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MBDA National Director Hinson Builds Relationships with Brazil In Line with Obama Administration NEI Goals
The trip provided an opportunity for Commerce’s MBDA to help push forward on the Obama administration’s National Export Initiative (NEI) by fostering greater access to emerging markets in Brazil for minority business enterprises. Helping the administration achieve its NEI goal of doubling exports by the end of 2014 is a top priority for MBDA, because more exports mean more jobs. Through the NEI, MBDA is thinking strategically about the sectors and markets that give America’s minority businesses a comparative advantage globally. Brazil is one of those key markets.
Director Hinson addressed a special business roundtable held in conjunction with the two-day technical meeting of the U.S. - Brazil Joint Action Plan in Brasilia, Brazil. Hinson provided an overview of the Minority Business Development Agency’s (MBDA) long history of helping minority-owned businesses become more competitive through greater access to contracts, capital, and markets.
The discussion included over 50 Afro-Brazilian businesses, public officials, and representatives from trade groups. The purpose of the roundtable was to engage segments of the Brazilian population, who have been historically excluded from the types of sustainable economic development that promotes growth and financial security.
On day three of National Director David Hinson’s five-day U.S. interagency trip to Brazil, he met with a group of prominent Afro-Brazilian entrepreneurs from Bahia, which has one of the largest Afro-Brazilian populations in the country. Dialogue between Hinson and Afro-Brazilian business owners centered on the many challenges they face. In addition to their biggest obstacle—the ability to obtain the capital financing required for their businesses to grow—they discussed a number of industries that offer the most promise for them, citing automobiles, tourism, construction, cosmetics, and mining.
One member of this group was Ms. Ana Matos, who managed to build a successful cosmetics manufacturing plant in Salvador, one of the nine municipalities in the northern region. In spite of the many obstacles and challenges common to Afro-Brazilians, Ms. Matos’s company, GenteBonita, is worth $3 million.
David Hinson is National Director of the Minority Business Development Agency. He is currently in Brazil as a member of a Federal interagency delegation on the U.S.-Brazil Joint Action Plan to Eliminate Racial Inequality.
I am sitting with Luciana Mello, an Afro-Brazilian entrepreneur whose consulting company, Prama Consulting, assists small and medium-sized businesses export from Brazil. One of her main lines of business is language translation services. As businesses continue to move to a global economy, there is a growing need for translation services.
Most of Mello’s clients are Afro-Brazilian companies that export primarily within Latin America. When asked about exporting to the U.S., Luciana said “Most of my clients don't consider exporting to the United States because they feel that the market is too difficult to enter and too large, but if they could find a U.S. partner, they would be interested.”
MBDA National Director Hinson and U.S. Government Delegation Trip to Brazil Builds International Relationships
MBDA National Director Hinson and Shawn Ricks, Senior Advisor to the National Director on Global Affairs began a five-day trip to Brasilia and Sao Paulo, Brazil. This trip will provide an opportunity for MBDA to build relationships with key stakeholder groups essential to reaching its export targets under the National Export Initiative, create greater access to emerging markets for minority business enterprises, and support job creation in the United States.
On Monday, Director Hinson and Senior Advisor Ricks met with International Trade Administration Senior Commercial Officer Brian Brisson and his team to discuss business opportunities for minority-owned businesses in Brazil. As Latin America’s biggest economy, Brazil has strong domestic demands and a growing middle class. Its diversified economy offers U.S. companies, especially minority-owned – who are nearly twice as likely to export as non-minority owned business, many opportunities to export their goods and services.