Taxes and financing among hottest topics
The NBCC working committees have identified a comprehensive list of hot topics for their initial discussions. The ambition is to provide the NBCC members with new tools in a challenging business environment.
The members of the NBCC decided to create working committees on relevant matters during the first networking meeting for the members back in 2013. All the committees have now had their kick-off meetings, and the coordinators are excited about the enthusiasm and commitment the participants are showing.
"There is a clear necessity to have a forum where companies can meet and do networking, discuss common challenges and opportunities in all aspects of business. Financial matters are key for an effective and profitable business in Brazil, as are legal and human resources (HR) matters, discussed by the other two committees", says Marcelo Müller, Director at Tridimensional and coordinator of the Finance committee.
Ana Paula Alves from Siem Offshore is the coordinator of the committee on Human Resources.
"The work we do in the committees is important in order to exchange ideas and experiences to improve business in Brazil. As the problems and issues are pretty much the same for all of us, the sharing of knowledge can contribute to improving the business here", she says. The committee on HR are focusing on visa regulations in Brazil in its early phase of work.
Paulo Sabino, Legal Counsel at DOF Brasil, is coordinating the work of the Legal committee:
"The Legal committee kick-off meeting was held in May. We had the opportunity to discuss and set the plans for 2014 and we had a brainstorm on the hot topics that NBCC members are interested in debating within the Legal committee. There are several topics of interest, like taxes related to the oil and gas industry, regulations regarding expats coming from or going to Brazil and the process of transferring money to and from Brazil", Mr. Sabino explains.
Other subjects were also highlighted by the participants, like the importance of preparing a very detailed business plan prior to taking the decision to invest or open a subsidiary in Brazil, insurance, local content, tax exemptions management and improvements in the offshore contracts entered with Petrobras, among others.
The members of the committee on finance have also identified several topics as priorities in their work:
"How to finance projects locally, Repetro, how to do business effectively in the oil & gas sector in Brazil and how to report local particularities to holding companies abroad will be on top of the list", says Marcelo Müller.
The process of identifying the top priorities has however been challenging.
"The members of the Legal committee are very busy people with different backgrounds, so it has been difficult to set a single, focused line of action. The tendency is that discussions and action plans will be broader and more diversified than originally expected, which is a positive and interesting aspect on one side, but also a challenge, in particular when it comes to delivering concrete results to the end client, which are the NBCC members. Focus is sometimes the key factor", says Paulo Sabino.
Marcelo Müller shares this view.
"We believe that selecting the most important topics and trying to separate the financial aspect from a topic are the most challenging for our committee. We believe that most of the main topics have relevant financial, legal and HR factors to be discussed. The cooperation between committees will be paramount to add value to our members", says Marcelo Müller.
All the coordinators emphasize the importance of the work that the committees are doing.
"We can provide the members with an additional forum and new tools for the members to understand and navigate more effectively in the local business environment, and are very excited with the opportunity", says Mr. Müller.
The activities of the Legal committee are directed to enabling NBCC members to broaden their knowledge of the legal aspects of doing business in Brazil, from a practical, business-oriented point of view.
"Whenever possible, the Legal committee will distribute to NBCC members papers containing a summary of the matters discussed at meetings. Providing NBCC members with sources for research and references to articles on the matters dealt with at meetings will be one of the committee’s priorities. In addition to matters related to the day-to-day activities of businesses that belong to the NBCC, we also seek to highlight issues that have strategic importance for NBCC members. Cooperation with the other NBCC committees is also an important focus for the activities conducted by the Legal committee", Mr. Sabino informs.
Both Marcelo Müller and Paulo Sabino applaud the interest that members are showing.
"We were impressed by the level of interest to participate in the Financial committee. So far we have met only once, but we are planning to have meetings every 30 to 60 days. Our committee had a very productive first meeting where we all met in person and brought interesting topics to the table and we are already sharing opinions on some of the most relevant topics", Mr. Müller says.
"It is fantastic to see the enthusiasm and commitment of the legal committee members. It is also very good that members from the other committees are truly interested in developing a cooperation between the groups, which will for sure enrich the discussions here and there", Paulo Sabino concludes.
On August 14, 2014 the Legal and HR committees are gathering for the second time.
By Runa Hestmann, NBCC journalist
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