International partnership takes students to Singapore for immersion week
Professional master’s students from the FGV´s Sao Paulo Law School visited Singapore between January 13 and 17 for an immersion week, including classes at the National University of Singapore (NUS) and technical visits to different institutions and Brazilian companies with a presence in the country.
The immersion course was run jointly by the FGV´s Sao Paulo Law School and NUS’ EW Barker Centre for Law & Business. It included five mornings of classes at NUS, featuring customized content for the FGV group, and afternoon guided visits to the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS), Brazilian companies Vale and Cariuma (a startup), the Brazilian embassy and law firms Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, Duane Morris & Selvam, and RHTLaw Taylor Wessing. The students also took part in out-of-class debates and visits to multinationals, trade and investment promotion organizations – such as Enterprise Singapore and the Ministry of Trade and Industry – and the academic community.
The program was coordinated by Professor Stephen Phua of NUS and Professor Flavio Rubinstein of the FGV´s Sao Paulo Law School. Professor Mario Engler, the professional master’s coordinator at the FGV´s Sao Paulo Law School, also participated in the activities. The course focused on three broad areas: international tax law, business law, and public law. Discussions were held on topics related to Brazil-Singapore bilateral investment relations, as well as the regulation, structuring and taxation of international business deals.
NUS is recognized as one of the world’s best universities, while Singapore is an increasingly important business partner for Brazil. The recent signing of a double taxation agreement between the two countries, and the negotiation of a free trade agreement between Singapore and Mercosul, the South American trade bloc, are expected to further intensify bilateral investment and trade flows.
According to Professor Flavio Rubinstein, the group of FGV professional master’s students benefited greatly from the innovative immersion experience in a jurisdiction that stands out for the excellence of its institutions and its global leadership in terms of business environment competitiveness. “The customized program of classes at NUS’ law school and complementary activities was extremely rich and diversified, providing extensive exchanges of bilateral experiences,” he said. “We were warmly welcomed and we built some important bridges to expand collaboration between Brazil and Singapore.”
“I had the privilege of participating in the immersion and the classes given at NUS, and the technical visits to different institutions made this a unique academic and professional experience,” said Daniel de Paiva Gomes, a partner in law firm Vieira, Drigo e Vasconcellos Advogados, who has a master’s in tax law from the FGV´s Sao Paulo Law School. (His thesis was about cryptocurrency taxation.)
“At the closing event, I had the opportunity to talk about my experience as a tax auditor at the Brazilian Federal Revenue Service to an audience of local government officials and lawyers,” said Patricia Lamadrid, a professional master’s student at the FGV´s Sao Paulo Law School.
“Comparing the two tax systems, we have a lot to learn from Singapore, in terms of the development of relations with taxpayers underpinned by service provision and trust, helping create a better business environment in the country. On the other hand, the Singaporeans were impressed by our tax authorities’ use of technology and risk management. As well as strong interaction with officials, institutions and companies, we were able to explore Singapore’s business and tax environment, which is pragmatic and heavily geared at attracting and promoting investments,” said student Frederico Bocchi, who is a senior lawyer at law firm Rayes & Fagundes.
The FGV´s Sao Paulo Law School’s immersion program in Singapore was supported by law firms Rayes & Fagundes and Vieira, Drigo & Vasconcellos.