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UTSA launches link with Brazilian small businesses at OAS

Brazil meeting

Organization of American States meeting in Brazil

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(Nov. 15, 2013) -- The International Trade Center at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) Institute for Economic Development has launched a formal connection and link between the website and the Brazilian economic development organization SEBRAE.

The launch was this week in Brasilia, Brazil, at a meeting of the Organization of American States (OAS) III Inter-American Dialogue of High-Level Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSME) Authorities. The theme was "Public Policies to Enhance the Competitiveness, Innovation and Internationalization of MSMEs."

The objective of the OAS meeting was to promote a regional dialogue among high-level MSME authorities regarding policies and programs, which support innovation and competitiveness among MSMEs. Participants included high-level authorities including permanent secretaries and vice ministers responsible for the MSME portfolio and representatives of institutions with programs aimed at strengthening the capacity of MSMEs. is a free business-to-business (B2B) website that connects clients of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) networks around the world with trade opportunities. Through the site, small businesses have access to new markets, business opportunities, trade information and international trade training. It also is the backbone of the International SBDC Expansion training that the International Trade Center has been providing throughout Latin America and now in North Africa.

The link will allow SBDC clients in the United States, Mexico, El Salvador, Belize and Tunisia to connect to and explore international trade with SEBRAE clients. The link will later extend to all Latin American countries participating in the International SBDC Expansion including all of Central America, parts of the Caribbean and Colombia.

Robert McKinley, UTSA associate vice president for economic development, made the formal announcement while presenting on his expertise in economic development for a panel on "Tools for the Internationalization of MSMEs." McKinley discussed how to promote B2B trade using as a means for small businesses to engage in international commerce. International Trade Center staff members Carla Gonzalez and Monica Alcoz also attended.

"The economy of Brazil is the largest in Latin America," said Cliff Paredes, director of the International Trade Center. "This connection between and SEBRAE will provide direct and important international business benefits to the clients of existing SBDC and SEBRAE networks."

The International Trade Center at UTSA is one of the largest and most successful trade assistance organizations in Texas. It helps companies become globally competitive through technical trade consulting, customized market research and innovative training programs. The center is a specialty SBDC program in the South-West Texas Border SBDC Network. Follow them on Twitter (@TexasTrade) and like them on Facebook (



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