As Governor Deval Patrick wrapped up his trip to Brazil Friday, he gave a live interview from Brazil with Framingham’s WSRO 650 AM.
Speaking directly from Rio de Janeiro, Patrick said in his five-day trip,
where he visited Brasilia and São Paulo, he had the chance to meet with
business men, educators and through the Museum of Fine Arts with some cultural figures.
“You can tell this is one of the most dynamic cultures in the world,” said
Patrick at “Vem Viver” a Portuguese-language radio show.
Framingham has the largest Brazilian population in New England.
This was not Patrick’s first visit to Brazil. While working for the private
sector, he visited Bahia when his daughter was taking a scholarship at the Northeast region of the South American country. The host Sergio Resende wanted to know what was the difference between the Brazil he saw almost 10 years ago, and the one he visited this week.
“I would say there’s always been a special spirit, energy about Brazil. When I was doing business here I made great friends. I think today there’s a confidence about the future,” he said.
The Governor, who had an entourage of 50 people from Massachusetts, said the fact that “millions of people moved out poverty into the middle class is a real example for the rest of the world, including for us, for how to invest in our collective future.”
“There’s a very a thoughtful plan for how to grow, not relying entirely on oil and gas, but also how to use innovation, just as we do at home, to build a more sustainable economic future.”
The trip started in Brazil’s capital, Brasilia, a well-planned city constructed
in the 1960s, in a desert in the Central part of the country, just like Las Vegas
was built in America.
“I’ve never been to Brasilia before. I had the chance to meet with ministers of science and innovation.We met with educational counterparts, and talked specifically about the Sciences Without Borders program, and opportunities to bring Brazilians to college and graduate schools in Massachusetts.”
Patrick is referring to a recently signed decree by which President Dilma
Rousseff determines the use of federal resources to give scholarships to
100,000 Brazilian students.
Then, Patrick’s delegation spent two days in São Paulo, and two days in Rio de Janeiro.
“Brazil organized a business forum where we invited people from the same
innovation spectrum represented in our delegation. So, we’ve had folks from biotech, financial services, clean tech, IT, and we’ve had over 300 people come," said Patrick on the radio station.
In Brazil’s largest city, Patrick said he met lots of business men
interested in investing in Massachusetts.
According to numbers provided by the Governor’s office, Massachusetts exported almost $400 million, in products and services, to Brazil in 2010.
And Brazilian tourists are spending money in the U.S., according to statistics collected from the U.S. Consulate in São Paulo.
“Every day the American consulate issues 3,000 visas for Brazilians to visit America. In Rio, 2,000 visas, every single day. There’s a lot of interest to having Brazilians come to the U.S. and visit. Just those two consulates present an extraordinary opportunity, and we’ll make sure they visit Massachusetts,” Patrick said.
For those who complain about Brazilian tourists remaining illegally in the U.S., the Brazil government released a new study showing that, between 2010 and mid-2011, there were more Brazilian workers going back to Brazil then leaving the country to settle abroad.
Several Framingham chuches confirmed their audience has shrunk over the past two years.
Catering to Brazilians living in Massachusetts, who hail from Minas Gerais,
Patrick said on WSRO he could not visit that state of Brazil, but had a talk with its Governor, Antonio Anastasia.
“I wanted to have to chance to do that because I know that some in our own Brazilian community at home come from that state. I was delighted to invite him to visit Massachusetts some time.”
One of the many accomplishments Patrick’s delegation had in Brazil is news of an agreement signed between University of Massachusetts and Ibama (Federal Agricultural Department in Brazil) to use certain kinds of news technologies to grow in Massachusetts some the fruits that Brazilians like to eat.
At the interview’s closing, host Framingham radio show host Resende said: “See you back in Massachusetts.”
The Governor replied: “Obrigado.”