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Michigan Opening Brazil Economic Expansion Offices

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A montage of scenes from Brasilia. Wikimedia Commons photo.

A montage of scenes from Brasilia. Wikimedia Commons photo.

(credit: istock) Technology Report
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BRASILIA, Brazil — The Michigan Brazil Center and Support Office in Brasilia has announced its official opening for Michigan-based companies looking to expand into one of the world’s hottest growth markets.

The state also announced the intent to open a branch office soon in São Paulo.

The official opening announcement follows a soft launch in 2012, which allowed the Center to validate the model, monitor the results, and open the Michigan Brazil Center and Support Office to ‘beta’ groups on a trial basis. The widespread success of the soft launch and model validation allowed the Center to move forward with its planned 2013 opening to the broader Michigan business community.

The initiative was spearheaded by Jeff Jorge, executive partner of Global Development Partners, a Royal Oak-based operation that helps companies and nonprofit organizations expand internationally.

The Michigan Brazil Center and Support Office is located at the premises of the BRICS-PED Chamber, the Promotion and Economic Development organization of emerging national economies in Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — an entity for which Jorge serves as the deputy executive director for its affairs in the United States.

“Companies in southeast Michigan are beginning to understand the enormity of potential in the rapidly emerging Brazil market and of the overall Latin American region,” Jorge said. “The coming Olympics and World Cup have drawn greater attention to a global market that was already in significant demand for the types of products and services that Michigan businesses have to offer. The Michigan Brazil Center and Support Office will now serve as both a conduit and an advocate to facilitate further exploration and expansion into the incredible opportunities that await in Brazil and its neighboring countries. Our experience shows that many companies across the U.S. have a greater awareness that an expansion into foreign markets is a great way to grow sales and to become more resilient to domestic economic storms.”

Jorge’s initiative has already gained interest and support, not only from the private sector and dignitaries in Brazil, but from domestic officials as well. Oakland County Executive L.Brooks Patterson remarked that “initiatives such as (The Michigan Brazil Center) are crucial to the continued global expansion of Oakland County-based businesses into key emerging markets, to the strengthening of our economy, and to the attraction of capital into our region.”

Added deputy county executive Matt Gibb: “We are fortunate to have such a strong global collaborator in our economic development efforts, and we look forward to the continued results and opportunities that emerge from this initiative.”

Oxus Inc., a medical device company based in Rochester Hills, is among those who have benefitted from the center’s early programs. Oxus CEO Gary Abusamra, who partnered with the Center and GDP to help his company expand into Brazil in turnkey manner, reported significant traction as a result of the collaboration.

“In a very short period, they had a great handle on our target market and its regulatory requirements — along with a strategy to secure regulatory approval — in addition to having identified prospective in-region partners, qualified them, and engaged with them on our behalf,” said Abusamra. “In all, they accomplished in a short period what would have taken many months and copious resources for our team to achieve. They effectively accelerated our path to increased global growth in a manner far greater than we would have been able to reach by ourselves.”

In 2013, Jorge will continue to collaborate with, and secure additional support from, key members of Michigan’s business and government community to fuel the growth of the initiative.

“It’s abundantly clear to both businesses and government alike the crucial role this initiative can play in the success of Michigan’s business community,” Jorge said. “This announcement is only the beginning. We expect great things for Michigan businesses in Brazil and Latin America as a whole.”

To register for the Center’s next Launch Pad orientation event on June 7, or to inquire about opportunities that exist with the Michigan Brazil Center and Support Office, visit www.MichiganBrazilCenter.org, or call (517) 618-1956.

The seminar will be held from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at Automation Alley, 2675 Bellingham in Troy.

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