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Aberdeen to lead Brazil trade mission

01/07/14

Companies seeking business opportunities in Latin America are invited to join Aberdeen City Council on a trade mission to Brazil later this year.

The UKTI-supported mission will be of particular interest to companies with expertise in education and training, R&D, maritime, and the oil and gas sectors. It will take in Porto Alagre, Rio Grande do Sul, and Caxias do Sul from September 29 to 3 October.

Brazil is expected to become the world's sixth largest oil producer by 2035. The country has 13 billion barrels of proven oil reserves, but its pre-salt reserves alone may hold more than 50 billion barrels of oil equivalent.

The main focus in Rio Grande do Sul for new business is on offshore equipment, sub-systems and components for FPSOs, drilling rigs, and subsea. Three large shipyards are located in the region, and Petrobras has placed 36% of all shipbuilding contracts for the oil and gas sector in the region.

While a number of UK companies successfully take advantage of the business opportunities in Brazil, Aberdeen City Council recognises that some firms need assistance to navigate international markets to take full advantage of these opportunities.

Rio Grande do Sul presents UK companies with an opportunity to do business in a less competitive market, providing an attractive alternative to the established routes of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paolo.

The offshore industry and naval cluster are rapidly expanding in the state, supported by the State Department for Investment Development and Promotion (SDPI) and Rio Grande do Sul's Investment and Development Promotion Agency.

Challenges such as the lack of local experience in building FPSOs and an underdeveloped supply chain able to comply with high local content requirements, will provide experienced UK companies with significant potential for international growth.

There are no oil fields in Rio Grande do Sul, but the state is a leading provider of technology to the sector and deals worth US $9.7billion have already been agreed in the complex of Rio Grande and US $794million in the naval cluster of Jacui.

Enterprise, Planning and Strategic Infrastructure Convener councillor Barney Crockett said: "Aberdeen City Council recognises the tremendous prospects presented by Brazil and is keen to support businesses to find out more about and take best advantage of them.

"This is a fast-growing, developing market which is well worth exploring. Trade missions like this one present Aberdeen businesses with opportunities to visit and experience the market first-hand, explore international markets, and meet key business and government contacts, as well as potential buyers and sellers. With good preparation and follow-up, missions can be great door openers."

UK Trade and Investment regional manager at Porto Alegre Denise Crawshaw-Pellin said: "The offshore clusters in the state of Rio Grande do Sul in southern Brazil are the number one target for investments and have become key in the supply chain of the Oil & Gas sector. Petrobras alone has invested over US$10 billion in contracts for FPSOs, drilling ships and other equipment. If you are in the oil and gas business, sign up for the UKTI Brazil webinar on July 17 and don't miss the chance of learning about the opportunities that may exist for your company."

The Aberdeen delegation will attend the Mercopar Expo in Caxia do Sul and visit the Rio Grande shipyards to explore opportunities in the energy sector.

Market-focused trade missions are one of the ways in which the council supports local companies, particularly small-to-medium enterprises, to explore and succeed in international markets.

Trade missions are about opening doors and developing long-term trade and investment opportunities. The Brazil mission offers businesses ideal opportunities to: strengthen existing business relationships; establish high-level contacts with key players; participate in pre-arranged group meetings and site visits; opportunity to network with other delegates; and inclusion of company profiles in the trade mission brochure.

Aberdeen City Council, in conjunction with SEBRAE, will match delegates with Brazilian companies and arrange one-to-one appointments with potential distributors, end-users and partners selected specifically to meet their business needs.

The council will also provide guidance on flights and block book hotel accommodation.

Two pre-mission events will take place to support the mission. The first, a UKTI webinar, The Oil and Gas Sector in Rio Grande do Sul: an emerging market in Brazil, will take place on 17 July from 2pm until 3pm. To register, go to https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4160501780829641986. A pre-mission seminar will take place in Marischal College on 5 August.

For more information about the trade mission, and an application form, contact Kathryn McFarlane by calling 01224 523510 or email kmcfarlane@aberdeencity.gov.uk. The deadline for applications is Tuesday, 22 July.