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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
June 20, 2003
U.S.-Brazil: Advancing Business Development and Sme Growth
The United States is committed to working with Brazil to increase trade and economic opportunity to benefit industry and workers. Accelerated business development and the growth of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are critical to economic growth and prosperity in both countries.
PROMOTING SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
The U.S. Small Business Administration and the Brazilian Micro & Small Business Support Service have signed a letter of intent to cooperate on programs to help SMEs. These programs include:
Establishing a cooperative program to promote and support the development, growth, stability, and competitiveness of SMEs and promote trade opportunities in each country;
Exchanging information on commercial and investment opportunities, legislation, taxes, trade law, and access to capital and government loan guarantee programs; and
Working with other organizations in the hemisphere to create a network of small business providers to expand trade linkages in the Americas.
PROMOTING BUSINESS INNOVATION
Supporting President Lula's "Digital Inclusion" initiative:
The U.S. Department of Commerce, in collaboration with the United States Agency for International Development, will leverage input and expertise from U.S. Information Technology (IT) companies to develop applications that support Brazil's network of cybercafes and telecenters, entrepreneurs, and small businesses. This effort will focus on providing e-marketing and e-payment tools in up to 500 sites in urban and rural areas.
The United States and Brazil will launch the Brazil E-Business Fellowship Program to provide 20 mid-level SME managers hands-on experience with technology and e-business solutions through short internships with U.S. companies in Brazil. We will establish a mentoring program linking the 7,000 Brazilian participants in the Young Americas Business Trust to volunteers from U.S. IT companies located in Brazil.
An interagency team led by the Departments of State, Commerce, and Energy (Sandia Laboratory) will establish a U.S.-Brazil private sector roundtable to pursue the development of an innovation incubator to support entrepreneurs in Recife, Brazil.
CREATING COMMERCIAL PARTNERSHIPS
Deputy Secretary of Commerce Samuel Bodman will lead a Trade Mission to Brazil in November 2003. He will participate in a U.S.-Brazil business forum where the private sector will present policy recommendations on key business issues, including SME development, access to credit, business facilitation, and technology partnerships.
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