerna.

I would also be happy to assist you with finding the right distributors in the Brazilian market. If you will also need sales representatives, contacts at multi-brand stores or local online sales resources, let me know. I’d be happy to connect you with our great network in this sector.

When it comes to trade fairs, I would recommend that you attend FCE Cosmetique in São Paulo which is the biggest development platform for new products in this area. You may also want to consider Estétika Brasil, Beauty Fair and Hair Beauty Expo.

If you wish, I can also provide you with the estimated import costs for your products. Simply send me the 6-digit HS codes for your products. I will also send you two useful documents: a market brief on the health and beauty retailers in Brazil as well as a primer on doing business in Brazil.

I hope this has been helpful. Be sure to keep me apprised of your progress.

Regards,

Ana Licia Sudo
Trade Commissioner Service in São Paulo

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