XV BGI Annual Conference 2012 - Fortaleza, Ceará, Brasil

This year the chosen location for the 16th Annual Congress of BGI was the beautiful coastal city of Fortaleza, the capital of Ceará County, and one of the largest in Brazil. The conference took place between 16th and 19th May in Gran Marquise hotel, where the majority of events were held and most of the guests resided.

Date 26/05/2012

The conference was opened with a welcome drink at the headquarters of the Federation of Industries of Ceara (FIEC). Similarly to previous occasions, this welcome drink provided us with a perfect opportunity to greet each other and catch up, both on work-related- and on personal topics. Our relationships with each other are oftentimes more than mere acquaintance; most of us have known each other for more than fifteen years. Therefore our working relationships have evolved into friendship. After both Cid Marconi (the vice president of BGI and the organizer of this year’s event) and Juan Luis Balmaseda de Ahumada Diez (the president of BGI) had taken the floor to officially greet the attendees, we looked forward to a pleasant evening on the terrace with live music as entertainment. On Thursday 17th May, after all of the participants had registered, the conference was officially launched. In the morning, the main focus was placed on internal issues and on the organization of Balms Group International; presentation of the accounts and audit in 2011, a forecasted budget for next year, with references to cases. Also discussed was the election of new Executive Committee members, introduction of our new Mexican partners, Villarreal Cuevas and Lawyers, presentation of new members, reports on social networks and their evolution, presentation of the new issue of BGI Law Magazine as well as the new format of the website, etc. After the luncheon hosted by the Trade Federation of Ceará and Fortaleza in the restaurant "Sal e Brasa", we resumed our work with international bodies in the form of a lively discussion, addressing a variety of issues such as marketing structure and Balms Group International’s choice of venues and dates for upcoming conferences. The next conference to take place is the European Continental Congress, which is to be held in October, in Vienna, Austria. Subsequently, the American Continental Congress scheduled for November will be celebrated in Asuncion in Paraguay. Thereafter the headquarters of the next annual conferences will be Milan (Italy) in 2013 and Buenos Aires (Argentina) in 2014. Following a short coffee-break, the talks proceeded, with the presentation the Franchising House: “An opportunity to specialize our networks and open new markets” as commented by Javier Lopez. The day ended with dinner at ‘Crocobeach’s’ restaurant in Praia do Futuro, a beautiful complex on the beachfront where we had ample opportunity to relax and enjoy our surroundings, with fresh caipirinhas in our hands, after a long, intense but nonetheless fruitful day of work. Friday 18th was devoted to various lectures by Brazilian authorities on various matters of legal interest. After the talks, the Bar Association of the State of Ceará hosted a luncheon held at Grazie restaurant. After the lunch, we enjoyed a quick sightseeing tour ended with a beautiful sunset at the Metal Bridge. The dinner on Friday was held in the nearby ‘Coco Bambu’s Seafood’ restaurant. On Saturday 19th May, both speakers and guest alike went to see the host’s (Cid Marconi) office, who kindly showed the visitors around. Afterwards, an informal family photo was taken to commemorate this year’s event. After this visit, we went to Cid Marconi’s summer house, where we spent a nice day with a delicious picnic lunch. Most of us swam in the pool and the bravest amongst us even tried zip-sliding! On Saturday evening, as is customary, the traditional BGI gala dinner took place, in the Palace of Abolition, where both the president and the vice president of BGI thanked the partners and other participants for their attendance at the16th Annual International Congress of BGI. Amongst others, he extended a special thank you to the Gobernador of Ceará, Mr. Cid Ferreira Gomes the senator of the Brazilian Republic, Pimentel Gomes, the president of the assembly of Ceará, Mr. Roberto Claudio , the minister, Mr. Leonidas Crisitino, the secretary of Administration and Planning in Ceará, Mr. Eduardo Diogo, the special secretary of the FIFA World Cup 2014, Mr. Ferrucio Feitosa, Congressman, Mr. Antonio Balmann, president of the Bar Association of Ceará, Mr. Valdetário Monteiro, president of EMAZP, Mr. Eduardo Macedo, Mr. Alexandre, APEX-BRASIL Petra, the procurator of the State, Mrs. Rita Martins, vice president of the Chamber of Commerce Brazil-Portugal, the secretary of tourism in the state of Ceará, Mr. Bismarck Maia, the superintendent of the Northwest Bank of Brazil, the senator, Mr. Inácio Arruda and senator of the Republic Mr. Eunicio Oliveira. With this emotional moment the XV International Congress of BGI came to a close. We hope that the next one will follow shortly

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