Contact: Tammy Craft, MDA Public Relations

Jackson, Miss. (September 9, 2013) – Gov. Phil Bryant is leading an economic development mission in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from Sept. 9 – 13, 2013. Joining Gov. Bryant will be Mississippi Development Authority Executive Director Brent Christensen, Port of Gulfport Director Jonathan Daniels, Port of Pascagoula Director Mark McAndrews and representatives from state educational institutions and Mississippi businesses.

The trip is designed to connect Mississippi companies that want to expand trade and create new business relationships in Brazilian markets.

“Brazil is our state’s eighth largest export market, and we are excited about forging new opportunities between Mississippi and Brazilian companies,” Gov. Bryant said. “Mississippi continues to compete in a global market, and trade missions like these are an important way to build relationships and identify opportunities that can create more jobs for Mississippians.”

The delegation accompanying Gov. Bryant includes:

Mississippi State Port Authority, Gulfport
Port of Pascagoula
Ingalls Shipbuilding, Pascagoula
Trinity Yachts Offshore, Gulfport
Alcorn State University, Lorman
BankTel Systems, Columbus
Hyperion Technologies, Tupelo
Jackson State University, Jackson
Mississippi Auto Arms, Oxford
Multicraft International, Pelahatchie
City of Gulfport
In 2012, Mississippi’s top 10 exports to Brazil had a combined value of nearly $348 million. The state’s top three exports to Brazil in 2012 and their values were: 1) Fertilizers – $73,803,740; 2) Mineral fuel, Oil – $73,516,719; and 3) Tanning/Dye/Paint/Putty – $72,620,200.

“This trip is an excellent way for these Mississippi companies and organizations to branch out and increase or expand trade into the Brazilian marketplace. This trip also gives us the opportunity to promote the state’s two deepwater ports to help bring new investment and create jobs along the Gulf Coast,” said MDA Executive Director Brent Christensen. “We are also committed to working with our delegation after the trip to ensure they are armed with the information needed to capitalize upon any trade opportunities that might come about as a result of this trip.”

The Small Business Administration-funded Mississippi State Trade Export Promotion program, which is administered by MDA, helps offset certain costs related to the trip. The STEP program reimburses eligible businesses up to 50 percent of their travel costs, including airfare and lodging, and provides translation services at no cost. Additional services include scheduled appointments with prospective, qualified buyers, local transportation assistance and a customized itinerary.

Gov. Bryant’s travel is not at the expense of taxpayers, but will be paid for by private money.

To learn more about the STEP program and MDA’s international marketing services and events, or to request a consultation with an international trade specialist, please visit


About Mississippi Development Authority
Mississippi Development Authority is the State of Mississippi’s lead economic and community development agency. Nearly 300 employees are engaged in providing services to businesses, communities and workers in the state. While the agency is best known for its efforts to recruit new businesses to Mississippi, the Authority provides services to promote tourism, help communities improve their quality of place, help existing employers identify and meet opportunities and challenges and help workers improve their skills – all with the goal of improving the quality of life and economic well-being of Mississippians. For more information, visit MDA’s website at