Fostering Bilateral Trade and Investment Flows Between Brazil and Florida

"The impressive growth in the bilateral flow of trade, investments and tourists has turned Brazil into one of Florida's most important partners. The Brazil-Florida Business Council is, therefore, an important channel to encourage closer cooperation between business communities in Brazil and in the state of Florida.

As Consul General of Brazil in Miami, I am committed to working closely with the Council, in order to foster closer economic ties between both regions, especially at a time international trade has become a top priority to the Brazilian foreign policy."

Ambassador Adalnio Senna GanemHis Excellency the Consul General of Brazil 

"I want to thank the Brazil-Florida Business Council and Founding President Sueli Bonaparte for all you are doing to strengthen relationships between Florida and Brazil and create more opportunities for business and Florida families. Brazil continues to be Florida's number one international trade partner, and we want to make Florida first for job creation so families have more opportunities to live their dreams."

Rick Scott, His Excellency, the Honorable Governor of Florida

"Sueli, the amazing energy that you bring to this cause is astounding. I envision this organization and the relationship to go long beyond certainly my tenure as a mayor, and I think building a bond between Brazil and Florida, particularly between Brazil and Tampa, is going to be important. The Brazil-Florida Business Council can play a vital role to the economic growth of the city. If we are going to be the city we want to be, we will have to expand our horizons and be global in our perspective and global in our actions."

Bob Buckhorn, The Honorable Mayor of Tampa

A Message from the Founding President

Dear Members, Friends and Supporters,

What an amazing way to start off the New Year!

The 2017 Brazil Business Forum held on January 24th at the Tampa Club was a tremendous success--a sold-out event! Business executives from across the region gathered to listen to renowned experts on Brazil's political and economic outlook, as well as the country's business and investment developments and opportunities. This highly-regarded business conference was opened by Ambassador Adalnio Senna Ganem, Consul General of Brazil in Miami, who delivered an optimistic address about the future of the largest Latin American economy.

The takeaway message from the Forum was that despite the political uncertainties and current economic adversities the country is facing, there are untapped investment opportunities for foreign investors, especially in infrastructure projects.

Brazil's large and diverse economy can't be ignored! Businesses around the globe will continue to look to this nation of 201 million people population for robust business growth in the coming years.

It gives me great pleasure to inform you that the following members have upgraded their membership for 2017: Vaine Angelo, CEO, Geração Mulher, and Munawar Iqbal, President of PrimeCo Mining, both to the President's Circle Level; and Pedro Drummond, Partner of Drummond Legal Advisors LLC to Patron Level. The strength of the BFBC comes from the involvement and support of our membership. To our valued members, we thank you for your continued support, trust and partnership!

Through the support of our membership base, we remain resilient and look forward to laser-focusing on our mission to achieve the objectives set for 2017.

Warm regards,


Sueli Cristina Bonaparte

Founding President & Chairman

Read more President Messages here.

Council News

Os negócios entre Brasil e Flórida: tem muito acontecendo, mas é só o começo

Sueli Bonaparte conhece as relações de negócios entre Brasil e EUA como poucos. Ela atua nesse segmento desde o começo dos anos 90, quando exerceu, entre outras atividades, o cargo de diretora executiva da Câmara de Comércio Brasil-Estados Unidos de Nova York. Nos 17 anos em que exerceu esse cargo, Sueli ajudou a impulsionar a câmara à condição de principal fórum de negócios entre os dois países. Nascida e criada em Mirassol, no Estado de São Paulo, Sueli veio para os Estados Unidos em 1984 e de lá para cá tem se dedicado de corpo e alma ao desenvolvimento das relações comerciais bilaterais entre os dois países.

Em 2014, Sueli lançou sua mais nova empreitada, o Brazil Florida Business Council. Baseado em Tampa, no oeste da Flórida, O BFBC tem o objetivo de dinamizar o comércio e as relações empresariais entre o Brasil e seu principal parceiro nos EUA, a Flórida, e ajudar empresas e investidores das duas regiões a identificar oportunidades de negócios promissoras.

Read the entire interview here.

Council helps businesses in Brazil, Florida navigate bureaucracy

Brazil is Florida’s No. 1 trade partner when it comes to exports, but getting in the door isn’t easy. The Brazil-Florida Business Council provides a forum for business people to exchange ideas and network.

Sueli Bonaparte - President and FounderTAMPA, June 17 — Brazil is Florida’s No. 1 trade partner when it comes to exports. But getting in the door isn’t easy. Cutting through red tape and tariffs requires a sharp tool.

Enter Sueli Bonaparte, who for 17 years served as executive director of the Brazilian-American Chamber of Commerce in New York City, slicing through bureaucracy to create international partnerships. After moving to Florida a few years back, Bonaparte said, she saw a lot of untapped potential for connecting business threads between this state and her native Brazil.

Read more.

Encontro realizado em São Paulo auxilia investidores brasileiros interessados em ingressar no estado da Flórida

Uma das maiores ambições de empresários brasileiros é fazer com que seu negócio seja reconhecido internacionalmente, porém, muitos não possuem as informações e regras para trilhar esse caminho.

Pensando em auxiliar esses executivos, as organizações Brazil-Florida Business Council (BFBC), Enterprise Flórida e APEX-Brasil, que trabalham na intensificação do relacionamento entre o estado da Flórida e o Brasil, realizaram no último dia 7 de julho, em São Paulo, um encontro com o objetivo de apresentar estratégias para o investidor interessado em ter uma fatia de seu negócio nos EUA.

Com o tema "Investindo na Flórida: desafios e oportunidades", o encontro foi apresentado pela presidente-fundadora, Sueli Bonaparte, e contou com a participação de líderes empresariais com filiais no estado americano.

Read more.

Member Spotlight

We are proud to highlight the following Council members in President's Circle and Patron membership levels. Learn more about prestigious companies who have selected the Brazil-Florida Business Council as their partner to foster business relationships between Brazil and Florida. If you wish to upgrade your membership category, contact Sueli Bonaparte at

A15 Investments is a Brazilian company investing in basic education in the United States. The company started operations in Florida, envisioning opportunities in the Sunshine State. Through a partnership with Kiddie Academy, one of the largest American franchisers of educational childcare, and leveraging 40 years education experience in Brazil,  it established the first school from scratch: buying the land, building the property and managing the school operations. The company plans to build dozens of schools in the coming years. 

Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras S.A. is the highly successful Brazilian airline launched by JetBlue founder David Neeleman. The quality of its services has been acknowledged by many national and international awards.  In 2015 Azul was named by Skytrax World Airline Awards, for the fifth time in a row, as the " Best low-cost airline in South America." Azul launched their services in the Brazilian domestic market on December 15, 2008 between three cities: Campinas, Salvador, and Porto Alegre. The company's business model was based on meeting the demand for frequent and affordable air service to underserved markets throughout Brazil. Today, Azul is the airline with the greatest number of destinations served in Brazil. The company has a fleet of 140 aircraft, more than 10,000 employees, over 900 departures per day, 100+ destinations being served, and one-third of all the departures in the country. 

Drummond Advisors has a multidisciplinary team with experience and certifications to operate in the United States and Brazil. Our team has accountants, lawyers, managers and consultants with experience in international business. The qualifications of these professionals enables Drummond to have a broad and complete overview of the challenges involved in international transactions, including those relating to accounting standards (US GAAP vs. IFRS-International Standards), tax, legal and market analysis.

In a market with fewer economic barriers, it is important to be in constant contact with specialized professionals who are in tune with world economic trends. In such a global market, it is vital to have qualified consultants certified in specific countries to help ensure proper international accounting, taxation and legal compliance, with security and excellence. In this challenging environment, Drummond Advisors was created to fulfill the needs of companies operating in both the Brazilian and U.S. markets.

In order to deliver an exceptional level of high quality service, the consulting performed by Drummond Advisors presents a set of skills that differentiates us in the market, allowing greater efficiency, timeliness and promptness in service. We mean to always work in partnership with our clients, ensuring their accounting, tax, legal and market needs are aligned to your goals, thus enabling sustainable financial decisions and successfully exits.

Geração Mulher is an ethical Brazilian fashion brand tailored to the lifestyle of modern women. Each piece created by Geração Mulher carries three elements that are vital for women who are always on the go: comfort, practicality, and elegance.

Founded in 2016 by two sisters, Vaine Angelo-Saddow and Giane Angelo Souza, Geração Mulher is built upon values of integrity, respect, and social empowerment. As an ethical fashion brand, the manufacturing of our clothes, which are made in Brazil, follows strict guidelines to maximize benefits to employees and communities as well as minimize environment impact through the reuse of textile waste.

Our clothes line is sold in Brazil through our e-commerce store and selected boutiques and it will be available for sale on Amazon Prime in the United States in the Spring of 2017 through the distribution company Essentials by Vaine. We are looking forward to expand our partnerships with Brazilian and American stores in the near future.

Gerdau is the leading company in the production of long steel in the Americas and one of the major suppliers of specialty long steel in the world. With more than 45,000 employees, Gerdau has an installed capacity of more than 25 million metric tons of steel and it is the largest recycler in Latin America, and around the world, it transforms millions of metric tons of scrap into steel every year.

More than a century ago, Gerdau began its expansion path and now has a presence in 14 countries: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, India, Mexico, Peru, Spain, U.S., Uruguay and Venezuela.

Its products, sold on five continents, serve the civil construction, industrial and agricultural sectors. Gerdau products, in all their diverse forms, have a day-to-day presence in the lives of people. They are an integral part of the structure of homes, shopping centers, hospitals, bridges and hydroelectric plants; they are part of power and telephone lines; they are raw material for automotive parts and they can be found at work on the farm. For more information, click here.

Miami International Airport (MIA), located on 3,230 acres of land near downtown Miami, is operated by the Miami-Dade Aviation Department and is the property of Miami-Dade County government. Founded in 1928, MIA now offers more flights to Latin America and the Caribbean than any other U.S. airport, is America’s second-busiest airport for international passengers, boasts a lineup over 100 air carriers and is the top U.S. airport for international freight. MIA is also the leading economic engine for Miami-Dade County and the state of Florida, generating business revenue of $33.7 billion annually and welcoming 70 percent of all international visitors to Florida. MIA’s vision is to grow from a recognized hemispheric hub to a global airport of choice that offers customers a world-class experience and an expanded route network with direct passenger and cargo access to all world regions.

Tampa International Airport is consistently ranked among the world’s top airports, serving nearly 18-million passengers with routes to more than 70 destinations around the world, including London, Panama City, Zurich and Havana. In the past few years, the airport has received top awards on the state, national and international levels, including being named the No. 2 domestic airport in reader polls by both Travel + Leisure magazine and Condé Nast Traveler. CNN also listed TPA as the only U.S. airport among ten of the world's most loved airports. Tampa International recently broke ground on the largest construction program in airport history as it expands its main terminal and builds a 1.4-mile people mover extending to a new rental car facility. Tampa International Airport is the flagship airport of the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority, which operates all publicly owned airports in Hillsborough County, Florida. For more information, click here.

T-Grão Cargo Terminal de Granéis S/A was founded to operate the privatized grain silos complex located at Pier 26 in Brazil's Port of Santos, the largest and most active cargo port in Latin America.

The company's origins date to 1998, when it won the public bidding process to operate the old Santos Port silos. The Company’s management then initiated an ambitious modernization project to upgrade its facilities, ensuring it would be able to meet the increasing volumes of Brazil's grain trade.

Today, the concrete silo walls are the only remaining original part of the old Santos Port Silos. All other equipment in operation has been replaced by modern hardware which allows the terminal to be fully automated.

T-Grão is finalizing its expansion project to reach a total bulk grain storage capacity of 114,000 metric tons. The project has resulted in transforming the operation into a bi-directional terminal that handles both imports and exports simultaneously, all while keeping different grain products, such as wheat, soybean and maize, completely segregated.


Luncheon in honor of
Brazil's Consul General
(For BFBC Members)

February 27, 2017

DB Bistro Miami

By Invitation Only!

Networking After Work

(For BFBC Members)

February 28, 2017

Posto 9- A Brazilian Gastropub

Register here

Annual Membership Luncheon (For BFBC Members)

March 7, 2017

The Tampa Club

Register here

Private Wealth Brazil Forum (Partner Event)

March 27, 2017

The Renaissance São Paulo

Registration open soon!

U.S. & Brazil: Employment and Labor Law Update

April 3, 2017

Hosted by Trenam Law

Registration open soon!

Networking After Work

(For BFBC Members)

April 11, 2017

Fleming's Steakhouse Wine & Bar

Registration open soon!

Navigating Immigration Pitfalls Within The Current Administration

May 4, 2017

Hosted by Shumaker

Registration open soon!



Brazil Outlook for 2017


2017 Brazil Business Forum


"Sueli is relentless in pursuing excellence for Brazil-US relations, and she should really be congratulated for that. Honestly, we highly respect her work and all the great things she’s done now, she’s doing it here."

Gary Spulak, Embraer Aircraft Holding, Inc.

"I'd like to say how excited we are for the launching of the Brazil-Florida Business Council and the important work they'll do in further connecting Brazil's and Florida's business communities and promoting Brazilian companies in Florida.

David NeelemanAzul Brazilian Airlines

"It is important to work with partners such as the Brazil-Florida Business Council to help counsel and advise American companies about doing business in Brazil."

Stephen KnodeUnited States Commercial Service

"Brazil continues to be Florida's largest global market for trade and FDI. The partnership between the Brazilian Office of Enterprise Florida and the Brazil-Florida Business Council play a vital role to capitalize on business prospects in both regions."

Fabio Yamada, Enterprise Florida Brazil


Tampa ranks as one of most affordable markets in U.S. in most recent data reports

TAMPA, FL - The Tampa MSA ranks once again as one of the most affordable metros in the United States and the second most affordable market in Florida. With a 2016 Cost of Living Index (COLI) of 91.5, the Tampa market is 8.5 points lower than the national average of 100.

In comparison with the rest of Florida, the Orlando market’s COLI was 94.2, Miami was 111, and Jacksonville was 95.8. 

Read more.

Gerdau – from Porto Alegre roots to the world’s 14th largest steelmaker and the largest producer of long steel in the Americas

Gerdau traces its roots to the turn of the last century in Porto Alegre, Brazil and has become the world’s 14th largest steelmaker and the largest producer of long steel in the Americas.

With a global presence, Gerdau has approximately 120 locations in North America, which includes a corporate headquarters location in Tampa, and employs more than 11,000 people in the United States and Canada.

Read more. 

Brazil IPO Market Shows Signs of Life as Azul Announces Offering

Azul SA, the airline led by JetBlue Airways Corp. founder David Neeleman, filed for an initial public offering in the U.S. after at least two previous delays, adding to a pickup in share sales by Brazilian companies.

The Sao Paulo-based airline, in a statement to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday, filed for a $100 million IPO, a placeholder amount used to calculate fees that may change.

Read more.

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