ASUTIL (Asociación Sudamericana de Tiendas Libres) has shared more detail on a special conference and meeting due to take place next month following the first slew of duty free shop openings on the Brazilian land border.
Primer Encuentro de Border Duty Free Shops de América Latina La Frontera Hoy, a co-operation between ASUTIL and the Chamber of Free Shops of Uruguay (CEFSU), will take place at the Sheraton Hotel in Porto Alegre from 4-6 November.
The *two-day event, which has its roots in the Encuentro de Frontera programmes of 2013 and 2014, will include insightful conference sessions (non-English), networking time and luncheons for attendees to catch-up with clients or negotiate business.
HEAVYWEIGHT SPEAKER LINEUP
As reported, non-members and members associated with the Brazil land border trade can meet with suppliers, but importantly uncover in more depth the mechanics of a business that remains in its infancy.
Operational and regulatory questions remain and the meeting will aim to address these, among other issues.
Speakers include Argentinian Economist Carlos Melconian, who will unbox political and economic developments in the region.
Maria Villanueva, Senior Consultant, m1nd-set will present exclusive research on the purchasing behaviours and perspectives of border store buyers in South America.
Meanwhile, Diego Lico, President of the Chamber of Free Zones of Uruguay will discuss as part of a panel the history and challenges of harmonising free shop regimes in Uruguay and Brazil, feeding into the Mercosur framework.
The South American duty free industry received last year the green light from Brazil’s Receita Federal to operate border shops in any of the 32 twin cities bordering Brazil.
Openings had been slowed owing to administrative issues such as permit approvals and the implementation of software to run the shops.
However, Dufry, Caraballat Free Shop and Emporio Duty Free are among a crop of companies who have opened shops. As reported, DFA is also set to open its first Brazilian border shop this month.
As a new, frontier market, ASUTIL says the scenario is ‘challenging’, but of ‘great impact and magnitude’ for the industry.
“We hope that it gives new impetus to our industry, a key piece in the economic development of the region and Uruguay,” said the association.
*Registration will be open on Monday 4 November. On Tuesday 5 November the conference schedule will begin in the morning, followed by post-lunch networking time. A welcome dinner courtesy of Dufry will take place in the evening. Delegates will be able to enjoy the conference and networking time on Wednesday 6 November, with a lunch closing the event.
To register, click here.
For more information, click here.