Campus: CSU Hayward -- October 29, 2004
International Trade Agreement With Brazil Brokered by Cal
State Hayward and Partners
The top trade official for a leading manufacturing state in Brazil has signed
agreements with the Bay Area and the Northern California world trade center
organizations in an effort to increase international commerce between his country
During trade mission activities organized by California State University, Hayward
and its partner, the Brazil-based Chamber of International Business, executive
directors for the Bay Area and the Northern California world trade centers signed
cooperation agreements with Armando Hess De Souza, secretary of planning, budget
and management for the Brazilian state of Santa Catarina.
"International trade through the state of Santa Catarina is essential to the
economy of Brazil, just as California's international business is vital to the
United States," said Shyam Kamath, international business economist and executive
director of Cal State Hayward's Transnational Executive MBA Program. "These two
states have so much in common that it was only natural that they jumped at the
chance to have trade representatives brought together."
With officials from the university and its partner, the International Chamber of
Business, looking on, the agreement with the Bay Area World Trade Center was signed
in Oakland on Oct. 18, and the pact with the Northern California World Trade
Center was signed in a ceremony at the state capitol in Sacramento on Oct. 21.
"Several years ago Santa Catarina recognized that it had to make improvements in
its infrastructure and its ports to match its competitive advantages in the cost
of labor and materials," said Jose Duenas, CEO and president of the Bay Area World
Trade Center. "Much of Brazil's trade to the United States goes through Miami,
but improvements that have been made in Santa Catarina have helped it overcome
logistical costs and could create a lot of opportunities in California for its
"And it opens up opportunities for California businesses in Santa Catarina as well."
Duenas said that continued improvements in reducing delivery costs could lead to
increased exports to California of Brazilian products such as hardwoods, furniture,
textiles, clothing and shoes. He said California products with potential in Brazil
include wine, food and information technology.
Three days after signing the Oct. 18 agreement in Oakland, the Brazilian delegation
and its Cal State Hayward hosts were in Sacramento, meeting with Business,
Transportation and Housing Agency Undersecretary Barry Sedlik, and officials from
the Northern California World Trade Center, the U.S. Department of Commerce, the
California Chamber of Commerce and the California Senate International Relations
Office. The agreement was signed in a room near the capitol rotunda during a
ceremony hosted by California state Sen. Tom Torlakson, D-Antioch.
"There is great potential here for bilateral trade, and not just because there are
so many similarities between California and Santa Catarina," Torlakson told De
Souza at the signing ceremony. "The California economy needs many partners in
international trade if it's going to continue to grow."
"This is more than just a paper signing," said Brooks Ohlson, executive director
of the Northern California World Trade Center, after signing the Sacramento
agreement. "Using universities, government agencies and our staff to help bring
companies in both countries together is a natural success formula."
"These agreements should have great economic results for both of our countries,"
added Michael Liikala, director of international strategic alliances for the U.S.
Commercial Services, who attended the ceremony on behalf of the U.S. Department of
Commerce. "We're interested in working with Santa Catarina for ways to influence
tourism, investment and trade between our countries."
The agreements between Santa Catarina and the world trade centers call for the
partners to participate in strategic counseling, joint promotion and marketing,
and arranging trade missions and conferences to allow companies to penetrate the
Brazilian and California markets.
"Now, we have a joint responsibility to make things happen," De Souza said.
"This is a first step toward a long partnership between two important states."
In his presentations in both Oakland and Sacramento, De Souza and assistant Roberto
Sander described Santa Catarina as a state that produces 8 percent of Brazil's
gross domestic product and leads the nation in production of pork, poultry, paper,
furniture and wood. Located in the southern part of Brazil, Santa Catarina has
developed geographic industrial clusters devoted to products such as ceramics,
chemicals and shrimp in the south and electric motors, textiles and flowers in the
The United States is a $5 billion export market for Santa Catarina, which annually
imports $1.9 billion in products from America.
"We import too little from the U.S., especially from California," De Souza said.
"We need to increase our level of imports in areas where California is strong,
such as fruits, chemicals and software."
Helping to coordinate the visit of the Brazilian delegation and joining De Souza
on the trade mission was Pedro Kraus, director of the multinational Chamber of
International Business, known as CAMBRA. Kraus is a professor of international
business at Central University of Jaragua do Sul, which is a CAMBRA partner along
with Cal State Hayward.
"Agreements such as these are among the most important reasons CAMBRA was created,"
Kraus said. "We put together international trade missions, research projects and
educational exchanges that can stimulate economic activity around the world."
Cal State Hayward is a founding partner of CAMBRA, which has member companies and
government agencies in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico and the United States. The
university offers graduate business degrees in Russia, China, Singapore and Austria
and a Transnational Executive MBA Program, known as TEMBA, that trains U.S.-based
managers in global business.
Kraus said that trade pacts between the United States and some of these nations,
and anticipated ratification of the Free Trade of the Americas agreements by 34
North and South American countries, put CAMBRA on the cutting edge of international
"The state of Santa Catarina is at a point now where its companies are ready to
make a bigger push into international markets and encourage foreign companies to
invest," Kraus said. "CAMBRA provides services to make that happen."
Through its TEMBA program, Cal State Hayward prepares participants to run
multinational companies. As an element of their coursework, TEMBA participants
have traveled to countries such as Austria, Brazil, Chile, and Thailand to conduct
consulting projects for companies there.
In Santa Catarina, TEMBA consultants have prepared product introduction studies
on goods such as furniture, textiles, plants, shoes, clothing and plumbing fixtures.
A TEMBA team recently completed a project commissioned by the state to learn how
to attract more American tourists to Santa Catarina.
"It is appropriate that one of the most globally-minded universities in the United
States is involved in the world's business," said Robert Brauer, representing Cal
State Hayward President Norma Rees at the Sacramento signing ceremony. "Cal State
Hayward is simply the best partner in American higher education to turn
international agreements like this into successful partnerships."
Media Contact: Kim Huggett, Director of Public Affairs, (510)