GOVERNOR PATRICK WELCOMES PRESIDENT OF BRAZIL DILMA ROUSSEFF TO THE MASSACHUSETTS STATE HOUSE
Governor Patrick and President Rousseff stand for the national anthem of Brazil on the State House steps. (Photo credit: Eric Haynes / Governor’s Office). View additional photos.
BOSTON – Tuesday, April 10, 2012 – Governor Deval Patrick today welcomed President of Brazil Dilma Rousseff to the Massachusetts State House. President Rousseff's visit follows Governor Patrick’s successful trade mission to Brazil in December 2011, which accelerated a growing relationship between Massachusetts and Brazil -- the sixth-largest economy in the world.
“During our trade mission to Brazil this past December, the Massachusetts delegation was warmly welcomed at all levels of government and business,” said Governor Patrick. “On behalf of the entire Commonwealth, we are delighted to return that warm welcome to President Rousseff.”
Governor Patrick was joined by nearly 100 Massachusetts school children from the Brazilian community to welcome President Rousseff on the State House steps, where the national anthems of both countries played. The Governor then escorted the President through the front doors of the State House, a rare tradition usually reserved for visiting heads of state.
Following an official meeting with President Rousseff and her delegation in the Governor's Office, Governor Patrick hosted a business luncheon with Massachusetts innovation economy leaders in the historic Senate Reading Room. During the luncheon, the Governor and President exchanged welcoming remarks, followed by a toast.
Today’s visit to Massachusetts is one of only two stops on President Rousseff’s American itinerary, which also included a meeting with President Obama in Washington, D.C. The visit is also the latest in a rapidly-expanding relationship between Massachusetts and Brazil. In 2011, Massachusetts exported more than $450 million of goods and services to Brazil, with more than $130 million in imports from Brazil.
After a meeting with Brazilian officials in Massachusetts last fall, Governor Patrick led a delegation of 50 government, academic and business leaders to Brazil last December, highlighting the shared goal of Brazil and Massachusetts to grow their innovation economies.
During the trade mission, Governor Patrick participated in business development programs, such as a groundbreaking for EMC’s “big data” research center at Federal University in Rio de Janeiro and a meeting between Endeavor Brazil and MassChallenge startups.
“As a Massachusetts-headquartered, global company, EMC’s sales, research and development and manufacturing efforts in Brazil have proven to be very important to our growth over the years,” said Joel Schwartz, senior vice president, global new business development, EMC.
The Governor was also part of the announcement of a partnership between Massachusetts-based Akamai Technologies and television company Sky, and an agricultural partnership between UMass-Amherst and the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation.
The trade mission also focused on the importance of education and workforce development, including a growing exchange program between TOP USA-Massachusetts that will include faculty and students from Brazilian universities and American institutions, including the UMass system.