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South America - Economic and Business Development Contacts

Contact :   TEL   847-304-4655

Bruce Donnelly    (Biography)

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Use the links below or scroll down for the directory of economic development and other sources of information or professional services for the planning and implementation of foreign direct investment projects for corporate expansion into any region of South America. 
fDi  Foreign Direct Investment (by FT Business - The Financial Times group) often covers issues related to investment decisions in South America.  Their October 2002 article about the southern states of Brazil as a business investment location is still useful.  There was also an article about Investe Brasil and its' "one-stop" services for foreign investors.  See the fDi Links page on our related research website .  This can be used to easily search fDi magazine's website for any relevant coverage.

Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay

Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia Columbia, Venezuela
Information about Cityscape USA - This successful series of global events about commercial real estate investment and city development projects in big emerging markets will come to New York City in September 2008, and will also showcase developments in North American cities to major foreign investors.  Contact us for details.

Cityscape Latin America - Sao Paulo  November 4-6, 2008

Cityscape Dubai   October 6-9, 2008

Cityscape Abu Dhabi   May 13-15, 2008

Cityscape India - Mumbai, December 8-10. 2008

Cityscape China - Shanghai June 25-27, 2008

Cityscape Asia  - Singapore April 14-16, 2009

Refer to our new website for powerful new custom search tools about business locations or professional services.  Contact us about referrals.

Try Search: Global CRE (commercial real estate)

Please contact us for project assistance including referrals to professional services.  Tell us what you are seeking - we'll try to help.

Economic development agencies are encouraged to reply to our free GUIDE Network Survey to share information about their areas.

Ask us about advertising in fDi magazine - Foreign Direct Investment.  fDi is published by FT Business, of The Financial Times Group. 


Search back issues of fDi

fDi Atlas explanation

See explanation of column headings below Suggestions are welcome, and please report any broken website links.



Reference maps for Brazil





See Google Maps for the greater Sao Paulo region

and for the city of Sao Paulo  and downtown areas .

Try zooming in from this satellite image for perspective.

Survey Profile
BNDES - Brazilian National Bank of Economic and Social Development National No No
Investe Brasil National No No
Brazil Ministry of Development, Industry & Commerce National No No
Infrastructure Brasil National No No
Minas Gerais - Governo de Minas - Secretaria de Estado de Desenvolvimento Economico State

Note the Industrial Airport at the Tancredo Neves International Airport as a special economic zone for investment

No No
Minas Gerais - Instituto de Desenvolvimento Integrado de Minas Gerais (INDI) State

promotes business investment in Minas Gerais

No No
Belo Horizonte Metro     No No
São Paulo State

No No
São Paulo Metro     No No
Tiete Parana Dev Agency Region No No
Campinas City     No No
Americana City     No No
Riberão Preto City     No No
Rio de Janeiro State No No
Parana State No No
Curitiba Metro   refer to the above site for the state of Parana No No
Santa Catarina State No No
Bahia State No No
Ceara Econ Development State No No
Rio Grande do Norte State No No
Rio Grande do Sul State     No No
Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and Paraguay Scope



Website Survey Profile
Argentina National     No No
ProChile Chilean Gov Trade Bureau National No No
Chile Foreign Investment Committee National No No
Uruguay National No No
Montevideo Free Trade Zone FTZ    
Paraguay - ProParaguay National No No
Peru, Ecuador, and Bolivia Scope Contacts Website Survey Profile
Peru ProInversión National No No
Peru CONITE National Commission for Foreign Investment & Technology National No No
Peru National Institute of Dev National No No
Peru COPRI Commission for Promotion of Private Investment National No No
Bolivia Ministry of Externa Trade & Investment National No No
Bolivian Agency for the Promotion of Exports (CEPROBOL) National No No
Ecuador Investment & Trade Promotion Corp National No No
Columbia and Venezuela Scope Contacts Website Survey Profile
Colombia Ministry of Econ Dev National No No
Columbia - Invest in Columbia Corp (COINVERTIR) National No No
Venezuela CONAPRI National No No
Explanation of column headings above
  •  Organizations are generally sorted in postal code order so that locations which are geographically close to each other will usually (not always) be grouped together.  This is a selective directory, even though the state directory is more comprehensive than the very selective one we will maintain at the regional level to highlight the organizations which support our work or are found to be of frequent interest for the convenience of the executives and business advisors we serve.
  •  Scope : is the area served by the organization, and postal code.  We may include thumbnail maps which expand to show information about participating areas, or link directly to good maps or GIS research tools on the organization's website.
  •  Contacts : If there is a working relationship through our various GUIDE services, we also list the key organization contact, phone, and optional e-mail.
  •  Website and other resources : Aside from the main website link, we may include other direct links to highlight special features of expected interest to executives, especially if they might not be readily noticed by just visiting the website.  A good example of this is when relevant content is actually maintained somewhere else, such as a regional website rather than the local one, so that one would otherwise need to know to follow the available links between the websites.
The default for all other columns is "No" unless the organization supports our work.
  •  Survey : areas which have responded to our GUIDE Network Survey, with a link to their response for convenience if published (optional) and highlighted at the top.  This is often useful as an executive summary at the "long list" stage of location selection.
  •  Profile : participates in our GUIDE Area Profile service (also highlighted at the top of the page).  This involves a closer working relationship to maintain more timely and detailed knowledge of the area throughout the year, and also involves a more detailed executive summary on the website, with many relevant links.  If there are significant incentives in the area, we may also link to a GUIDE Incentives Profile.
  •  Report : this is used to highlight independent research about the area, such as directories of available sites and buildings, or consultant reports about the area such as labor market studies, cost comparisons, local market analysis, etc.
All area representatives are encouraged to reply to the free GUIDE Network Survey, which consists of very basic questions to help maintain timely knowledge about many areas for referral purposes.  Area representatives : see how to participate.  Current service pricing is listed on the Order Form (Adobe Acrobat .PDF file).  Refer also to any special offers.  Please help us to help you by supporting our work.

Executives are also encouraged to respond to our free Executive Survey (download Adobe PDF copy) which helps us to continuously improve.

The presence, absence, or position of any organization on these lists, or their position on the lists, does not imply any endorsement or opinion about their services, nor by them about our own.

The selections are simply intended to be helpful to executives who may be unaware of such contacts, or how to reach their websites quickly.  Please contact us directly for relevant introductions or any additional contacts, market knowledge, and research which we don't publish.

Contact information for relationship leaders at GDI Solutions :
We develop and maintain working relationships among economic development organizations and professional service providers as well as senior corporate executives who are responsible for the planning of major capital investment projects such as new, relocated, expanded or consolidated offices, factories, distribution centers or other operations - from anywhere in the world to anywhere else..
Name e-mail Phone Fax
Bruce Donnelly 847-304-4655 847-304-5375
This directory selectively highlights participating economic development organizations and professional service provider contacts in the South America region by including more relevant links to useful content than just the local website.  The directory may also identify other contacts of potential interest to executives and business advisors on a selective basis, as in the case of the following initial examples.  We work together with EDO's to share timely knowledge about the benefits of their areas as we serve potential investors and advisors who are responsible for business location or site selection decisions for foreign direct investment (FDI) or capital investment projects such as new factories or offices, expansion projects, business relocation, and consolidation of operations as in post-merger integration situations.

Please contact us for project assistance.  Related services support global B2B technology partneringRefer also to our Bookshelf suggestions. 

Other sources of information

The following additional sources of information are included here for ease of reference in case they may be helpful.  Refer also to the list of US Government and related information sources for this or other regions.  Have you found other good sources, or local contacts for economic development and investment support?  If so, please tell us so that we may share them with others.

General sources of information about doing business in South America Website
Inter-American Dialogue - focus on governmental policy matters
Free Trade Area of the Americas
Organization of American States (OAS)
Partners for the Americas
InfoAmericas - market research and market entry services
Inter-American Development Bank
Financial Services Internet Network - list of websites for South and Central American banks (may not be current)
Univ. of Texas at Austin, Latin American Network Information Center (LANIC)
US Government links for international contact lists at embassies
Latin American Newsletters (LAN) - political, economic and social issues for Latin America and the Caribbean - paid subscriptions
Latin Business Chronicle
LatinSource - independent research on the economies of Latin America
Latin Trade magazine
Revista AmericaEconomia
Enfasis Logistica - specialty magazine in Spanish for markets in Mexico, Central America, and South America, particularly Argentina; publishes a Supplier's Directory each January, and a guide of exhibitors for Expologistica each July
General sources of information about doing business in Brazil Website
US Foreign & Commercial Service, São Paulo
Brazil Trade Net  investment section

CNI - Brazilian National Confederation of Industry
Gazeta Mercantil

IstoÉ Dinheiro - magazine
Jornal do Brasil - JB Online - Terra
O Estado de São Paulo - and Jornal da Tarde  
Brazilink - educational portal with sources on Brazilian sustainable development issues, maintained largely by academic sources, students, and activists, including links for sources of dynamic Internet content which search engines may miss
US translations of foreign-language broadcasts and print media  
World News Connection (WNC) - US Department of Commerce - National Technical Information Service - subscription service for online translations of local media content for most countries as provided by the Foreign Broadcast Information Service - FBIS.  The content is available to search through Dialog on a paid subscription basis.  - for subscription requests

US or Mexico based TV and radio networks serving Hispanic markets mainly serving North American markets, but with indirect reach into other regions
CNN en Español
Univision is a well-known US-based Spanish-language television network which reaches a large audience in the Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban and other Hispanic communities in the United States, Mexico, and Puerto Rico.  It originated as part of a private network in Mexico in what is now Grupo Televisa.  Based in Los Angeles and Miami, it doesn't directly reach Central or South American markets, as the focus is on North American viewers, but it does carry programming from places other than Mexico, such as novelas from Venezuela and sports and news coverage from throughout the region, which can attract visitors to the US.
Telemundo - owned by NBC Universal, was also set up to serve the growing Hispanic market in the United States rather than to target Central or South American markets.  It also includes programs from Mexico, Brazil, Colombia and other markets in the region, but does not really focus on reaching the Central and South American markets directly.  Telemundo also has stations in Argentina, Spain, Mexico and Puerto Rico.

Grupo Televisa mainly serves Mexico and parts of the southern US by cable TV, but is a major media group for the Spanish-speaking community which produces content carried on other networks, including a dispute with Univision in that regard


Voice of America is funded by the US Government, but operates globally with considerable program independence for professional international news coverage, and has therefore attracted a large audience and respect in the manner of the BBC World Service.  Radio Marti and TV Marti are US Government networks aimed specifically at broadcasting into Cuba in much the same way as Radio Liberty and Radio Free Europe were aimed at reaching listeners whose local media were state-controlled or heavily biased against the United States.

South American TV networks, satellite television and magazines or newspapers Listed just for the convenience of executives with interests in the region
Rede Globo TV, part of the influential Globo media group developed by Roberto Marinho, has one of the largest audiences in the world, covering all of Brazil as a national network.  At night in Sao Paulo, you can literally look across the sea of apartment buildings and see the TV sets blinking together as millions of people watch their very popular telenovelas (mini-series or very professionally produced soap operas).  Their novelas are often exported too.

Other publications include the O Globo newspaper in Rio de Janeiro, the Diário de São Paulo newspaper, Valor Econômico business newspaper, and other radio, satellite, cable TV, and print publications.  It also operates TV Globo Internacional, which reaches many Brazilians in the USA, Europe, Japan and other countries, and is responsible for the Sky TV Brasil satellite network in Brazil.   for the TV network  (in Portuguese)   for the media group  for the newspaper O Globo (Rio de Janeiro)

SBT - Sistema Brasileiro de Televisão - Brazilian Television System - Silvio Santos - long the #2 TV network in Brazil after Globo, with many entertainment programs that are basically Brazilian versions of shows which already became popular in the USA and Europe.  (Portuguese)
BBC World - the commercial TV network of the British Broadcasting Corporation, serves many countries worldwide through cable and satellite TV networks, including the Americas.
DirecTV Latin America and Sky Latin America - News Corporation - Fox Entertainment Group - O Canal da Fox in Brazil (with Globo) and Canal Fox  (with Televisa)
Venezolana de Televisión -VTV - Venezuela state television - basically the government's own TV channel, along with others and considerable control over private networks, too.  
Telesur TV is a new television network intended for distribution throughout South America, set up largely as an initiative of the Venezuelan government under Chavez with support from Cuba, Argentina, and Uruguay.  This is hardly a benevolent public service initiative.  It is clearly an attempt to develop a powerful state role in mass media throughout South America, with majority control in the hands of the Venezuelan government.

There has been widespread concern - not just in the US - that Telesur will largely become another propaganda mouthpiece for Chavez, like the VTV Venezuela state television, as a sort of Latin American version of Al Jazeera, taking a populist line of bashing the United States rather than providing serious and reliable, independent regional news coverage.  The region has a long tradition of state-controlled or dominated media and unreliable or very biased private news media too, both on the left and the right.

In this context, it remains to be seen whether Telesur can even attract and maintain an audience, although there is certainly a well-established market for populist, anti-American rhetoric.  As Al Jazeera and newspaper tabloids around the world have shown, populist programming that professional journalists may deride as unethical can attract an audience and be politically influential, but viewers who are familiar with state-controlled media don't readily believe all the things they are told.  The steady repetition of clever propaganda, however, makes it much harder for people to tell the truth from the lies and distortions.

Given funding such as oil wealth which is not tied to competitive performance as a news or TV broadcaster, however, Telesur seems likely to persist and be influential regardless of market success by the standards of countries which expect to have very competitive and independent private news media free of government control of the media.  There is a difference between simply not being an overt propaganda channel for Chavez at first - to gain some credibility - and actually having the courage to report a contrary point of view fairly.


US Chambers of Commerce Website
Association of American Chambers of Commerce in Latin America
American Chamber of Commerce in Argentina
American Chamber of Commerce of Bolivia
Brazil-US Business Council
American Chamber of Commerce São Paulo    
American Chamber of Commerce Rio de Janeiro
Chilean-American Chamber of Commerce
Colombian-American Chamber of Commerce
Ecuadorian-American Chamber of Commerce - Guayaquil
Ecuadorian-American Chamber of Commerce - Quito
Paraguayan-American Chamber of Commerce
American Chamber of Commerce of Peru
Chamber of Commerce Uruguay-USA
Venezuelan American Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Other international Chambers of Commerce  
Corporate Real Estate Firms

This section will be used  for convenience to highlight major corporate real estate firms with operations in the region.

See also the global CRE list, which can be used to find local offices of firms which may not be highlighted below.

We may also provide selective major property listings for the region, with links to the real estate firms and agents involved.

U.S. Equities Realty - offices in São Paulo, Buenos Aires, and Santiago.  Based in Chicago, with US offices in Detroit and Philadelphia, specialized in the development and management of major office projects (such as the large BankBoston buildings in Brazil and Argentina).
Staubach SAC - tenant representation and related corporate real estate services (Spanish Americas & Caribbean)
Herzog Imobiliaria Ltda., Sao Paulo - Brazil office of Staubach
Colliers International - Argentina (Buenos Aires), Brazil (São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro), Chile (Santiago), Colombia (Bogota), Peru (Lima), Venezuela (Caracas)

Oncor International

- Fernandez Mera, for Brazil

- Toribio Achaval Propiedades, for Argentina (no website listed yet)

NAI Latin America and the Caribbean - Paul Caine covers NAI's 31 offices in Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean     email: Paul Caine  TEL 619-236-1660 based in San Diego
Regus - furnished, staffed, and equipped offices on short-term leases, plus meeting rooms, videoconferencing, and temporary (daily) space which may be useful to project teams needing a place to operate in an area during planning or startup work   for list of offices in over 300 locations worldwide

Includes Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Peru, Venezuela Brazil - property listings for major cities, under development
Business Location Consultants, Project Management, Architecture, Engineering, Interior Design, and Construction

This section will be used to highlight major firms within the region, as well as global firms with significant experience in the region.

See also the selective global lists of location consultants and project management services.

Tax and Legal Consultants

This section will be used to highlight major firms within the region, as well as global firms with significant experience in the region.

See also the selective global lists of tax advisors and international legal advisors.

Baker & McKenzie - legal
Steel Hector & Davis LLP - legal (note South American presence)
South American Banks        
Inter-American Development Bank (IADB)
Banco Itaú, Brazil
BBVA (owns Bancomer, Mexico)
Banco do Brasil
Bradesco, Brazil
Banco de Montevideo, Uruguay
Banco Santander, Chile  (Spanish parent, Santander, also owns Banespa in Brazil)
Banco de Chile  
Banco de Credito del Peru  
Banco Mercantil, Venezuela
Banco de Venezuela  
Bancolombia (formerly Banco Industrial Colombiana and Banco de Colombia)
Banco del Pichincha, Ecuador
Banco Bisa, Bolivia
See also : Regional directories of economic development representatives (investment promotion agencies - IPA's, regional economic development organizations or agencies - RDA's, EDO's) and related contacts for the support of foreign direct investment - FDI - projects.

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