News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

August 29, 2008

MANITOBA TO EXPLORE BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES IN BRAZIL AND COLOMBIA



Competitiveness, Training and Trade Minister Andrew Swan announced today that he and more than a half-dozen Manitoba companies will be part of an Aug. 31 to Sept. 5 business mission to Brazil and Colombia that will explore new opportunities in these two growing markets.
 
Brazil is South America’s most significant economy and 10th largest in the world. It comprises more than half of the continent in terms of population, economy and geography. Colombia, while smaller, is also enjoying strong economic growth that is expected to continue. Manitoba will look to build on the recently signed trade agreement between Canada and Colombia.
 
“There is potential for trade growth with both countries and it is important for Manitoba to continue to diversify and grow the international markets in which we do business,” Swan said.
 
“Diversifying and expanding our trade relationships helps to cushion us against slowdowns in some markets and ensure that our own provincial economy continues to grow.”
 
In Brazil, Swan will speak about agri-business opportunities in Manitoba at the Federation of Agriculture of the State of Rio Grande Do Sul. Agriculture and food is the state’s largest industry. The minister will also meet with a variety of government leaders including Yeda Crusius, governor of Rio Grande Do Sul, and Marcio Biolchi, state secretary of development and international affairs.
 
The minister and state officials will also discuss signing a memorandum of understanding between the province and state that would promote mutual economic development through a variety of strategies including providing in-market support to businesses in both jurisdictions and pursuing economic development opportunities between strategically aligned companies.
 
In Colombia, the minister will participate in several economic round tables on the topics of competitiveness and business opportunities in the agricultural sector. He will also speak to the Colombo-Canadian Chamber of Commerce about the advantages of investing in Manitoba. In addition, he will meet with Colombian leaders including Andres Gonzales, governor of the state of Cundinamarca.
 
In 2007, Manitoba’s two-way trade with Brazil totalled $59 million, while two-way trade with Colombia totalled $38.7 million. Manitoba’s last business mission to Brazil was in 1998.
 
- 30 -