In 1554, Jesuit priests climbed the Serra do Mar (Sea Mountain) searching for a safe place to settle and to build a monastery. Almost 500 years later, that small monastery became a big metropolis with more than 10 million people. During the late 19th century, as the Paulista (name of the inhabitants of São Paulo) agricultural elite became richer, they installed themselves in São Paulo a commercial pole. About fifty years later, the very same agricultural elite founded banks and industries and, immediately, São Paulo was transformed into the most dynamic city of Latin America during the first phase of the industrialization process it was facing. These processes continued and the bursting economy of São Paulo attracted humongous multinational corporations due to its fast-growing market. As a matter of fact the city assumed its characteristic form.
There are more than eleven million inhabitants (5.7% of the country’s population) in São Paulo; however, considering the whole area of São Paulo, it is estimated that more than 19 million people are living in this region composed of 39 cities. For this reason, 21st century’s São Paulo is dynamic, interesting, modern and astonishing!
São Paulo concentrates 38% of the headquarters of the biggest national companies, as well as 63% of the main offices of multinational corporations working in the country. Moreover, 17 out of the 20 largest Brazilian banks are also located in the city. In fact São Paulo hosts the biggest number of business fairs in the country (approximately one business fair 3 times a week). About eleven million people visit São Paulo each year for both concluding new business partnerships and strengthening existing bonds.
In 2010, São Paulo counted for 10% of the country’s GDP, with about 226 US$ billion, turning the city into Brazil’s largest, as well as the world’s 10th economic center.
Study Abroad BrazilBesides the obvious dynamic economic environment of São Paulo, the city offers a great variety of cultural activities, including 55 cinemas, 90 museums, 184 nightclubs, 80 shopping malls, 7 theme parks, 7 football stadiums, 39 cultural centers and 12 golf clubs. Furthermore there are 54 parks and green areas to recover from the stress of big city life.
Furthermore, São Paulo impresses with its cuisine. It is no problem finding restaurants of any type, offering typical dishes from the different parts of the country, as well as international dishes. In 1997, the city was internationally recognized as the world’s gastronomic capital because of the quality and variety of its restaurants.
As stated before, the city counts with 80 shopping malls and 59 shopping streets specialized in different markets; for example R. Teodoro Sampaio, for musical instruments; R. St Efigênia, for electronics and computer equipment; R. Oscar Freire for high standard brands such as Gucci, Prada and many others.
CBL International is now based in São Paulo in cooperation with Fundação Getúlio Vargas (FGV). According to the Financial Times ranking 2011, this business school offers the 26nd best executive MBA program in the world. CBL’s headquarters are located in the Bela Vista district, right next to the city’s economic core: the Paulista Avenue. Due to the fact that FGV is specialized in business and commercial law, CBL managed to organize the best programs (mentioned in paragraph obove).