A couple of months ago I had the pleasure of discussing KREOD with Alexander Jarvis and Chun Qing Li in the opulent surroundings of the Brazilian Embassy in London. The guys are heading a team who are planning to build an amazing event space in the Barra da Tijuca to coincide with the Rio Games in 2016…..
KREOD is an architectural sculpture and innovative event space, which was first opened next to the London Olympic site in 2012. To my eye it looks futuristic and even space aged, but at the same time sympathetic to nature, like a gigantic yet elegant metal caterpillar winding its way across the earth. The brain behind the building is a young architect named Chun Qing Li, who spent years realising his dream of constructing KREOD, which at times looked impossible. His efforts paid off, as not only was the building a wildly successful event space, but it also went on to win the Surface Design Award 2013 as well as being nominated for the British Construction Awards and Structural Engineering Awards.
But that was not the end of the story, as an even bigger version of the KREOD is planned for the Rio Olympics in 2016, with an event space seven times bigger than the London version. Chun Qing Li has been working alongside visionary entrepreneur Alexander Jarvis, Chairman of Blackbridge Cross Borders and the Brazilian authorities to make the dream a reality.
A launch event is for KREOD Rio 2016 is being held at the Park Lane Hilton this September, check here for details. The ultimate aim of the pavilion is to bring together Brazilian, Chinese and UK entrepreneurs for networking, dinners and deal making, with the Games as an unbeatable backdrop. The pavilion will also allow entrepreneurs and businesses to showcase their goods and services and the target is to attract EUR 90 million worth of investment into the state of Rio de Janeiro.
The team are planning an ambitious series of events in the UK and China in the run up the games, all kicking in London this September.
Brazilian – Chinese trade stats have gone from virtually zero 15 years ago to a point now where China is Brazil’s biggest trade partner, by any yardstick a simply remarkable development. For now this relationship is based on one hand by China’s demand for commodities; such as soya, iron ore and oil which Brazil has in abundance. On the other hand lays Brazilian demand (much like the rest of the world) for the products of Chinese factories.
Now the relationship has the potential to go even further, and for Chinese companies to step their direct investment in Brazil. This is already well established in fields such as manufacturing cars, but there are also sectors with tonnes of untapped potential such kick-starting Chinese tourism in the country.
In comparison the UK is way behind, the shift in global economic power to the BRICS and beyond is not fully appreciated, too concerned with its relations with the US and Europe, ties with the rest of the world have been neglected, Brazil included. However, perceptions are changing and the hosting of the World Cup and Olympics will give the country a chance to showcase itself as a modern business like environment, complementing its friendly laid back image.
Similarly Brazilian companies have not yet realised the potential of investing in China – although big brands like Embraer, Embraco and WEG have established themselves there, other companies have not fully taken advantage of the vast Chinese market. But as Chinese consumers grow richer and more sophisticated and Brazilian companies become more confident of expanding abroad, they will surely take the opportunity to establish themselves in China.