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USTDA AWARDS GRANT TO UPDATE THE MASTER PLAN FOR TANCREDO NEVES INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT IN MINAS GERAIS, BRAZIL

U.S. Ambassador to Brazil Clifford M. Sobel (left) and Minas Gerais Governor Aécio Neves (right) talk prior to the award of a USTDA grant that will fund a study on upgrading and expanding Tancredo Neves International Airport.
U.S. Ambassador to Brazil Clifford M. Sobel (left) and Minas Gerais Governor Aécio Neves (right) talk prior to the award of a USTDA grant that will fund a study on upgrading and expanding Tancredo Neves International Airport.

BRASILIA, BRAZIL (February 6, 2009) – Today, USTDA awarded a grant to the State Government of Minas Gerais Economic Development Secretariat to further the State's goal of expanding its aviation infrastructure. The grant, which reflects USTDA's ongoing commitment to the country's development since naming Brazil as its 2008 Country of the Year, is the third awarded by the agency in recent months in support of the State's development priorities. Today's grant will fund a study that will recommend various options available to Brazil as it invests $1.3 billion in upgrading and expanding the Tancredo Neves International Airport.

The $573,000 grant was conferred in a signing ceremony at the U.S. Embassy in Brasilia. U.S. Ambassador to Brazil Clifford M. Sobel and Minas Gerais Governor Aécio Neves signed the grant agreement on behalf of the U.S. government and State Government of Minas Gerais, respectively.

Tancredo Neves International Airport serves Belo Horizonte, the state capital, and is the seventh busiest airport for passenger traffic in Brazil. In 2007, the airport handled 4.3 million passengers and over 55,000 flights, up from approximately 10,650 in 2004. While demand at the airport has steadily increased, so has the need to expand the airport and to update its Master Plan.

The USTDA grant will provide and updated demand-capacity analysis, financial plan, and an environmental and developmental impacts analysis. Moreover, the study will analyze forecasted passenger and cargo growth, runway extension and construction options, passenger terminal upgrade and second terminal construction options, and analyze cargo facility capital improvement options. The study will also provide recommendations with respect to the options for the development of public-private partnerships at the airport.

Today's grant complements a separate $241,000 USTDA grant awarded in September 2008 to the State of Minas Gerais Transport and Public Works Secretariat with respect to expansion of the PROAERO Small airports Network Program. The PROAERO grant provides technical assistance with respect to projected future capital expenditures, equipment procurement specifications, financing options, and program implementation toward the state's goal of an integrated airport network.

USTDA also awarded a separate $425,000 grant in September 2008 to today's grant recipient, the State Government of Minas Gerais Economic Development Secretariat, to further the state's e-government initiative. That grant is funding assistance for the establishment of an administrative datacenter to upgrade and consolidate the datacenter functions of various state government secretariats.

Brazil was named USTDA's 2008 Country of the Year as a result of the success of the agency's program in advancing mutual economic benefits and U.S. policy priorities. Brazil is one of USTDA's largest regional partners and the agency has invested in 91 priority projects there since 1981. Over the years, these investments have facilitated $263 million in U.S. exports.

The opportunity to conduct the study for the State Government of Minas Gerais Economic Development Secretariat under today's grant will be competed on the Federal Business Opportunities (FBO) website. A link to the FBO announcement will be posted to USTDA's website at www.ustda.gov. Interested U.S. firms should submit proposals according to the instructions in the FBO announcement. The State Government of Minas Gerais Economic Development Secretariat will select the U.S. contractor that will complete the study.

The U.S. Trade and Development Agency advances economic development and U.S. commercial interests in developing and middle-income countries. The agency funds various forms of technical assistance, early investment analysis, training, reverse trade missions and business workshops that support the development of a modern infrastructure and a fair, open trading environment. USTDA's strategic use of foreign assistance funds to support sound investment policy and decision-making in host countries creates an enabling environment for trade, investment and sustainable economic development. In carrying out its mission, USTDA gives emphasis to economic sectors that may benefit from U.S. exports of goods and services.

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