Fostering Bilateral Trade and Investment Flows Between Brazil and Florida

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  • March 18, 2015 9:33 AM | Anonymous

    March 17, 2015. Tampa, Fla. If you have ever heard Mayor Bob Buckhorn speak of his beloved Tampa Bay, you have undoubtedly heard him say “Tampa, this is our time” and Mr. Mayor, Tampa Bay couldn't agree with you more. Mayor Buckhorn has participated in many overseas trade missions, including Brazil in October 2013, where he signed a Sister City Agreement of Partnership with Porto Alegre, Brazil, and speaks at many international trade events throughout the Bay area. It is fitting that Mayor Buckhorn was invited to deliver the Welcome Address at the inaugural luncheon of the newly formed Brazil-Florida Business Council (BFBC) based in Tampa Bay last Wednesday (March 11).

    The mission of the BFBC is to foster business relations between Brazil and the state of Florida in order to increase trade and investment flows. BFBC Founder and President Sueli Bonaparte, a native of São Paulo, Brazil, and former Executive Director of the Brazilian-American Chamber of Commerce in New York, said, “Florida is in an exceptional strategic position with respect to trade with Brazil – the world’s seventh largest economy. It’s the right time and Tampa is the right place to launch this organization.”

    The inaugural luncheon was held at The Tampa Club with more than 100 in attendance. The event was sold out weeks in advance and brought together a diverse audience to celebrate this highly anticipated council. Representatives from the Florida SBDC at University of South Florida, attended the event along with representatives from the Tampa Bay Export Alliance, Enterprise Florida, U.S. Export Assistance Center and Port Tampa Bay.

    I believe the formation of the BFBC couldn’t have come at a better time. The public does not know about the many opportunities available to Florida companies with Brazil and vice-versa and I believe this council will change that. (Selma Canas is the secretary on the 2015 BFBC Board.)

    On March 30, the Brazil Business Briefing event will focus on Understanding the Brazilian market, featuring Stephen P. Knode, Deputy Senior Commercial Officer, US Commercial Service in Brazil, speaking on Overcoming Challenges and Seizing Business Opportunities. These are the types of events that I am excited about. They provide pertinent information that can help businesses enter the Brazilian market.

    Gabrielle Mandel, Country Manager, Brazil and Southern Cone, U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) delivered the keynote address and provided information on current projects in Brazil, which happens to be the largest portfolio in South America with more than 100 projects. Brazil is the only country in Latin America with a local USTDA representative, which utilizes a third of their budget. According to Mandel, aviation is the largest sector followed by surface transportation and water projects.

    There is currently a request for proposal for an engineering review of a new water treatment plant project in Rio de Janeiro, which closes on April 13. For details, click here. Mandel said, “Brazil is a dynamic portfolio for U.S. trade,” and encouraged companies to pitch project ideas to the USTDA for review and consideration of available grant funds for bringing the project to fruition.

    During his introduction of Mandel, Rick Homans, CEO and President of the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation, said, “This is a very important council. Sueli is a doer, not just a talker; and Tampa Bay is a community of doer’s.”

    Bonaparte showed her dedication by establishing the BFBC and recruiting diverse and distinguished professionals for the Board of Directors and Advisory Board in just three months.

    Guests also included business professionals from Brazil who flew in for the luncheon and to conduct business in Tampa. “Brazil is welcome here,” Buckhorn said. “We are a willing partner and will deliver what we say we will. Our future will be forever intertwined and profitable for Brazil and Florida.”

    Hear, hear Mr. Mayor.

    Read the original article by Selma Canas here.

  • March 13, 2015 8:52 AM | Anonymous
    Mayor Buckhorn and Sueli Bonaparte

    March 13, 2015 - Tampa, Florida. The Brazil-Florida Business Council, a statewide membership based council designed to drive bilateral business opportunities between Brazil and Florida, held its inaugural luncheon Wednesday, March 11, at the Tampa Club in downtown Tampa. Well over 100 attendees listened as Sueli Cristina Bonaparte, Founding President and Chairperson, stressed that the Council's mission is to strengthen business ties between Florida and Brazil and to extend economic opportunities for both regions.

    "Brazil has matured into a global powerhouse," Bonaparte said in her opening remarks. "Brazil is the seventh largest economy in the world, and Florida is the premier destination for Brazilian tourists, as well as intrepid Brazilian pioneers looking to settle here for business and investment opportunities."

    Sandy Murman, Chairman of the Hillsborough County Commission, also spoke of Tampa's close ties with Brazil during her introduction of Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, who gave the welcoming address. Brazil, says Murman, is Florida's number one international partner, generating an import export value of close to $21 billion in 2014.

    Buckhorn addressed the crowd on the already close ties between Brazil and Tampa, and spoke about his administration's move forward to expand the city's presence in the world. He explained why the focus of The Brazil-Florida Business Council is important to the economic growth of the city. "If we are going to be the city we want to be, that we are capable of being, we will have to expand our horizons, and be global in our perspective and global in our actions," Buckhorn explained. He went on to say he hoped his work with the Council would help "plant the flag of Tampa and the state of Florida all over the world."

    After lunch, Rick Homans, President and CEO of Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corp. and a member of the Advisory Board of The Brazil-Florida Business Council, shared his thoughts about what the partnership will bring to the city and the excitement it offers. "We are a community of doers", Homans remarked. "There is a buzz in this community. So many things are happening on so many different fronts."

    He then introduced keynote speaker Gabrielle Mandel, Country Manager of the Brazil and Southern Cone United States Trade Development Agency (USTDA) who is responsible for business development, project preparation and evaluation, and supervision of USTDA activities. She went on to run down the nuts and bolts of the grant program, and elaborated on how businesses can get support and monetary funds to move projects and studies forward. "Brazil is a dynamic portfolio for U.S. trade", said Mandel.

    The inaugural luncheon ended with Bonaparte thanking those who attended for their support and interest in the council, and talking about the upcoming initiatives.

    The Brazil-Florida Business Council, Inc. ("BFBC"), a Tampa-based business organization was established to foster bilateral trade and investment opportunities between Brazil and the state of Florida, support initiatives and entities that facilitate the flow of goods, services, and people and to drive economic growth and opportunities for communities in both regions. If you are interested in joining The Brazil-Florida Business Council, membership information can be found at www.brazilfloridabusiness.com/join or contact info@brazilfloridabusiness.com

    ###

  • February 06, 2015 10:00 AM | Anonymous

     Feb. 06, 2015 New group fosters  bilateral trade and investment flows  between Brazil and Florida

     The Brazil-Florida Business Council ("BFBC") officially opened for business earlier this year at its inaugural board meeting on January 15. The BFBC, based in Tampa Bay, will serve as the recognized state-wide business council driving bilateral business opportunities between Florida and Brazil. With an advisory board already consisting of some of the most influential and recognized names in US-Brazil circles, this membership based organization offers an outstanding opportunity for U.S. and Brazilian firms in Florida to promote bilateral business opportunities and help shape the conversation for future growth.

    Founder and President Sueli Bonaparte, a native of São Paulo, Brazil and former Executive Director of the Brazilian-American Chamber of Commerce in New York, has devoted more than 25 years of her professional career to forging closer ties between the business communities of Brazil and the United States."Brazil's economic influence in Florida has grown exponentially, and Brazilian businesses are opening offices in counties all across the state", said Bonaparte. "Florida is in an exceptional strategic position with respect to trade with Brazil - the world's seventh largest economy. It's the right time and Tampa is the right place to launch this organization."

    Regional business and economic development leaders applauded the initiative. "I am pleased to welcome the new Brazil-Florida Business Council to our community", said Rick Homans, President and CEO of Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation. "Brazil is one of our region's leading markets for international trade, investment and tourism development. We look forward to strengthening our economic ties with the country and continuing to build on the relationships created during our successful trade mission to São Paulo and Porto Alegre in 2013."

    David Neeleman, Founder and President of Azul Brazilian Airlines and a member of the BFBC's Advisory Board, stressed the importance of the organization. "I'd like to say how excited we are for the launching of the Brazil-Florida Business Council and the important work they'll do in further connecting Brazil's and Florida's business communities and promoting Brazilian companies in Florida." Azul began direct flights from Brazil to Ft. Lauderdale and Orlando last year to serve the increasing number of Brazilians visiting and doing business in Florida.
    The BFBC will coordinate events in both Florida and Brazil ranging from investment seminars to networking luncheons. There will also be opportunities for members to get involved in special initiatives.

    The Brazil-Florida Business Council, Inc. ("BFBC"), a Tampa-based business organization was established to foster bilateral trade and investment opportunities between Brazil and the State of Florida, support initiatives and entities that facilitate the flow of goods, services and people and to drive economic growth and opportunities for communities in both regions.

    For more information about the organization or membership, email info@brazilfloridabusiness.com.

    For original press release, click here (Source: NEWSWIRE)

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