Governor Deval Patrick’s December trade mission to Brazil, announced today as part of a two-nation trip to South America, has the potential to strengthen trade relations between the commonwealth and the seventh largest economy in the world.
Last year, more than $396 million in manufactured goods made here were shipped to Brazil. Moreover, trade officials see continued growth in exports to Brazil of up to 30 percent by the close of 2011.
The governor’s trade mission is timely because governors from 15 other states have already visited Brazil during the past three years. Those governors recognize that foreign trade missions are an effective economic development tool that can help to retain and expand good-paying jobs for our residents.
Trade missions provide small and emerging firms with an orientation to rapidly-growing markets, while offering more established enterprises an opportunity to have doors open to them that would ordinarily be closed. Despite the proliferation of email and websites, face-to-face contact is important in the development or expansion of transactions in the global marketplace.
The importance of personal relationships is the reason that until the 1960s, before jet air travel, AIM sponsored its own trade missions to Europe, South America and Asia. Employers traveled by ocean liner on trips designed to help member companies secure information and resources to enter new markets.
Continuing that tradition, Kristen Rupert, Director of AIM’s International Business Council, will travel to Brazil with the governor and representatives of more than 30 Massachusetts companies. Ten AIM members - including the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, EMC , Madico, Inc., Heat Trace Products LLC and Microsoft - will make the trip.
AIM members not able to participate in the mission but interested in entering or expanding trade with Brazil are urged to submit questions about conducting business in Brazil to Ms. Rupert (KRupert@aimnet.org) prior to her departure in early December.