November 29, 2016
City of Toronto representatives pursuing business opportunities in Central and South America
Councillor Michael Thompson (Ward 37 Scarborough Centre), Chair of the City of Toronto's Economic Development Committee and Invest Toronto, and George Spezza, the City's Director of Business Growth Services, are currently on a business mission in Central and South America.
"This mission will help to develop trade and export opportunities for Toronto’s small and medium-sized businesses," said Councillor Thompson. "It takes our ongoing engagement initiative with Toronto's Latin American consular community to the next level."
The mission will visit the following locations between now and December 9: Goiânia/Goiás state (Brazil), Montevideo (Uruguay), Panama City (Panama) and Mexico's Monterrey and Mexico City. While in Montevideo, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) will be signed between the City of Toronto and Uruguay XXI, the investment and export promotion agency of Uruguay.
"The City of Toronto's visit to Uruguay and the signing of this MOU are important actions that will help build lasting partnerships between our business communities," said Silvana Montes de Oca, Consul General of Uruguay in Toronto.
Throughout 2016, the City has been collaborating with the consulates of 13 Latin American countries on a Latin American Bi-lateral Trade Initiative (LABTI). This collaboration has led to the creation of a LABTI advisory committee, which is providing expert insight and support for the City's efforts to build a greater trade presence in Central and South America.
In 2015, the City created stronger business relationships with Brazil's two largest economic areas by becoming a Partner City with Rio de Janeiro and by signing an MOU with Investe São Paulo. Toronto's profile in Latin America overall has been greatly enhanced by hosting the Pan Am and Parapan Am Games in 2015 and by being selected this year as a location for the international Americas Competitiveness Exchange program.
A past study of Toronto's Latin American business community, conducted by the Toronto Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, found that there are more than 500 Latin American-owned businesses in the Toronto region, and that a third of those companies derive some of their income from Latin American countries.
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