Brazil’s new President, Michel Temer, and Prime Minister Abe of Japan recently met in Tokyo to discuss a trade partnership as well as investment opportunities in Brazil. Brazil’s population is more than 200 million, so the country is a consumer mecca for Japanese products. More than 700 Japanese companies have a presence in Brazil right now, but Japan has not been backing these companies because of the frosty relationship between Japan and Brazil over the past 11 years.
Prime Minister Abe was sincere when he said that Japan will encourage and enhance the relationship that Japanese companies have with Brazilian consumers and corporations. Temer also wants to expand Brazilian exports to Japan. In 2015, Brazilian exports to Japan amounted to $8.5 billion. In 2014, the export total was $10 billion. Increasing exports to Japan makes sense to Flavio Maluf, the current CEO, and president of the building material supplier, Eucatex. Eucatex ships several products to Japan, and Maluf wants to increase the company’s presence in the Japanese market.
Eucatex is one of Brazil’s premier corporations. Flavio Maluf has been in control of the family business for 20 years. One of Eucatex largest customers is Home Depot. Maluf wants to increase shelf space in those stores as well as similar stores in Asia and Europe.
Eucatex hasn’t always been a multi-product manufacturer and distributor. Flavio’s grandfather started the company with one product in the 1950s. That product was eucalyptus wood ceiling tiles. A ceiling tile made out of eucalyptus wood was a new item in Brazil, and the consumer and construction market loved it.
Today, thanks to Flavio Maluf’s leadership, Eucatex is known around the world for making eco-friendly products. Those products are shipped under several brand names. Flavio Maluf has done an excellent job turning Eucatex into an environmentally friendly manufacturer. Maluf is concerned about the environment, and he is often asked to speak to groups about the importance of protecting the country’s natural resources.