The ABCI Institute was created in April 2004 originally as an informal study group of Brazilian attorneys and other professionals who were practicing or studying international trade law in the Washington, D.C. area. Coordinated by Aluísio de Lima-Campos, and with the support of the Embassy of Brazil in Washington, D.C., the idea behind ABCI was to promote regular meetings to discuss international trade matters of interest to Brazil.
At ABCI's regular meetings, each member of the group shares his or her unique insights on selected topics pertaining to international trade through presentations and participation in discussion groups. ABCI's meetings are designed to stimulate the debate among its members, which in turn leads to both academic and professional development. Since its inception, ABCI has been honored to receive a number of well-recognized and notable Brazilian, American and European experts who shared their background and expertise on several aspects pertaining to international trade.
In February 2005, ABCI organized its first annual symposium at the Georgetown University Law Center. In that occasion, ABCI launched its members' first collection of articles on international trade entitled in Portuguese “Ensaios em Comércio Internacional." (in English: “International Trade Essays”) that was published in Brazil. As a result of such a successful experience, ABCI's membership grew from 11 founding members to 26 members in 2005. In 2006, ABCI launched its second collection of articles.
The Symposium became a tradition and it annually brings the top names in international trade law and policy to Washington for a full day of discussion on the most critical issues for world trade.
As demand for greater international trade knowledge by Brazilian professionals grew, in early 2006, ABCI members decided to convert the group into a non-profit corporation and reach for more ambitious objectives. On January 31, 2006, the ABCI Institute - Brazilian International Trade Scholars, Inc. was incorporated in the District of Columbia as a non-profit corporation organized to operate exclusively for charitable and educational purposes.