Chamber opens in August an office in Belo Horizonte dedicated to intensifying economic relations between the state and Canada
By Sérgio Siscaro
Minas Gerais is one of the most important states in Brazil. Responsible for a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) estimated at R$ 805.5 billion in 2021, it is where important industries are concentrated, in addition to renowned hubs of technology and innovation. Therefore, it was only natural that the Chamber of Commerce Brazil-Canada (CCBC) had a representative office in Minas Gerais – which has become a reality since the end of August, with the inauguration of its regional office in the capital Belo Horizonte. The new unit will be responsible for encouraging the increase of the state’s commercial exchange with Canada and stimulate the attraction of bilateral investments in several sectors of the economy.
The relationship between Minas Gerais and Canada has proven to be quite positive in the recent past. Exports by mining companies to the Canadian market jumped 142% in just three years, from US$ (FOB) 358.57 million in 2018 to US$ (FOB) 870.25 million in 2021 – a year in which Minas Gerais accounted for 17.67% of Brazilian foreign sales to that country. The same trade dynamism is verified in the opposite direction: in 2018, purchases by mining companies of Canadian products totaled US$ (FOB) 166.96 million; last year, this total rose to US$ (FOB) 260.097 million (high of 55.78%). In the first quarter of this year, Minas Gerais was the second Brazilian state that exported most to Canada and the fourth in imports.
Much of this exchange stems from the mining sector activities in the state; however, several other sectors have received investments from Canadian companies. A recent example was the inauguration of McCain’s first production unit in Brazil. The company, which produces frozen pre-fried potatoes, now has a 65 thousand square meter factory in Araxá, for which it has invested US$ 150 million. “Minas is a state with great economic strength, which stands out for its technology and innovation poles, coffee farming, food, beverages, and various aspects of agribusiness, mining, and energy, among others. There is a lot of bilateral synergy and we feel honored to be able to contribute to bringing these two powers closer together,” stated Ronaldo Ramos, CCBC president, on the occasion.
According to him, the inauguration symbolizes the importance that the entity has always given to Minas Gerais within the commercial relations between Brazil and Canada. “For 50 years working to bring the Brazilian and Canadian markets closer together, CCBC has strong connections and expertise to accelerate bilateral business, and we want to support companies interested in internationalizing their operations – both in Brazil and in Canada. We have detected many possibilities in this direction in Minas Gerais, and we are working on them effectively”, he added.
The CCBC office in Belo Horizonte will be conducted by two co-coordinators: lawyer Tiago de Mattos Silva, partner, general coordinator and head of the mining law team at William Freire Advogados; and businessman Erik Rodrigues Silveira, co-founder of Inter Aduaneira International Trade Consulting. Together with CCBC’s commercial intelligence and business development team, they will be responsible for coordinating the actions in the state.
The first initiative of the Chamber’s new representation involved participation in Exposibram – the Brazilian Mining Expo and Congress, which took place in the capital of Minas Gerais from September 12 to 15.