Governor Jay Nixon will travel to Brazil this month on a trade mission. The trip comes on the heels of the news that Missouri saw its strongest year ever for exports in 2011. The governor will travel with a delegation of business leaders hoping to expand their exports to the South American nation. According to the governor’s office, several Missouri businesses are expected to negotiate contracts with Brazilian customers during the trip.
“With a population of approximately 200 million people, and a surging global economy, Brazil wants and needs the products we make right here in Missouri, including chemicals, minerals and ores, transportation, electrical and computer equipment, and agricultural products,” Nixon said.
Brazil ranks as the world’s seventh largest economy. Missouri businesses sold over 300 million dollars’ worth of goods last year to Brazil, according to the governor’s office.
Nixon will also be travelling with a representative from Missouri State University, who will sign an exchange agreement between MSU and the State University of Maringa in Brazil.
The governor’s five day international trip comes during the last month of legislative session. When asked by a reporter whether the timing of the trip concerned him, Nixon said no.
“The primary function of this job is to…is to promote and deliver economic and educational opportunity for the state; we think the timing of the negotiations we’ve been going through, both in the sub-national as well as the private companies we’ve been dealing with, as well as Missouri State’s efforts; all of those together meant this was the time we need to strike while the iron is hot,” Nixon said.
Hinting to the increased pace lawmakers take on in the last few days of session, the governor said, “it’s almost getting to halftime.” The trade delegation is scheduled to leave April 14.