Mississippi Development Authority to Lead Business Development Mission to South America

JACKSON, MS (WDAM) - Jackson, Miss. (January 15, 2014) – Representatives from the Mississippi Development Authority will lead a delegation of Mississippi companies on a business development mission to South America from April 24-29, 2014. The trip will include stops in Paraguay and Uruguay. Participating companies will also have the opportunity to make an optional stop in Brazil or Chile if they have business prospects in either country.

The trip is designed to connect Mississippi businesses that want to expand trade and create new business relationships in South America.

"This trade mission is an excellent, cost-effective way for Mississippi companies interested in exporting to South America to forge new business relationships in this region. Paraguay and Uruguay provide companies with several benefits, including their strategic locations that offer easy access to major business and industrial centers in the region," said MDA Existing Industry and Business Division Director Skip Scaggs. "Also, Paraguay, Uruguay and the surrounding areas contribute to 73 percent of Brazil's gross domestic product and 60 percent of Chile's."

The U.S. Small Business Administration-funded Mississippi State Trade Export Promotion program helps offset certain costs related to the trip. The STEP program reimburses eligible businesses up to 50 percent of their travel costs, including airfare and lodging, and provides interpretation services at no cost. Additional services include scheduled appointments with qualified prospects, local transportation assistance and a customized itinerary.

"Working with our contacts in South America, MDA qualifies potential buyers, distributors and business representatives before they meet with companies that join us on the trade mission," said Scaggs. "We also work with Mississippi companies before, during and after the trip to help them best capitalize upon the business opportunities derived as a result of their participation."

Space is limited and offered on a first-come, first-served basis, and early registration is recommended.  The deadline to register is February 7, 2014. For more information or to

obtain a registration form, please contact MDA's Latin America Trade Specialist Gabriel Prado at (601) 359-9406 or gprado@mississippi.org. Interested parties can also visit www.mississippi.org to learn more about the agency's international marketing services and events or to request a consultation with an international trade specialist.