Investors often refer to Brazil as an emerging country, rather than a developed country like the United States. But Nevada's new trade representative to Brazil said the home of the samba, the string bikini and its annual Carnival Mardi Gras celebration is interested in helping Nevada develop, rather than vice versa.
Trade representative Fabio Yamada said a group of investment advisers for pension funds is interested in investing in solar, wind and geothermal power projects in Nevada. Also, the investment firm, which he declined to identify, wants to consider investing in transmission line projects.
The investment advisers are seeking long-term, stable investments, Yamada said.
Yamada was visiting Las Vegas over the last few days to speak to local businesses about opportunities in Brazil. He signed on as a trade representative for the Nevada Commission on Economic Development in May.
Brazil is one of three new markets where Nevada officials decided to add representatives this year, said Al DiStefano, the commission's director of global trade and investment. The commission has contracted with a representative for Germany and is looking for a representative to Spain.
Germany and Spain have advanced renewable-energy industries, and the commission decided companies in the two European countries would be interested in Nevada's growing renewable energy industry.
In addition to a promising offshore oil field, Brazil has a strong ethanol industry that uses sugar cane to make alternative fuels for motor vehicles.
The South American country also has a big mining industry, and some of those companies have interests in Nevada's mineral resources, Yamada said.
During visits to the Strip, Yamada said he noticed numerous Brazilian visitors. He said Las Vegas needs a direct flight to make it easier for Brazilians to come here as tourists.
Nevada pharmaceutical, nutrition, architectural and engineering companies could find markets for their products in Brazil. The country is going through massive development projects in preparation for the FIFA World Cup soccer tournament there in 2014 and the 2016 Olympic games, Yamada said.
While considered a developing country, Brazil is the world's eighth-largest economy and has a population of 190 million, he said. Brazil's economy, he added, is not in recession.
Brazil also could be used as a "springboard" to other markets in South America and Africa, Yamada said.
Nevada's exports to South America, DiStefano said, increased 56 percent in the first half of this year and doubled over the last two years to 6.5 percent of the total.
Contact reporter John G. Edwards at email@example.com or 702-383-0420.