Brazilian students perform traditional songs and dance from their culture
July 31, 2015

LACEY, Wash. – Saint Martin’s University and the Thurston Economic Development Council are proud to announce the first business conference in the South Sound area to address business opportunities in Brazil.

The panel discussion, moderated by Michael Cade, director of the TEDC, will take place Monday, November 17, from 2:30 p.m. – 3:45 p.m., in the Norman Worthington Conference Center, located on the Lacey campus of Saint Martin’s University, 5000 Abbey Way SE. “Business Opportunities in Brazil” is scheduled during a five-day, international conference designed to promote another first -- student exchange between Washington and Brazil.

The conference, which concludes Friday, November 21, was planned in response to President Barack Obama’s “100,000 Strong in the Americas” signature education initiative that was launched in January. The goal of 100,000 Strong is to increase the number of U.S. students studying in Latin America and the Caribbean to 100,000, as well as boosting the number of Latin American and Caribbean students studying in the U.S. to 100,000.

An equally important initiative, according to conference organizers, is to provide the local business community with a convenient opportunity to learn why they should consider doing business with Brazil, given its emergence as a vibrant economic engine. Brazil has also taken center stage as the recent host of the 2014 Soccer World Cup and as host of the upcoming 2016 Summer Olympics.

“It is currently the seventh largest economy in the world and Brazil is already directly linked to Washington’s economy,” says Riley Moore, Ph.D., associate professor of economics in the Saint Martin’s School of Business. “Embraer, a Brazilian manufacturer of airplanes, buys parts from Washington-based suppliers. Also, Paccar Inc. recently opened a $320 million truck factory in Brazil.” Based in Bellevue, Paccar Inc. is a global technology leader in the design, manufacture and customer support of premium light-, medium-, and heavy-duty trucks.

In addition, there are approximately 5,000 Brazilians living in western Washington and many were instrumental in starting the recent Puget Sound Brazilian Innovation Society to encourage entrepreneurship and social engagement in Washington.

Topics to be covered during the panel discussion include:

  • Market overview of the business environment and emerging opportunities
  • Visa and licensing requirements
  • Transportation and logics issues
  • Business culture and practices
  • Resources available for local businesses both here and in Brazil

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Stephen Murphy, senior advisor, Latin America, Pacific Northwest Advisors
  • J. Marcio Da Cruz, R&D technical manager, Starbucks Coffee Company
  • Pedro De Magalhaes Castro, principle, Magellan Architects
  • Pedro Augusto Leite Costa, honorary consul of Brazil, Seattle
  • Young Oh, U.S. commercial officer, U.S. Department of Commerce

Saint Martin’s University is an independent, four-year, coeducational university located on a wooded campus of more than 300 acres in Lacey, Washing¬ton. Established in 1895 by the Catholic Order of Saint Benedict, the University is one of 14 Benedic¬tine colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and the only one west of the Rocky Mountains. Saint Martin’s University prepares students for successful lives through its 25 majors and seven graduate programs spanning the liberal arts, business, education, nursing and engineering. Saint Martin’s welcomes nearly 1,200 under¬graduate students and 323 graduate students from many ethnic and religious backgrounds to its Lacey campus, and 350 more students to its extended campuses located at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Centralia College and Tacoma Community College. 

For additional information:

Riley Moore
Associate professor of economics
Saint Martin’s University School of Business

Meg Nugent Dwyer
Media relations manager