A Trade and Enterprise foray into Brazil is starting to pay dividends, with several New Zealand companies signing ICT contracts.
Maurice Stilwell, who is responsible for the initiative, expects $50 million of business to be generated over the next three years.
“Brazil is around four years behind where we are with the technology,” he says. “We started ... [this] initiative around wireless, but it has since grown into areas like security.”
Brazil has 55 million cellphone users.
NZTE has introduced 11 companies to the Brazilian market and hired a local consultant to identify opportunities there. Once an opportunity is identified, NZTE will fund half the fare and accommodation costs of a representative from an appropriate company to fly out to Brazil and meet the potential buyer.
“It’s a market-entry strategy,” Stilwell says.
Companies which have signed contracts so far include Telecom - Stilwell won’t reveal for what product - Mobile Commerce, for IT Security; DataSquirt, for SMS, and Run The Red, for gaming. NZTE is also working with Saatchi's advertising agency on Brazil’s first text campaign, for McDonalds Restaurants.
Stilwell says the initiative has been so successful that it now plans to expand into Chile and Argentina.
“We’re also looking at a similar operation in India,” he says