September 19, 2012: Atlantic Canadian businesses and learning institutions will be making their way to Brazil over the coming weeks, as the Latin American country plays host to three separate business missions from the region. Two delegations will be attending international exhibitions, while another will work at recruiting Brazilian students to Atlantic Canadian institutions of higher learning and selling training services.

“Our government’s priority is creating jobs, growth and economic prosperity,” said the Honourable Bernard Valcourt, Associate Minister of National Defence and Minister of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency) (La Francophonie). “The potential for increased trade between Atlantic Canada and Brazil is excellent. These missions will help open market opportunities for Atlantic Canadian companies and strengthen our region’s trade relationship with Brazil.”

One Atlantic Canadian delegation will attend the Rio Oil and Gas Show from September 17-20. Another is participating in an education recruitment mission to Brasilia, Recife and São Paulo from September 23-29. The third delegation is embarking on an information and communications technology mission to Futurecom, a trade show and exhibition taking place in Rio de Janeiro from October 8-11.

“Brazil is a high-growth market that has the potential to invite new opportunities for Newfoundland and Labrador-based businesses, and educational institutions,” said the Honourable Keith Hutchings, Minister of Innovation, Business and Rural Development. “Previous trade missions to Brazil have highlighted this potential and led to new business relationships being formed. It is important that we sustain this momentum and support businesses to diversify their export markets and grow their operations.”

“Brazil’s offshore oil and gas sector is in full expansion,” said Ron Collier, Director of Sales and Marketing with SubC Control Ltd, of Clarenville, Newfoundland and Labrador. “Our company provides high quality underwater video and photography equipment and services, and we are eager to provide our services to clients in Brazil.”

These business missions will help Atlantic Canadian companies capitalize on market opportunities in key sectors in Brazil. A 2011 market study prepared for the Government of Canada and the governments of the four Atlantic provinces entitled A Study to Identify Key Sectors of Opportunity for Atlantic Canadian Firms in Brazil, found that Atlantic Canadian companies have expertise in many key areas that are in demand in Brazil, including information and communications technology, ocean technology, education and oil and gas technology, which are represented in these missions.

In 2011, bilateral trade between Canada and Brazil reached $6.7 billion. That same year, Brazil was Canada’s sixth largest foreign investor with $18.6 billion in cumulative investment. Brazil was also the 12th largest recipient of Canadian direct investment abroad, with a total of $9.8 billion in cumulative investment. Exports from Atlantic Canada to Brazil totalled $229 million in 2011.

Funding for the missions will be provided through the Canada/Atlantic Provinces Agreement on International Business Development (IBDA). The IBDA is a federal/provincial agreement between the Government of Canada (ACOA, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, and Industry Canada) and the four provincial governments in Atlantic Canada, and is designed to help Atlantic Canadian businesses enter, explore and succeed in international markets. The IBDA is the leading component of a pan Atlantic effort to foster business relations, attract foreign investment and nurture technological co-operation.

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Media contacts: Andréa Richer, Press Secretary, Office of the Honourable Bernard Valcourt; 613-790-3637;     

Scott Barfoot, Director of Communications, Department of Innovation, Business and Rural Development; 709-729-4570, 690-6290;