Officials with the Baton Rouge Area Chamber and Greater New Orleans Inc. executed a public-private business development mission to Sao Paulo, Brazil, in October to build commerce in the South American market.

BRAC and GNO, Inc. officials met with companies in a variety of industries, including chemicals, electronics, engineering services, food processing, minerals processing, and oil and gas.

“Brazil is one of the most exciting emerging economies in the world,” said Michael Hecht, president and chief executive officer of Greater New Orleans, Inc. “Our mission to Brazil had a dual focus: developing trade partnerships for Louisiana businesses and attracting foreign direct investment from Brazilian companies. We are already seeing increased activity from the Brazilian market as a result of the mission.”

Brazil has the world’s seventh largest economy and represents a gateway into the South American market. Enriching ties among businesses in Southeast Louisiana and firms in Brazil is integral to the continued development of a successful regional economy. The 21 Louisiana companies that joined the state’s economic development organizations on the mission attended receptions, participated in site visits, and held individual business-to-business meetings with 22 Brazilian companies in a variety of industries.

“The Baton Rouge area must continue to compete globally for business investment. The recent work in Brazil created direct opportunities for potential deal flow to the region,” said Adam Knapp, president and chief executive officer of BRAC. “More importantly, this trip represented two important firsts for the Baton Rouge area: a partnership for international business development with Greater New Orleans, Inc., in keeping with our joint Super-Region Committee; and an important signal of our increased focus on international business attraction.”

Founded in May 2009, the Southeast Super-Region Committee is a joint venture between BRAC and GNO, Inc. The organization focuses on economic development projects which benefit a nineteen-parish area served by the two agencies. The market mission to Brazil is an initiative within the committee’s international trade business development strategy.