Brazil, a dynamic business partner, site of Reed’s next trade mission

By David Pendered

Brazil is one of Georgia’s leading trade partners, and Mayor Kasim Reed intends to strengthen relations during a trade mission he’s to lead there in April. Reed is just wrapping up his trip to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Brazil is served by seaports scattered along the coast, providing access mainly to trade with the United States and European countries. Credits: "Brazilian Ports: A Safe Haven for International Investment", utexas.edu

Brazil is served by seaports scattered along the coast, providing access mainly to trade with the United States and European countries. Credits: “Brazilian Ports: A Safe Haven for International Investment”, utexas.edu

Metro Atlanta’s connection to Brazil is closer than might be expected, if the only consideration were the 4,600 flight miles or so that separate Atlanta from the capitol, Sao Paulo. An air router showed this distance is about 400 miles more than the mileage between Atlanta and London.

In terms of trade through Georgia’s seaports, Brazil is the state’s eighth largest export market and the 15th largest source of imports, according to the U.S. Census. A UGA study showed in 2012 that more than 156,000 jobs in metro Atlanta are tied to Georgia’s ports.

The Coca-Cola Co. underscored recently another link between Atlanta and Brazil.

This one involves a human rights campaign that was launched in Atlanta by rights advocate Joe Beasley. The result was the announcement this month, in Rio de Janeiro, of a $2.1 million contribution to Brazil’s social programs from Coca Cola Brazil and the Coca Cola Foundation, which is led by Lisa Borders.

Reed’s trip is scheduled from April 5 through April 12. The stated purpose is to, “encourage foreign direct investment in the metropolitan Atlanta region and to help small- to medium-sized local businesses identify and grow their export opportunities with the world’s seventh largest economy.”

Georgia provides advanced products to Brazil as part of the broader effort to promote an economic and commercial relationship that's overseen in this country by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Credit: brazilcouncil.org

Georgia provides advanced products to Brazil as part of the broader effort to promote an economic and commercial relationship that’s overseen in this country by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Credit: brazilcouncil.org

The trip is being supported by the Mayor’s Office of International Affairs, Invest Atlanta, Metro Atlanta Chamber, Georgia Department of Economic Development, and the Brazilian-American Chamber of Commerce, Southeast U.S.

The value of exports from Georgia to Brazil has increased by 72 percent since 2009, according to the Census. Georgia handles about 3 percent of the U.S. goods exported to Brazil.

Georgia’s top exports to Brazil in 2011 included chemicals, transportation equipment and paper, according to brazilcouncil.org.

Specifics of the actual cargo shipped from Georgia to Brazil weren’t immediately available. However, a Census report showed that the top three products shipped from Georgia were:

  • Santos is the largest port in South America and lies about 40 miles from Sao Paulo, Brazil's largest city and the source of more than half the country's gross domestic product.

    Santos is the largest port in South America and lies about 40 miles from Sao Paulo, Brazil’s largest city and the source of more than half the country’s gross domestic product.

    Civilian aircraft, engines and parts, $4.8 billion;

  • Chemical woodpulp, soda or sulfate, other than dissolving grades, semibleached or bleached, coniferous, $1.1 billion;
  • Gas turbine parts – not otherwise specified or included, $1.1 billion.

The value of imports to Georgia from Brazil has increased by 90 percent since 2009, according to the Census. Brazil’s imports via Georgia represent about 1 percent of the total value of products the U.S. has imported from Brazil in the past five years.

Again, specifics of the actual cargo weren’t immediately available. However, the Census showed Brazil’s top imports to the U.S. in 2012 were:

  • Green coffee, $1.3 billion;
  • Crude oil, $7.5 billion;
  • Fuel oil, $1.6 billion;
  • Coal and related fuel, $1.3 billion;
  • Iron and steel mill products, semi-finished, $2.3 billion;
  • U.S. goods returned, and reimports: $1.3 billion.

Brazil is the largest country in South America, in terms of both population and size. Its land mass is larger than the continental United States – some 3.3 million square miles in Brazil and 3 million square miles in the lower 48 states of the U.S.

 

David Pendered, Managing Editor, is an Atlanta journalist with more than 30 years experience reporting on the region’s urban affairs, from Atlanta City Hall to the state Capitol. Since 2008, he has written for print and digital publications, and advised on media and governmental affairs. Previously, he spent more than 26 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and won awards for his coverage of schools and urban development. David graduated from North Carolina State University and was a Western Knight Center Fellow. David was born in Pennsylvania, grew up in North Carolina and is married to a fifth-generation Atlantan.

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