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A Southern Point of View
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One of the publications I glance through each month is O Papel, the monthly magazine of the Brazilian Pulp and Paper Technical Association (ABTCP). Fortunately, in addition to publishing in Portuguese, the magazine includes English translations of many of its articles and technical reports. Along with three or four technical articles and news about ABTCP, the magazine provides business insights into the pulp and paper industry in South America.

The June issue, for example, has an article about the start-up of the Tres Lagoas pulp mill, a project involving Votoratim Celulose e Papel (VCP) and International Paper, which will be supplied from eucalyptus forests planted 20 years ago. Another article discusses efforts by the Brazilian Pulp and Paper Association (Bracelpa) to find offshore market opportunities for Brazilian pulp and paper producers. The cover story deals with sustainability as a concept and as a business model, as a necessity and as a challenge. And the technical reports in the June issue of O Papel, concern the peroxide bleaching stage of kraft pulping and environmental benchmarking in the pulp and paper industry.

With just one issue, it is apparent that the pulp and paper industry in Brazil is addressing a number of relevant issues and remains vital through the economic downturn that has affected the rest of the world. Through each issue, we gain insights into what the industry is doing, how it is doing it, and why it is doing it.

Day-to-day, we tend to be “near” sighted more than “far” sighted – socially, geographically, and chronologically. We interact with family, friends and coworkers; we check the local weather, drive to the office, and focus on work that needs to be done today. Unless we deal with associates, customers, or suppliers in other countries, our point of view remains relatively fixed and localized.

Periodically, we need to look around and gain some perspective on what is happening in the rest of the world – through print publications, the Internet, talking with colleagues from other states and other countries, and even travel. The insights we gain can help us better understand and address issues affecting ourselves and our businesses, and to potentially do our jobs better. It might even be enjoyable.

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