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Innovation Economy Mission to Brazil to Focus on Jobs and Economic Opportunities for Massachusetts

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Governor Deval Patrick today announced a coalition of the state's business executives, academic leaders and government officials will take part in the Massachusetts-Brazil Innovation Economy Mission 2011 this December to pursue job growth and economic development partnerships between Massachusetts and Brazil.

Prior to arriving in Brazil, Governor Patrick and a smaller delegation will travel to Santiago, Chile December 1-2 at the request of President Sebastian Piñera to advance partnership opportunities in the innovation economy.

"We are committed to competing for every job in every corner of the Commonwealth and the world," said Governor Patrick. "To continue our recovery, we need to position Massachusetts for success in growing markets like Brazil, to drive job growth and catalyze international investment."

From December 4-9, 2011, the Innovation Economy Mission will make stops in Brasilia, Sao Paulo, and Rio de Janeiro, visiting Brazilian companies, universities and government leaders to highlight all that Massachusetts has to offer to Brazil. The mission will focus on creating jobs in the life sciences, IT, clean energy and education sectors and solidifying the already strong Massachusetts-Brazil connection.

The Massachusetts-Brazil Connection:

Brazil is currently the seventh largest economy in the world, and is expected to rise to fifth in the near future. Like Massachusetts, Brazil's focus on innovation is fueling job growth and international investment. As an emerging global player and economic powerhouse, Brazil could quickly become one of the most important international economic partners for Massachusetts.

Governor Patrick recently hosted a meeting at the State House with Brazilian Ambassador to the United States Mauro Vieira and Consul General of Brazil in Boston, Fernando de Mello Barreto to advance the goals of the mission.

"Governor Deval Patrick will be very welcome in Brazil," said Ambassador Vieira. "His trade mission will present an excellent opportunity to strengthen ties between Massachusetts and Brazil, in particular among companies and universities, by promoting reciprocal investments, trade in services and goods as well as exchange of scientific and technological information."

In 2010, bilateral trade between Massachusetts and Brazil topped $475 million -- representing more than $396 million in exports to Brazil and more than $80 million in imports to Massachusetts. In 2011, the Bay State's exports to Brazil are already up 31 percent. As the Brazilian economy continues to grow, governors and senior officials from more than 15 states have visited the country during the past three years, including: Florida Governor Rick Scott, Idaho Lieutenant Governor Brad Little and former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty.

"There are many corporations, industries, and sectors in Brazil that have been expanding their presence in the United States, and many opportunities exist for them to expand right here in Massachusetts," said Edvaldo Morata, head of corporate banking for Sovereign Bank. "With our U.S. headquarters based in Boston, we are excited to be part of the dialogue and committed to helping grow the economy of Massachusetts."

"The Massachusetts-Brazil Innovation Economy Mission 2011 will be a door-opening opportunity for early-stage businesses such as our MIT start-up, PK Clean," said PK Clean Chief Executive Officer and Founder Priyanka Bakaya. "As the world's first sustainable biofuels economy, Brazil is at the vanguard of clean technology and this mission will provide a platform for us to learn, grow, and tap into each other's markets."

Meeting with President Piñera in Chile:

The Governor's meeting with President Piñera will provide an opportunity to enhance existing collaboration between the Commonwealth and Chile in the innovation economy sectors. The Governor's delegation will also meet with leaders in business, academia and government in Santiago to promote partnership and job creation opportunities.

Massachusetts and Chile enjoy a $118 million bi-lateral trade relationship, with $62 million in Massachusetts exports to Chile, which is regularly ranked as one of Latin America's best places for doing business.

Former Massachusetts Governors William Weld and Paul Cellucci led trade missions to Chile during their terms, as did former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger of California and Governor Jack Markell of Delaware. The Council of Great Lakes Governors plans to lead a mission to Chile in 2012.

UK-Israel Trade Mission Leads to Business Expansion:

In March of 2011, Governor Patrick led a coalition of state leaders on a trade mission to Israel and the United Kingdom. Building on Massachusetts' already strong relationships, the mission advanced our standing as a worldwide leader in the innovation industries, strengthened our global competitive advantage and delivered results for the Commonwealth.

Following the mission, UK-based companies Cambridge Consultants, Sagentia and TotalMobile announced plans to expand and add jobs in Massachusetts. Israeli biotech firm EarlySense also announced it is adding jobs and establishing its U.S. headquarters in Waltham, Massachusetts.

"Just like the mission to Israel earlier this year, the trade mission to Brazil will allow us to look outside our borders to seek opportunities to collaborate with various government officials and businesses, and broaden our perspective and understanding of the world economy," said Steve Papa, CEO and Founder of Endeca. "It will also be an opportunity for us to demonstrate our value proposition and differentiate our Commonwealth from other states so we can compete more effectively on the world stage."

The Massachusetts-Brazil Innovation Economy Mission 2011 will build on these successes and help Massachusetts reap the benefits of partnership in trade, investment and job growth with Brazil for years to come.

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