Florida’s Trade Mission to Brazil Is On

Florida Secretary of State, Glenda Hood; Ambassadors Sue and Charles E. Cobb, Chairman of Florida FTAA, and Jorge L. Arrizurieta, President of Florida FTAA, along with a very important delegation of private sector CEOs, will lead Florida FTAA, Inc. on a trade and business development mission to Brasilia and São Paulo, Brazil.

The four-day mission from April 17-20 will visit Florida’s largest trading partner and United States co-chair of the Free Trade Area of the Americas.

“Brazil’s influence as the second largest economy in the hemisphere, our largest trading partner, and co-chair of the negotiations of the Free Trade Area of the Americas, makes our visit a very important and timely one,” said Jorge L. Arrizurieta, President, Florida FTAA, Inc.

“Our main mission on this visit is to further strengthen our economic and cultural ties with Brazil and work to ensure that Brazil supports Miami as the home of the FTAA.”

While in Brasilia, the delegates will, on arrival, meet with U.S. Ambassador John Danilovich for a briefing and reception with high level public and private sector leaders.

The delegates will also meet to discuss trade relations with Brazil’s President Lula da Silva’s Chief of Staff Minister José Dirceu; Special Advisor to the President Minister Marcel Biato; Conselheiro for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Tovar da Silva Nunes; Ministry of Agriculture Secretary for Agro Energy/Production Linneu Carlos da Costa Lima; and Ministry of Development and Industry Dra. Rosária Costa Batista and Dr. Ivan Ramalho.

The final two days in São Paulo will concentrate on furthering the commercial ties that unite Brazil and Florida as well as the further involving the private sector leadership in suggesting that Miami, Florida become the Permanent Secretariat of the FTAA.

The organizations the delegation will meet with include the Brazilian American Chamber of Commerce, the Federation of São Paulo State Commercial Associations (FACESP), São Paulo Commercial Associations (ACSP), the Federation of Industries of São Paulo State (FIESP), and the São Paulo State Science & Technology Secretary; the São Paulo International Relations Secretary and the São Paulo Small Industry Association (SIMPI).

From 2003 to 2004, trade between Brazil and Florida has increased 21.9%, making Brazil, Florida’s number one trading partner of all countries worldwide. Last year, bilateral trade totaled $10.5 billion.

Brazil is also Florida’s number one export market, generating US$ 4,858.7 million for the State of Florida in 2003. Imports from Brazil totaled $4,320.1 million, making Brazil Florida’s second largest import trading partner in 2003.

Trade conducted between Brazil and Florida alone accounts for more than 20% of the business transactions between all Latin American and Caribbean countries.

“The importance of Florida’s economic relationship with Brazil is significant and will continue to play a key role. The conclusion of the Free Trade Area of the Americas is vital to the prosperity and future of both our economies and the hemisphere. We are optimistic about the prospects of the FTAA and in the interim will continue to work to ensure the ratification of pending bilaterals such as DR-CAFTA,” concluded Arrizurieta.

The delegation members include Secretary of State Glenda Hood, Ambassador Charles E. Cobb, Chairman of Florida FTAA; Ambassador Sue Cobb, Cobb Partners; Jorge L. Arrizurieta, President of Florida FTAA; Jose Perez Jones, Senior Vice President of Seaboard Marine; Carlo Barbieri, President of Oxford USA; Julio Barbosa, Legal Counsel for Becker Poliakoff; Marilyn Blanco Reyes, Legal Counsel of FedEx Express Corporation; Michael Gerrard, Chairman and CEO of Broadspan Capital; Timothy McCarthy, Managing Partner of Hughes Hubbard and Reed; Mark Nerehausen, President and CEO of the Broward Center for the Performing Arts; Eugene Rostov, Managing Partner of Baker McKenzie; Mario Fernandez, President, Guarde Aqui Armazenagens Self Storage; Blaine Zuver, President of Free Via Networks and Ines Calderon, Director of Operations, Florida FTAA. The four day mission begins Sunday, April 17th in Brasí­lia and will conclude on April 20th in São Paulo.

The Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), currently being negotiated by 34 democratically elected Western Hemisphere nations, is intended to be the most far-reaching trade agreement in history.

It is an effort to unite the economies of the Western Hemisphere into a single free trade agreement comprising 800 million consumers with a combined gross domestic product of $14 trillion.

Florida FTAA, Inc. is the private-public entity led by Governor Jeb Bush, City of Miami Mayor Manny Diaz, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez and officials throughout the State of Florida with the mission that Miami, Florida become the site of the Permanent Secretariat of the Free Trade Area of the Americas. 

Florida FTAA is chaired by Ambassador Charles E. Cobb, Jr. and managed by President Jorge L. Arrizurieta.  The administrative offices are located at the Biltmore Hotel Conference Center of the Americas in Coral Gables, Florida.

Florida FTAA, Inc.


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