Corbett to lead Pa. delegation on South American business mission

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HARRISBURG -- Gov. Tom Corbett departs this weekend to lead a delegation of Pennsylvania officials and business and economic development leaders on a trade mission to Brazil and Chile.

Administration officials and mission organizers said the 10-day trip to Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro in Brazil and to Santiago, Chile, is intended to promote economic growth in Pennsylvania.

Participants will pitch Pennsylvania as the best site for Brazilian and Chilean companies to enter U.S. markets while paving the way for Pennsylvanian businesses to establish exporting relationships in South America.

State officials taking the trip include the governor, his wife Susan Corbett, community and economic development secretary C. Alan Walker, labor and industry secretary Julia Hearthway, Public Utility Commission chairman Rob Powelson and staff members.

The cost of the state's delegation will be paid by Team Pennsylvania Foundation, a nonprofit organization that works with state government and businesses to encourage economic growth.

Team PA is paying those expenses entirely with private funding, according to Matt Zieger, president and CEO of Team PA.

The per-person cost averages about $7,500, although it will vary depending on itinerary and length of stay.

The upcoming trade mission is the second Mr. Corbett has led abroad, after a mission to France and Germany in March 2012. In August 2012, he participated in a trade mission to Silicon Valley in California.

Mr. Corbett is scheduled to meet in Brazil with the governors of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro and in Chile with President Sebastian Pinera, and also to participate in meetings on transportation, mining, oil and gas.

In addition to state officials, the delegation includes representatives of businesses and economic development organizations from across Pennsylvania. Dennis Yablonsky, the former DCED secretary and chief executive officer of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, will participate in Brazil, while Victor Diaz, a member of the board of the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, will participate in Chile.

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Karen Langley: klangley@post-gazette.com or 717-787-2141.


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