Brazilian Ambassador Rubens Barbosa will be the keynote speaker at the sixth annual Georgia Tech Global Forum, organized by the university’s Center for International Business Education and Research, Tuesday, March 14.

      Panelists at the forum will discuss emerging market opportunities and challenges in the Mercosur countries, which include Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay.

Mr. Barbosa and other officials including the secretary of the Ministry of Planning and the superintendent of the National Bank of Development, will be here just before he begins a series of conferences promoting bilateral trade relations in the five states exporting the highest volumes to Brazil.

Although Georgia is not one of the states targeted in the conferences, named Brazil 2000, Mr. Barbosa is coming to Atlanta because he sees the importance of the state as a business partner, said Lucia Jennings, director of the Brazilian-American Chamber of Commerce of Georgia.

      When Mr. Barbosa visited Atlanta in October, said Ms. Jennings, he was concerned that Georgia was “not at the top of his list as one of the top states for trade with Brazil.”

      “But, the chamber has changed his mind,” Ms. Jennings said.

Through a close relationship with the ambassador and a constant flow of information, the chamber has made Mr. Barbosa aware of the opportunities in having a presence in the southeast, she said. 

The Brazil 2000 conferences will take place in California, Florida, Illinois, New York and Texas, starting March 21. The ambassador hopes to increase Brazil’s imports into the U.S., especially its auto parts, textiles, shoes and furniture. He also hopes to promote the country’s ceramics, marble and granite, meat, fruit and software industries.

The forum will take place at the Georgia Center for Advanced Telecommunication Technologies at 250 14th St. from 7:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Call Mark Ballam for more information at (404) 894-4379.