Fourteen on first Invest NI business mission to Brazil

Fourteen Northern Ireland companies are visiting Brazil on the first Invest Northern Ireland organised trade mission. The companies will be headquartered in Sao Paulo, from 2-9 October, and 13 are newcomers to this rapidly developing marketplace.

Leading the mission is Tracy Meharg, Invest NI’s Managing Director of Innovation and Capability Development, who will be briefing business organisations, including the Sao Paulo Chamber of Commerce and the British Business Group, in Brazil about trade, technology transfer and investment opportunities in Northern Ireland.

Commenting on the mission, Tracy Meharg said: “While most of the companies on this mission are new to Brazil, Northern Ireland has significant business links with this huge market, the world’s eighth largest country.

Over the years, several local companies, including FG Wilson, Powerscreen, Terex Finlay, Ulster Carpets, Fast Engineering and Randox, which is also taking part in this mission, have established business there.

“In addition, Moy Park and O’Kane’s Poultry, among our biggest and most successful food businesses, are also owned by the Brazilian Marfrig group.

“We’ve organised this mission to appeal in particular to small to medium sized enterprises which have a strong export focus and are keen to explore the substantial opportunities that are to be found in what is a very sophisticated and dynamic market.  It’s an integral part of Invest NI’s strategic focus on providing opportunities for local SMEs in particular, to explore developing global markets.

“Named as one of the UK’s high growth markets, Brazil has a population of 185 million and a GDP per head greater than either India or China.

“Brazil is also the first Latin American nation to emerge from the current recession and is projecting an impressive five per cent GDP growth this year. This growth and investment, therefore, provides substantial opportunities for our companies across a very broad range of sectors.

“It has well-developed agricultural, mining, manufacturing, aerospace, life sciences and service sectors and is committed to significant investment to upgrade its infrastructure. Many of the world’s biggest companies are located there. Brazil, furthermore, is among the most popular tourism locations. Overall, the opportunities for companies prepared to invest the time and other resources in Brazil are immense.”

The mission will be centred on Sao Paulo, the largest city in Latin America and the fourth largest city in the world, with 10.5 million people. Mission companies have been assisted by Invest NI to arrange meetings with Brazilian businesses in Sao Paulo and other business centres including Brasilia and Rio de Janeiro.