Building business through expanding trade and economic relations

Mark Walley

Regional Managing Director, EMEA (RICS)

As the only representative for the built environment institutions, we were recently invited to join Philip Hammond, the Chancellor of the Exchequer in forming a high-level business delegation for the second UK-Brazil Economic and Financial Dialogue (EFD).

Sao Paulo, Brazil

EFDs are designed to promote British business and expand trade and economic relations. Other organisations that formed the delegation include Arup, Bank of England, (UK), London Stock Exchange, Green Investment Bank, Crossrail International, Willis Towers Watson, EY, City of London Corporation and Transport for London.

From Brazil to Argentina

As RICS Regional Managing Director for EMEA, I was delighted to be part of this delegation visit to Brazil and Argentina - which focussed on infrastructure investment and green finance - as it provides an ideal opportunity to raise awareness of the importance of international standards, and the expertise of our professionals in contributing to economic development in Brazil.

During the visit, we formed part of a UK-Brazil Infrastructure and Capital Market Task Force “Business to Government” Roundtable, which included ministerial level delegates from the national and state governments.

We also met with officials from the FEBRABAN (the Brazilian Bank Federation) in São Paulo to learn more about the UK-Brazil Green Finance Partnership, a commitment to grow sustainable development and green finance.

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The importance of international standards

The growing need for International Construction Measurement Standards (ICMS) and broader professionalism of our qualified professionals were the main themes discussed with the Brazilian and Argentine participants.

Positioning the adoption of ICMS as a facilitator for foreign direct investment was key, plus how governments can gain greater control of their spending budgets by mandating use of ICMS in their agency procurement practices.

This theme resonated with both Philip Hammond and Minister Meirelles, Brazilian Minister of Finance as they recently released a joint statement in support of international standards in driving forward sustainable economic growth:

Both countries reiterate their belief that a combination of a more responsible, more transparent, more predictable macroeconomic framework, aligned with international standards, is crucial for sustainable economic growth and development.

Looking to the future

Similarly, the UK Department for International Trade (DIT) teams in the UK, Brazil and Argentina are much clearer about what we can offer to enhance and facilitate infrastructure investment and delivery, and we will be meeting with them over the coming weeks and months to discuss further.

Finally, it was interesting to see how the relationships with the business delegation leaders developed. They all held their own versions of what we do – and we will be discussing a broad range of adoption, education and commercial opportunities with them now we are back.

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