I have been proud to serve as Country Representative for Brazil at the U.S. Trade and Development Agency for more than 5 years now, based at the U.S. Consulate in São Paulo. As USTDA advances its mission overseas, especially across the vast Brazilian territory, I have the opportunity to learn more of the country where I was born and call home.
With territory nearly the size of the continental U.S., Brazil has a wealth of cultures and disparities that surprise me every time I visit a different region. In advancing USTDA’s mandate, I have traveled to some of the most fascinating places, and worked with public and private sector representatives who bring a wide spectrum of viewpoints. Together, we work toward the common goal of bringing additional development opportunities to a number of communities.
Many of those opportunities currently lie in Brazil’s transportation sector, as the country plans to make substantive investments in developing new infrastructure and making upgrades. In an effort to connect U.S. businesses with those opportunities, USTDA released a Transportation Resource Guide that details Brazil’s goals and specific project plans. I appreciate the opportunity I had to work on such an important guide and hope that it serves as a tremendous asset for businesses looking to enter Brazil’s market.
USTDA has partnered with Brazil in other ways including aviation and information and communication technology (ICT). When I meet with U.S. industry representatives, I proudly highlight the U.S.-Brazil Aviation Partnership and the recently launched U.S.-Brazil ICT Partnership. It has been exciting to watch these initiatives evolve and yield tangible results for both of our countries.
Some of our most recent activities in the aviation and ICT sectors include workshops, feasibility studies, technical assistance, training activities, and reverse trade missions to the United States. I find it amazing that we often see results as soon as just weeks after an activity concludes, proving not only the effectiveness of our programs, but also how USTDA helps entities partner together to unlock projects that lead to capacity building, infrastructure development, and job creation – in the U.S. and Brazil.
Today, when I visit our ICT sector partners throughout the country, no matter whether it is in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Manaus, Porto Alegre, Aracaju, Acre, or Amapá, just to name a few, what I see are modern U.S. systems in place, supporting an even greater objective and priority for the Government of Brazil, which is digital inclusion. Brazil is advancing greatly in the amount of government services provided online and USTDA is committed to supporting the effort by introducing what U.S. industry has to offer in this arena.
In the aviation sector, USTDA continues to support the Brazilian Government’s effort to modernize its aviation/airport infrastructure with activities that present U.S. technologies ranging from general airport systems to airline passenger management software. These technologies result help improve aviation safety and efficiency throughout the country.
While entering the Brazilian market may be challenging for newcomers, I believe it is one of the greatest markets in the world to pursue. It is encouraging to see how U.S. companies quickly learn how to navigate this marketplace, taking advantage of the various trade and investment opportunities that exist here. I am pleased that our work has played an important role in presenting many of these opportunities to U.S. industry.
Brazil is currently facing challenges and I have confidence they will end up strengthening the country and cultivating the business environment in the long term. As our countries deepen and expand the areas in which we partner, USTDA will continue to connect U.S. industry with new opportunities by supporting top priority projects that contribute to the country’s development goals, a mutually-beneficial partnership that I am proud to work for.