Created on May 15, 2013
At the end of last month, the Acting Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank announced the 20 companies that joined the infrastructure business development trade mission to Brazil, Colombia, and Panama. The purpose of the trip is to promote U.S. exports by helping U.S. companies in infrastructure sectors to make the connections they need to expand their business opportunities in the three countries. I am pleased to acknowledge that two of those companies – Integra Design Group, and the DeValle Group, are based in Puerto Rico and clients of the Puerto Rico MBDA Business Center .
Integra Design Group, an architecture and engineering firm, will be represented by Co-founder and Vice President Richard Cuebas Ramirez. Integra Design Group Architects & Engineers was established in 2000 and ranks as Puerto Rico’s fourth largest architectural services firm according to Caribbean Book of ListsTM. Integra Group is a conglomerate whose companies also provide construction management & management solutions. Integra Group has numerous projects in Puerto Rico, Aruba and the Dominican Republic to its credit design.
The DeValle Group, a family-owned general construction company founded in 1988, will be represented by Managing Partner Humberto Reynolds, who happens to have been born and raised in Panama. According to Reynolds, the DeValle Group was the fourth largest construction company in Puerto Rico in 2011 and he is fully committed to becoming the largest by 2015 through exports.
These firms, like most MBDA clients, are uniquely positioned to export. MBDA clients have the skills and relationships that make them some of the most effective exporters in the U.S. economy. Many have familial, personal, and business relationships in foreign countries. Combined with cultural knowledge and familiarity with local business practices, MBDA clients are well suited for exporting, as evidenced by the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2007 Survey of Business Owners. Minority-owned businesses are twice as likely to export, three times more likely to boast international operations, and six times more likely to transact business in a language other than English.
Brazil, Colombia, and Panama are excellent markets and an integral part of the MBDA’s Global Business Strategy for fiscal year 2013 and we will continue our work with their governments and business communities on behalf of U.S. minority-owned businesses. Brazil is looking to invest in long-overdue infrastructure issues, as well as prepare for the upcoming 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics games for which they expect to invest $12 billion. The Government of Colombia has earmarked $26 billion over the next 4 years for primarily road projects and most major cities in Colombia are looking for solutions to improve internal transportation, including mass transit. Panama is currently engaged in the Panama Canal expansion project. This project, in conjunction with the expansion of the capacities of its ports on both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, will solidify Panama’s global logistical advantage in the Western Hemisphere.
To learn more about the infrastructure business development trade mission to Brazil, Colombia, and Panama, visit the Commerce Blog .
Stay engaged with MBDA to take advantage of these and other growth opportunities for your firm, contact an MBDA Business Center  today. The export assistance provided by MBDA offers tremendous value to your firm and ultimately, to the U.S. economy.