Brazil closer to Alberta

CCBC will promote greater exchange with the Canadian province

By Sérgio Siscaro

One of the provinces located in the Canadian prairie region, Alberta is characterized by beautiful natural landscapes and Rocky Mountain parks. Its economic vocation revolves around the agricultural sector, the oil industry and hydrocarbon exploration; the main cities are Calgary (the most important one in the province, with 1.3 million inhabitants) and the capital Edmonton. From now on, Alberta will have a closer relationship with Brazil: a memorandum of understanding was signed earlier this month between the Chamber of Commerce Brazil-Canada (CCBC) and Invest Alberta, a government agency responsible for attracting investments and projects to the region.

The document establishes the cooperation and joint organization of missions, events and projects that can help identify and facilitate opportunities to strengthen the exchange between Brazil and Alberta – in the fields of business, investment, technology and culture. Some of the sectors that should be part of these initiatives include food and beverage, technologies for agriculture, clean energy, mining, and technologies for smart cities, among others.

“We are excited to share with Alberta our 50 years of experience in connecting companies from Brazil and Canada”, pointed out CCBC’s director of institutional relations, Paulo de Castro Reis. “We see tremendous potential for both markets. By highlighting Alberta entrepreneurs and helping them expand their businesses to Brazil, we encourage innovation and partnerships that will help diversify our economies. Our work already begins with events in Calgary and Edmonton, in the first week of October, to present the opportunities in Brazil to companies and institutions in the Canadian province”, he added.

The partnership will count on the local support of Patrícia Garcia Rosa, resident of Alberta for over ten years and CCBC’s director responsible for the region, occupying the position of Western Canada Director. She will be the focal point to facilitate projects, commercial opportunities and the events resulting from this partnership.

Business opportunities

The business potential between Brazil and Alberta has been explored for some time. It is worth remembering that Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo) is one of the shareholders of Iguá Saneamento – which, in turn, bought last year the assets of Companhia Estadual de Águas e Esggotos do Rio de Janeiro (Cedae) for R$ 7.286 billion.

The expertise of Alberta companies in developing clean technologies can be an important factor in attracting partnerships with Brazilian companies. There are currently over 900 companies in the segment – including startups that work with oil and gas companies. In addition, the province has a structure of entities that enable access to financing.

Earlier this year, Alberta received a CAN$3 million federal investment package aimed at strengthening the sector in the coming years. According to projections released in late 2021 by the Alberta Energy Transition study, the development of clean energy could create 170 thousand local jobs, and contribute significantly to the region’s economy. In this sense, it is also an important business opportunity for companies from Brazil.

Agribusiness is another area in which Canadian and Brazilian companies may develop partnerships in Alberta. The province is known for employing modern technologies to increase production and efficiency in the sector – so much so that it is currently the largest producer of canola, wheat, dry peas, barley, and cattle; its business-friendly environment makes Alberta an agribusiness hub in North America.

“The collaboration between Invest Alberta and CCBC will help us combine businesses and make Brazil also contribute capital to significant investment opportunities that exist in Alberta today. We have a growing technology innovation sector, value-added agricultural projects, and we are leaders in energy and clean technology. We look forward to continuing our work to expand the bilateral relationship,” said Invest Alberta CEO Rick Christiaanse.