May 27, 1999

Lila White
(804) 692-3110

Jill Lawrence
(804) 371-0049
Governor Gilmore Announces New Virginia Trade Office in Brazil

Sao Paulo, Brazil - At a speech before the American Chamber of Commerce in Sao Paulo, Brazil (AM-CHAM-BRAZIL), Governor Jim Gilmore today announced that the Commonwealth of Virginia will open a new international trade office in Brazil by the end of 1999. The office will join the Virginia Economic Development Partnership’s (VEDP) operating trade offices in Frankfurt, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Mexico City. The announcement came as part of the Governor’s 13-day trade mission to Brazil, Chile and Argentina.

"After examining the marketplace in Brazil, I am confident that Virginia could benefit by placing experienced trade representatives here," Governor Gilmore said. "We will open this trade office as a result of the successes over the past few days, as well as our faith in the Brazilian economy. The prospects for Virginia exporters are excellent in Brazil throughout the next decade, and I look forward to strengthening Virginia’s trade relationship with this country."

The international trade office will work in conjunction with the Virginia Port Authority, which has operated a trade office in Sao Paulo for 17 years with great success. VEDP trade representatives will partner with the Virginia Port Authority to increase the state’s exports to Brazil.

Brazil is the number one destination in South America for Virginia exports. Also, Virginia is the number one port for Brazil on the East Coast. Nearly 90 percent of Brazilian auto parts destined for the U.S. go through Virginia, and nearly 75 percent of U.S. auto parts destined for Brazil move through the Port of Virginia.

As the first Virginia Governor to travel to South America for trade development purposes, Governor Gilmore has planned meetings with numerous South American government officials and business leaders in Brazil, Chile and Argentina. High profile events and prospect meetings in these countries will help open new markets for Virginia products and services, port activity and agriculture.



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