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Brazil to Establish Consulate in Atlanta

Thursday, October 21, 2004  Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774

Office will Strengthen State's Business, Cultural Ties to Latin America

ATLANTA, GA – Governor Sonny Perdue announced today that Brazil will establish a consulate office in Atlanta to further strengthen the country's business and cultural ties to Georgia.  The office will assist with trade promotion and export services, visas, tourism, and provide other assistance to the nearly 40,000 Brazilians estimated to be living in this region.

“Brazil has long been an important business partner for Georgia, and I'm pleased to welcome the consulate general's office to our state,” said Governor Sonny Perdue.  “By establishing this office in Atlanta, Brazil will be able to take advantage of our state's strong international business community.”

Senior officials from the Brazilian Foreign Affairs Ministry, including Minister Paulo Cesar Vasconcelos, Counselor Silvio Garcia, and Consul Enoch Nacimento, are visiting possible locations for the office this month with plans to formally open the office by the first of the year.  The Consul General, who will be selected to head this new consular post, is soon to be named.

“There is a strong link between the Brazilian and Georgian business communities.  The Consulate General of Brazil in Atlanta, in addition to supporting the Brazilian community in this new consular district, will also continue building and enhancing the strong business and trade ties that already exist between Brazil, Georgia, and the U.S. Southeast region,” said Minister Vasconcelos.  “We are very grateful for the work and the strong support we have received during the past several years from our Honorary Consul in Atlanta, Mr. Tim Perry, the Brazilian American Chamber of Commerce of Atlanta, and also the assistance from state and city governments, led by the Georgia Department of Economic Development and its partners.”

When it opens, the Consulate General of Brazil in Atlanta will have jurisdiction over six states in the U.S. Southeast:  Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, North Carolina and South Carolina. 

Brazil is currently ranked 10th among Georgia's trading partners with approximately $310 million in exports to the country in 2003.  Nearly 20 Georgia-based companies have operations in Brazil, representing an investment of up to $8 billion in that country.  Several companies from Brazil have also chosen Georgia as the location for their North American operations, among them Gerdau, WEG, Florence, and Eucatex.

As part of Atlanta's candidacy for the Secretariat of the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), Governor Perdue and representatives from the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) have undertaken a number of business missions throughout the Americas, including a mission to Brazil in June 2004.  The initiative to raise awareness of Georgia's position as the premier gateway to the Americas is directed by Hemisphere, Inc., a public-private partnership chaired by Governor Perdue.