Off to Brazil...

Tomorrow, I am leaving for a week in Brazil, to visit Smar, the instrumentation company. I have never been to Brazil before, so I am with child in anticipation (yes, that's Rich Merritt's line, but I like it, so I stole it fair and square). Pedro Biondo from Smar just sent me some statistics on Brazil. I think there will be a test on Monday. Brazil is the home of the second (Sao Paulo) and ninth (Rio de Janeiro) largest cities in the world, and has a GNP of much more than the $780 billion measured as of 1998. According to Pedro, Brazil is the world's second largest market for things as disparate as cellphones and executive jets and helicopters. Its market for washing machines is 82% larger than Canada's. Brazilians buy 456% more toothpaste than Italians do. And Brazil has 4,612 ISO 9000 certified companies; two orders of magnitude larger than any other Central or South American country. Smar's position as a Brazilian company, coupled with its technology lead in Foundation Fieldbus design (Smar actually makes the chipsets for most other companies who provide FF enabled field instruments) means that Brazil is one of the most fieldbus-enabled countries in the world. I'm looking forward to seeing that. Comments? --Walt Boyes

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