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Lt. Gov. Calley meets with Brazilian business executives, government officials on third day of investment mission

Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, third from left, visited Brazil's BOVESPA, the world's third largest stock exchange located in São Paulo on Monday, May 13, 2013. Joining Calley were representatives from nine Michigan companies and staff of the Michigan Economic Development Corp., who are also taking part in Calley's six-day trade mission to the South American country.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


SÃO PAULO, Brazil - Lt. Gov. Brian Calley delivered a message of strong opportunities for business growth in Michigan today in Brazil through meetings with company executives and other business leaders on the third day of his mission to strengthen relationships and attract new job-creating investments to Michigan.


"We are telling the story of our reinvention of Michigan with both long-standing Brazilian companies that operate in our state and others that can benefit from doing business in Michigan," Calley said. "Michigan's business climate is greatly improved and we are here to open new doors for trade and business between our state and Brazil."


On the third day of his third investment mission, Calley met with executives from Gerdau Long Steel North America, a leading producer of long steel in the Americas. Gerdau operates four steel manufacturing and processing locations in Michigan that employ 1,000 workers. Calley thanked Gerdau for its commitment to Michigan and made the case for additional investment and jobs in the future.


Calley also took part in announcing the Michigan Brazil Center, located in São Paulo. It will provide a physical presence for Michigan with office space and staffing provided through a collaborative program of the Great Lakes Council of Governors. The office will serve several purposes for the state and Michigan businesses, including attracting foreign direct investment and export trade development between Michigan and Brazil.


Earlier in the day Calley met with leaders from the Federation of Industries from the State of São Paulo (FIESP), the leading regional manufacturing sector organization in Brazil. FIESP includes 132 industry trade organizations representing more than 40 percent of the country's gross domestic product, and more than 150,000 companies. He also spoke at a luncheon hosted by AMCHAM-Brasil, an American Chamber of Commerce representing U.S. businesses with operations in Brazil.


On Tuesday, Calley met with executives from JBS, one of the world's largest meat processing companies, at the company's São Paulo headquarters. JBS currently employs 1,200 workers at its beef processing facility in Plainwell. Calley on Monday participated in meetings at the São Paulo Stock Exchange and with Dennis Hankins, principal officer for Consulate General São Paulo.


Concurrent with Calley's mission, business leaders from nine Michigan companies are in Brazil this week meeting with prospective partners, distributors and buyers to increase export opportunities from Michigan to Brazil. The trade mission is being led by the Van Andel Global Trade Center and sponsored by the Michigan Economic Development Corp.


The participating companies are:


·         Dust Control and Loading Systems - Charlevoix

·         Dell Marking Systems - Ferndale

·         Dhake Industries - Plymouth

·         Gentex - Holland

·         Kee Safety - Ann Arbor

·         Mistequay - Saginaw

·         Cardinal Group - Hillsdale

·         Viking Satcom - Albion

·         Viking Spas - Wyoming 


Calley and the Michigan delegation will finish out the week in São Paulo by meeting with Embraer, one of the world's leading aircraft manufacturers; visiting the Association of Friends of Autistic; and touring The American School of São Paulo.


Brazil, the largest country in South America, is home to a highly diversified and industrialized economy that offers enormous growth opportunities for Michigan businesses:


·         In 2012, Michigan companies exported $692.6 million in goods and materials to Brazil, making it Michigan's 8th largest export market.

·         Michigan is the 18th state in the U.S. for exports to Brazil.

·         Key Michigan exports to Brazil include transportation equipment, chemicals, machinery (except electrical), and computers and electronic products.

·         There are nine Brazilian-owned companies in Michigan that employ some 887 Michiganders in 27 locations.


The Brazil mission is Calley's third since taking office in 2011. Earlier this month he spent two days visiting business and government leaders in Mexico, and in April he led a six-day investment mission to meet with company executives and city and provincial officials throughout the Netherlands.