Port Manatee is now a 'sister seaport' to Rio de Janeiro - WFLA News Channel 8

Port Manatee is now a 'sister seaport' to Rio de Janeiro

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Signing the documents to officially make Port Manatee an International sister sea port with the Rio de Janeiro Port authority. L to R: Jorge Luiz de Mello (president, Rio de Janerio Port), Carol Whitmore (Port Manatee Chairman), Carlos Buqueras (Port Mana Signing the documents to officially make Port Manatee an International sister sea port with the Rio de Janeiro Port authority. L to R: Jorge Luiz de Mello (president, Rio de Janerio Port), Carol Whitmore (Port Manatee Chairman), Carlos Buqueras (Port Mana
Jorge Luiz de Mello signing the documents Jorge Luiz de Mello signing the documents
Carlos Buqueras signing the document Carlos Buqueras signing the document
MANATEE COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

Port Manatee has now become the sister seaport to Rio de Janeiro.

But this is more than just an agreement to trade cargo; this partnership can leave a lasting impact across the entire Tampa bay region.

Port Manatee is about to get a lot of publicity in the southern hemisphere.

Port Manatee Executive Director Carlos Buqueras said, "Now we're taking Manatee County, Port Manatee, and putting it in the front page of the Brazilian newspapers."

On Tuesday the directors of both Port Manatee and the Port of Rio de Janeiro became sister seaports.

Buqueras says Brazil is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. So Tuesday's new agreement opens a door to bring in new businesses and boost the local economy.

Buqueras said, "You have a concerted effort to grow trade, you are no longer just casually talking to each other, you have a formalized plan which the agreement incorporates to trade information."

"If Brazilian companies want to come here to set up an office, we will assist them in doing that. If they want to hire people from here, we will assist them in doing that."

This is a major maritime partnership. The port of Rio de Janeiro is actually a series of ports across the state of Rio de Janeiro. Brazil is already Florida's largest trade partner.

Port of Rio de Janeiro President Jorge Luiz de Mello said, 'We see Port Manatee as a unique front door opportunity to trade with the US."

Port Manatee is currently in the middle of a massive expansion project, potentially opening the door to even more trade opportunities. Brazilian authorities are optimistic this partnership will be even stronger in the future.

But we're not just talking exports of fruit. Brazil has a large tourist population, and port officials say this partnership could lure more Brazilians to visit Florida attractions.

"Now tourism can thrive, now trade can thrive because now we have that relationship with a port," said Buqueras.

So this new relationship is expected to pay off big time for both Brazil and the Tampa bay region.

The Port Manatee executive director says he is looking at forming other international partnerships in the future.

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