Today we visited Comgas, Sao Paulo’s major natural gas distributor. We learned about how they are supplied NGV from Petrobras, and then have “concessions” by the government for areas where they can distribute gas. Their growth strategy is to move residents away from electricity for showers to natural gas. With a current customer base of 1.2 million out of a potential market of 20 million, they have lots of room to grow. There is a culture shift required to move people away from electricity to gas, and that is their big challenge.
We then visited the newly appointed Consul General of Canada to Sao Paulo, Stephane Larue and Trade Commissioner Benoit Prefontaine to hear about the efforts Canada is making to create more bi-lateral opportunities between the two countries. It was a most interesting presentation, and we learned about both the hurdles of doing business in Brazil, but also the rewards for the efforts.
A map of Sao Paulo in 2005 – Yes, it’s that big!