(VELINO) Roma, 22 Sep - The Catholic University of Pelotas (UCPel) in Brazil and...

(VELINO) Roma, 22 Sep - The Catholic University of Pelotas (UCPel) in Brazil and the Postgraduate School of Business & Society (ALTIS) of the Catholic University of Milan signed a letter of intent with the aim of sharing knowledge useful to promote regional development. ALTIS has been supporting the growth of small businesses in Italy in a manner similar to what the Brazilian service of assistance to micro and small enterprises (SEBRAE) of the State of Rio Grande do Sul (RS) has been doing in Brazil. The agreement was signed in Bage' by the dean of UCPel, Jose' Carlos Bachetini, and the director of ALTIS, Vito Moramarco, during the first congress gathering all participants in the "Lider Programme". The Leadership for Regional Development congress, organised by SEBRAE, was also made possible thanks to the support by the Italian Embassy in Brazil. The event was attended by 126 representatives of the regions of Campanha, Fronteira Oeste and Fronteira Sul, which have been part of the Lider Programme since 2015. The two countries share a high number of small and medium-sized enterprises (99.4 percent in Italy and 98 percent in Brazil), and have both engaged in overcoming serious financial crises in recent years. The Lider Programme was established by SEBRAE/RS in order to involve local governors and stimulate the development of Campanha, Fronteira Oeste, and Fronteira Sul, the regions in Rio Grande do Sul that are struggling the most economically but at the same time represent 10.6 percent of Brazil's GDP. As early as April 2015, representatives from the public, private, and tertiary sectors in Campanha and Fronteira Oeste began gathering periodically at meetings organised by SEBRAE in order to identify local priorities and establish a Regional Development Plan. The Fronteira Sul region, which had hosted the Lider Programme while it was a pilot project in 2007 and 2008, joined the meetings in mid-2015. vel