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Brazil is Target of Houston Mayor
and Aviation Director


April 2, 2012



  © Houston Airport System
  A Houston trade mission recently explored business opportunties in both Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
 
Houston Mayor Annise Parker recently led a high-level business delegation on a week-long trade mission to Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to create and strengthen trade and business ties.

Joining Mayor Parker on the South American trip was Houston aviation director Mario Diaz, as well as executives from the oil and gas, technology, medical and education industries.

"I am honored to lead Houston’s first economic development trip to Brazil with such a distinguished delegation, and to promote Houston as Brazil’s first point of entry into the U.S. market," said Mayor Parker. "Houston is currently Brazil’s largest U.S. trade partner, but there is a lot of opportunity for growth and my job will be to open the doors for those opportunities to become success stories."

The purpose of this mission was to capitalize on the many synergies between Houston and Brazil including energy; transportation/logistics; construction/engineering; medicine; education and high tech enterprises; expand business opportunities for Houston companies in Brazil; increase opportunities for investment in Houston; and establish strong, friendly ties between Houston and key counterparts in Brazil, especially within the cities of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.

“We exist to connect people, businesses, cultures and economies of the world to Houston," Diaz says. “The economic possibilities that currently exist between our two regions cannot be fully maximized without strong transportation connections in place.” 

Scheduled visits currently included meetings with mayors of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro as well as a tentative meeting with Brazil’s Secretary of Energy; networking events with the American Chamber (AMCHAM) São Paulo, AMCHAM RIO and Rio Negocios; and visits to Odebrecht, Petrobras, São Paulo University, CENPES-Petrobras Research Center, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Petroleum National Agency, and the Brazilian Institute of Petroleum.

“Brazil is our third largest trading partner with a GDP similar to France and the United Kingdom, and there is tremendous potential for more growth,” said Jeff Moseley, president and CEO of the Greater Houston Partnership. “With the strategic economic ties Houston and Brazil already enjoy, Mayor Parker is a powerful voice that will open more doors and help us fight for more high-paying jobs and more foreign investment into our region.”

The Houston/Galveston Customs District ranks as Brazil’s largest U.S. trade partner. Total annual trade between Houston and Brazil has increased by 37.2 percent from $11.3 billion in 2010 to $15.5 billion in 2011. Exports totaled $9.1 billion and imports totaled $6.4 billion. .
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