For the first time ever, the State of Missouri has signed a trade agreement with the State of São Paulo, the financial capital of one of the world's fastest-growing countries. In 2011, Brazil was Missouri's 10th-largest export market, and Missouri businesses sold more than $320 million in Missouri-made goods and products to Brazilian customers.
Gov. Jay Nixon announced the agreement with São Paulo on the same day the Missouri Department of Economic Development reported that Missouri's exports increased 17 percent over 2011 in the first two months of 2012 - on top of an all-time export record set by Missouri businesses last year.
"As the latest data from the Department of Economic Development show, Missouri businesses continue to sell more Missouri-made goods overseas, even on top of the all-time export record Missouri businesses set last year," Gov. Nixon said. "That continued growth creates more jobs and career opportunities here at home. When we look for opportunities to sell more Missouri-made goods overseas, Brazil is one of the most important emerging markets in the world. Already, Brazil is one of Missouri's Top-10 export markets, and we see tremendous potential to expand our sales to Brazil in the years to come. This agreement is a major step forward for Missouri businesses with one of the world's fastest-growing markets."
During a trade mission led by Gov. Nixon to São Paulo and Brasilia, the Missouri Department of Economic Development has signed an agreement with the International Affairs Office of the State of São Paulo, which is led by Gov. Geraldo Alckmin. The agreement calls for the two states to identify new opportunities to expand exports, promote economic growth, and share best practices in education, science and technology, and public safety. Promoting educational, research and cultural exchanges is another area of focus under this first-ever agreement signed by Missouri with Brazil's largest state and economic center.
The latest data from the Department of Economic Development show that Missouri exports are up 17.1 percent for the first two months of 2012 over the same period last year. State exports were $2.5 billion for January and February 2012, compared to $2.1 billion in 2011.
The trade agreement Gov. Nixon announced today is an important step forward for Missouri's relationship with the financial capital of one of the world's fastest-growing economies. The agreement provides a far-reaching framework for mutual cooperation between the two states in areas including exports and economic growth, education, and science and technology.
During this trade mission, Gov. Nixon and senior leaders from his administration are facilitating meetings for numerous Missouri businesses with potential Brazilian customers and government agencies, and several businesses are negotiating direct contracts. Missouri-based businesses such as Boeing, Monsanto, Orscheln Products and Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica are members of the trade delegation.
On Monday, Gov. Nixon addressed members of the American Chamber of Commerce in São Paulo; met with the Dr. Gilberto Kassab, Mayor of the City of São Paulo; and met with Dr. Geraldo Alckmin, Governor of the State of São Paulo. The Governor also met with William Popp, the Acting U.S. Consul General in São Paulo, and toured Iochpe Maxion, a major Brazilian automotive supplier with a manufacturing presence in Missouri.
On Tuesday, Gov. Nixon will witness the signing of two exchange agreements with Missouri State University and the State University of Maringa and the Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo. He will meet with representatives from the Monsanto and Boeing corporations in Brazil and address the Federation of Brazilian Industries. The Governor will travel to Brasilia on Tuesday evening.
The agreement signed by Gov. Nixon's administration with the State of São Paulo is the first agreement signed by Missouri with a Brazilian government in more than 40 years. In 1998, Gov. Mel Carnahan led the last Missouri state trade delegation to visit Bra