Georgia leaders begin 'gateway' mission in Brazil

Gov. Nathan Deal and his wife Sandra at Brazil's Sugarloaf Mountain
Caption
Gov. Nathan Deal and his wife Sandra at Brazil's Sugarloaf Mountain

Credit: Greg Bluestein

Credit: Greg Bluestein

Rio de Janeiro - Gov. Nathan Deal and two dozen other state and business leaders arrived in Brazil Sunday for a five-day trip to Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo with a goal to strengthen Georgia's ties with the world's seventh-largest economy.

Deal and other officials want the visit to highlight Georgia's attempt to cut into Miami's share of the Latin American market. They will plan to meet with local politicians, huddle with trade industry groups, visit the Brazilian outposts of Georgia firms and pitch investment bankers and tour operators on Georgia.

It may seem like an unlikely spot for Deal's first trade mission since winning re-election in November. The $2.1 billion in two-way trade between Georgia and Brazil pales in comparison with Canada and China, the destinations for Deal's earlier missions. But state officials say Georgia aims to step up its game to attract more investment from Latin American countries.

“I would argue that Georgia is the place to be if you want to be the gateway to the Latin American market,” said Chris Carr, the state’s economic development commissioner. “We’ve got to find new markets and customers, and more sources of foreign and direct investment. And we think there’s a great opportunity for that in Brazil.”

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