Mayor's Office

Press Release

Mayor Parker Leads Local Business Delegation Trip to Brazil
Business Development Trip Organized by Greater Houston Partnership Aims to Extend International Business Opportunities



March 23, 2012 -- Houston Mayor Annise Parker will be leading a high-level business delegation on a week-long trade mission to São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to create and strengthen trade and business ties. Organized by the Greater Houston Partnership, the delegation includes executives from the oil and gas, technology, medical and education industries.


"I am honored to lead Houston's first economic development trip to Brazil with such a distinguished delegation, and to promote Houston as Brazil's first point of entry into the U.S. market," said Mayor Parker. " Houston is currently Brazil's largest U.S. trade partner, but there is a lot of opportunity for growth and my job will be to open the doors for those opportunities to become success stories."


The purpose of this mission is to capitalize on the many synergies between Houston and Brazil including energy, transportation/logistics, construction/engineering, medicine, education and high tech enterprises, expand business opportunities for Houston companies in Brazil, increase opportunities for investment in Houston, and establish strong, friendly ties between Houston and key counterparts in Brazil, especially within the cities of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.


"Brazil is our third largest trading partner with a GDP similar to France and the United Kingdom, and there is tremendous potential for more growth," said Jeff Moseley, president and CEO of the Greater Houston Partnership. "With the strategic economic ties Houston and Brazil already enjoy, Mayor Parker is a powerful voice that will open more doors and help us fight for more high-paying jobs and more foreign investment into our region."


Scheduled visits currently include meetings with mayors of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro as well as a tentative meeting with Brazil's Secretary of Energy; networking events with the American Chamber (AMCHAM) São Paulo, AMCHAM RIO and Rio Negocios; and visits to Odebrecht, Petrobras, São Paulo University, CENPES-Petrobras Research Center, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Petroleum National Agency, and the Brazilian Institute of Petroleum.


The Houston/Galveston Customs District ranks as Brazil's largest U.S. trade partner. Total annual trade between Houston and Brazil has increased by 37.2 percent from $11.3 billion in 2010 to $15.5 billion in 2011. Exports totaled $9.1 billion and imports totaled $6.4 billion.