Special Feature Archive
BRAZIL RECEIVES USTDA COUNTRY OF THE YEAR AWARD
USTDA Also Awards Grant for a Multi-Sector Technology Park in Braslia

His Excellency Miguel Jorge (center), Brazil's Minister of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade, accepts the Country of the Year award from USTDA Director Walther (left), while U.S. Ambassador to Brazil Clifford Sobel (right) looks on.
His Excellency Miguel Jorge (center), Brazil's Minister of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade, accepts the Country of the Year award from USTDA Director Walther (left), while U.S. Ambassador to Brazil Clifford Sobel (right) looks on.

BRASLIA, BRAZIL - (December 10, 2008) – Reflecting the success of the agency’s program in advancing mutual economic benefits and U.S. policy priorities, USTDA Director Larry W. Walther presented an award today naming Brazil as the agency's 2008 Country of the Year. The award was presented to His Excellency Miguel Jorge, Brazil’s Minister of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade. The presentation followed the signing of a USTDA grant agreement earlier in the day with the Secretariat of Economic Development and Tourism of the Government of the Federal District of Brazil through which USTDA will fund an evaluation of a proposed multi-sector technology park.

"In establishing its priorities, Brazil has continuously focused on both infrastructure development and economic growth," said USTDA Director Walther. "Our program responds to these priorities and demonstrates USTDA’s effectiveness in bringing U.S. technology, expertise and ingenuity to bear in addressing priority infrastructure projects."

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. By working with innovative Brazilian partners, USTDA has sought to identify projects that would best benefit from U.S. technologies and services during project implementation. Aviation, surface transportation, and information and communications technology have been the most active sectors for USTDA in Brazil. One of USTDA’s largest success story in Brazil stems from an reverse trade mission to the United States that the agency sponsored for rail officials, led by the Brazilian Association of National Rail Transporters. As a result of contacts made during the visit, one of the participating Brazilian companies, MRS Logística, purchased $126 million in General Electric locomotives.

The breadth of USTDA’s program recognizes that Brazil is the largest economy in the region and the regional success that it has achieved. For example, the country has produced steady economic growth, transformed itself into a creditor nation, and achieved investment grade status from Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s. Brazil is an attractive location for foreign investment and is considered an important U.S. commercial partner in the region. At the same time, Brazil is investing heavily in infrastructure, which includes a R$500 billion (US$230 billion) four-year program to modernize the country’s transportation, energy and utility sectors.

Earlier today, USTDA also awarded a grant to advance plans by the Government of the Federal District of Brazil to establish a multi-sector technology park. The park will offer common services and resources to high-technology and research and development companies and encourage cooperation between universities, research institutions, and the private sector. A goal of the park is to make the required IT infrastructure readily available and at affordable cost. The $507,000 USTDA grant will provide a detailed plan for the design, organization, construction, operation and management of the park. Director Walther and Governor Jose Roberto Arruda, of the Federal District of Brazil, and Vice Governor and Secretary for the Secretariat of Economic Development and Tourism Paulo Octavio Alves Pereíra signed an agreement today officially conferring the grant.

The opportunity to provide services to the Government of the Federal District of Brazil under the USTDA grant will be competed on the Federal Business Opportunities website at www.fbo.gov. Interested U.S. firms should submit proposals according to the instructions in the Federal Business Opportunities announcement. The Government of the Federal District of Brazil will each select the U.S. firm that will carry out 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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