Published On: Mon, Aug 13th, 2012

So What’s Cool with Hot Brazil….

By Al Zucaro

Does Boca Raton now really get the value in the international market? Well…. maybe….

This is not merely a rhetorical question. It seems that the city council and administration have allowed editorial privilege to the Kaye Communication’s team to look beyond the borders of our great city and invite an international presence to begin and grow.

On September 7th, downtown Boca Raton will be the main stage in south Florida for Brazil’s Independence Day. “Boca and Brazil Meet to Celebrate the Brazilian Beat” is a themed event held in partnership with the Consulate General of Brazil in Miami and will provide a recognition of the growing cultural and commercial presence Brazilians are having here in the southern section of Palm Beach County.

In the last few months, Brazil has attracted a lot of attention and economic interest resulting in a continuing flow of business and political dignitaries to and from that nation.

In October last year, President Obama traveled there encouraging growth in American exports and business exchanges with and to that country. Sporting Florida’s international trade figures, Governor Scott, earlier this year, led a delegation of business people to Sao Paulo including Palm Beach County’s own president of the Business Development Board, Kelly Smallridge, as well as representatives of our port, the Port of
Palm Beach.

On a separate occasion, the president of the county’s Convention and Visitors Bureau also visited Brazil to encourage tourism and to demonstrate the importance for the Federal Government’s expansion of the Visa Waiver program to include such an important western hemispheric economic power.

Kudos is extended to Kaye Communications for developing this initiative here in Boca Raton and to the City Council for allowing such an event to progress.

Kudos is also given to the supporting organizations including this newspaper for recognizing how a cultural event of this magnitude can have a positive and sustainable effect on economic development. With initiatives like this, Boca Raton begins to lay claim as an international destination of significance for culture and for commerce.

Canada, Great Britain, France, and Germany are but a few of the international populations that have significant presence in or near our great city. Trade agreements with Columbia and Panama make these nations targets for business expansion and economic development as well. And the city’s recent addition of a language translator to its website is another first step down this international economic path….

Noticeably missing as sponsors for this event are the Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce and Enterprise Florida, itself.

Enterprise Florida identifies dozens of Brazilian companies doing business in the state. These companies present recruitment opportunities for the chamber, and new sponsorship dollars to support these undertaking.

Culture is very important. Culture is a precursor to commerce. That point cannot be argued. When a cultural event like this presents itself, the opportunity to include commerce and trade should not be overlooked.

Our political leaders, especially the Mayor, need to participate. Declare the day as Brazilian Independence Day here in Boca; present the key to the city to the Consul General; and develop the relationships necessary to sustain a continuing flow of guests to our great city, Boca Raton.

Dignitaries from diplomatic locations in Miami are responsible for their nation’s presence throughout the entire state of Florida. They welcome and indeed look for moments to present themselves to other locations statewide beyond Miami. We are a very attractive destination….

Finally, in a previous column, I wrote that our city should embrace the Presidential Debate coming up in October at Lynn University. I refer my readers to view this month’s Florida Trend magazine’s article on Tampa and the Republican National Convention for a look at the possibilities that city government can realize if only it takes a positive approach with a can do attitude…..

Al Zucaro

Visit Al’s website, and view his internet broadcast show, Citizens of the World on

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