O’Malley’s Brazil trip aims to grow ties between Maryland, Latin America -- Gazette.Net







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At least two Maryland businesses plan to expand operations in Brazil, according to information from Gov. Martin O’Malley’s trade mission to the South American country this week.

O’Malley (D) and a group of 30 business and education leaders on Sunday began a nine-day trade mission to Brazil that aims to strengthen the trade relationship between the two nations. He also will stop by El Salvador, which has strong cultural ties to Maryland.

Previous trade missions by the O’Malley administration have secured millions in investment, Karen Glenn Hood, a spokeswoman for the Department of Business and Economic Development, said.

In 2011, trips to China, South Korea and Vietnam and later to India generated about $145 million in investment, she said.

O’Malley visited Israel in 2008, then Israel and Jordan this year.

This summer, O’Malley went on a trade trip to France and Ireland.

Exactly how much investment O’Malley will boast from his trade mission to Latin America remains to be seen.

Hood said that at least two businesses so far have announced plans to expand in Brazil and a third is expected to announce later this week.

Cambridge International, a Cambridge-based manufacturer of metal belting, is expanding its manufacturing facility in Sao Paulo with additional product lines and plans to add a dozen employees by 2016, according to a news release from O’Malley’s office.

The company also will launch the Cambridge Architectural Division in Brazil over the next year.

Baltimore, Md.-based Columbia Technologies — a contractor that provides data collection, analyses, visualization, mapping and tracking tools for subsurface soil and groundwater contamination — will establish a subsidiary in Brazil called Columbia Technologies Brazil, the release said. The subsidiary will provide high-tech services for investigations involving underground contamination of volatile organic compounds and/or petroleum products.

Maryland has a long history of trade with Brazil and both have strong biotechnology, information technology and environmental sectors, Hood said.

Maryland’s work to clean the Chesapeake Bay is expected to surface during O’Malley’s trip, she said. Brazil has Guanabara Bay, and, like Maryland, it struggles to keep the waterway clean and sustainable, she said.