Juliana Mello

Juliana Mello

The Brazil Business


Introduction to Apex

Juliana Mello

Juliana Mello

The Brazil Business


This article will give you an introduction to Apex-Brasil and its national and international working fronts. Also, we will make an overview of this governmental agency, showing the main services that it offers to foreign entrepreneurs.

Apex, short for "Agência Brasileira de Exportação e Investimento", (Brazilian Trade and Investment Promoting Agency) is a governmental organization responsible for promoting Brazil's exports and services in international markets. Its mission also extends to support Brazilian companies' internationalization and attract foreign investments into the country.

Currently, the Agency supports 81 sectors of the Brazilian economy, divided into six large productive categories: food and beverages, fashion, technology and health care, housing and civil construction, entertainment and services, and machinery and equipment.

The basis of Apex-Brasil's work is to establish partnerships with the private sector, always looking to expand the number of exporting companies, open new markets for national products and services and strengthen the Brazilian presence in traditional markets.

Part of Lula administration's industrial policy, Apex-Brasil was created in 2003, as an Autonomous Social Service affiliated to the Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade (MDIC). In 2007, the Agency began a large action in order to stimulate foreign investments in Brazil and from 2008, it began a training for national entrepreneurs. Apex-Brasil currently supports over 10,000 enterprises, which accounted for 16.82% of the country's exports in 2009.

National Structure

Apex-Brasil has a large infrastructure and operates throughout the country. The Agency is based in Brasilia-DF, but it has offices in other thirteen national states: Amazonas, Bahia, Ceará, Espírito Santo, Goiás, Minas Gerais, Mato Grosso do Sul, Pernambuco, Pará, Paraná, Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina and São Paulo.

There is also Operational Centers of the Exporting Industrial Extension Project (PEIEX) established in eleven states: Alagoas, Bahia, Ceará, Distrito Federal, Goiás, Minas Gerais, Pernambuco, Pará, Paraná, Rio Grande do Sul and Sergipe.

International Structure

Apex-Brasil maintains Business Support Centers (BSC) in several cities around the world. The BSC's are platforms that assist Brazilian companies in their internationalization process, by searching business opportunities and increasing their share in major markets, as well as providing support to foreign investors.

The BSC's are located in Asia (Beijing - China), Middle East (Dubai - United Arab Emirates), North America (Miami - USA), Central America and the Caribbean (Havana - Cuba), Western Europe (Brussels – Belgium), Eastern Europe (Moscow - Russia) and Africa (Luanda - Angola).

Along with Brussels BSC, the Brazilian Business Affairs office of Apex-Brasil and the Brazilian National Confederation of Industry (CNI) was established to monitor trends and decisions of the European Union that affect or could affect Brazilian exports.

Apex services for foreign entrepreneurs

One of the main Apex-Brasil's goals is to promote investments opportunities in order to attract foreign direct investments into Brazil. The Agency focuses on companies and projects that offer technological innovations and new trade models that are able to strengthen the industrial supply chain, generate jobs and improve the volume and the diversity of the Brazilian exports.

The Agency's services go from contacting potential investors to helping future investors understanding Brazil, as in a consulting service. Apex prepares researches and analysis about market and industry sectors, economic trends, and general orientation in juridical and fiscal matter.

Apex also provides information about entry costs, adequate places and qualified labor in each possible investment area. Overall, those are the types of services provided by Apex-Brasil:

  • Building strategies to attract foreign investors
  • Providing comprehensive intelligence about Brazil
  • Offering sector and market intelligence
  • Providing legal and regulatory environment highlights
  • Offering location studies and analysis assistance
  • Providing site visit guidance and assistance

Sectors supported by Apex-Brasil in details

The segments that have received most of the foreign investments in Brasil were Life Sciences, Oil and Gas, Tourism, IT/BPO, Venture Capital and Semiconductors. Down below, there is a full list of the segments contemplated by Apex-Brasil, separated in six large productive complexes:

Agribusiness, Food and Beverage

  • Biscuits, specialty and industrialized coffee
  • Meat (beef, pork, chicken)
  • Chocolates, candies and sweets
  • Equipment, products and services for the alcohol industry (ethanol)
  • Mate herb
  • Fruits, juices and pulps
  • Genetic material and other products of cattle raising
  • Honey
  • Ethnic products
  • Organic products
  • Pet products
  • Sisal and other fibers
  • Wine

Housing & Civil Construction

  • Accessories and components for furniture
  • Non-ferrous metal materials
  • Handicrafts
  • Ceramic tiles
  • Real estate projects
  • Plaster
  • Furniture
  • Ornamental rocks
  • Home decor objects
  • Glasses

Entertainment and Services

  • Visual Arts
  • Editorial content
  • Advertising videos
  • Franchises
  • Musical instruments
  • Music, film making
  • TV production
  • Design services
  • Architecture

Machinery and Equipment

  • Aircrafts and parts, aero parts, air conditioning, auto parts, mechanical capital goods
  • Electrical and electronic products
  • Packages
  • Mining equipment
  • Foundry, printing and office supplies
  • Machines and equipment in general (for printing, textile and agricultural sectors, industrial furnaces and ovens, marine equipment and offshore exploration)
  • Machinery and equipment for leather and footwear
  • Machinery and equipment for bakery
  • Machinery and equipment for ice cream
  • Machinery for meat processing
  • Defense and security materials
  • Metal mechanic sector
  • Oil and gas
  • Plastic


  • Footwear
  • Cosmetics
  • Leather and artifacts
  • Fashion design
  • Jewelry, imitation jewelry, precious stones and similar
  • Parts and components for footwear; textiles and apparel

Technology and Health Care

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