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Lt. Gov. Brian Calley: Trade mission presented opportunities for new business relationships and collaboration in South America

Thursday, May 7, 2015

LANSING, Mich. – Upon completion of Michigan’s first trade mission to Chile and Columbia, Lt. Gov. Brian Calley expressed confidence that the trip laid the foundation for economic development and collaboration opportunities in the future

“Michigan has a great story to tell and so many successful business sectors that will benefit from stronger connections with Latin America,” Calley said. “We have seen many opportunities and potential for collaboration and expanded market opportunities for Michigan entrepreneurs and I am confident that this is the beginning of a stronger relationship with Chile and Colombia for years to come.”

Calley finished out his mission in Bogota, Colombia, where he met with officials from Colombia’s Ministries of Agriculture and Education to discuss opportunities to increase Michigan-Colombia trade and partnerships. He also met with leaders from the National Business Association of Colombia to learn about partnership opportunities in Colombia for Michigan firms. Calley also gave remarks at a luncheon hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce in Bogota and Council of American Enterprises featuring executives leading Latin American enterprises of Michigan companies including Dow, Kellogg, Amway and GMAC. Calley concluded his trip with a reception at the residence of Kevin Whitaker, U.S. Ambassador to Colombia.

Earlier in the week, Calley was in Santiago, Chile meeting with partners from Carey Law Firm, Chile’s largest law firm, to discuss ways to streamline international business collaboration, in addition to officials from Chile’s Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Agriculture. He also attended a reception at the residence of U.S. Ambassador to Chile Michael A. Hammer. Calley also met on Monday with EducationUSA, a U.S. Department of State network of 400 international student advising centers that promotes U.S. higher education to students around the world. He also spoke at a luncheon hosted by AmCham Chile and visited SOFOFA, the industry associations of manufacturers in Chile.

Calley was joined by a concurrent trade mission hosted by Automation Alley, which brought eight companies to Chile and Columbia to identify potential partnerships. The delegation participated in customized itineraries of one-on-one meetings with prospective customers, distributors and partners in both countries. Each of the companies found opportunities to collaborate or partner to export in South America. The trade mission began Sunday in Santiago, Chile and concludes today in Bogota, Colombia. Calley will return to Michigan on Friday. The mission was Calley’s fourth since taking office in 2011. In 2013, he participated in trips to Mexico, Brazil and the Netherlands.