The Georgia Department of Economic Development is celebrating the opening of the state’s trade office in Sao Paulo, Brazil, by taking Georgia companies and officials on a business mission via Delta Air Lines Inc.’s new daily, non-stop flight from Atlanta to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Oct. 1.

Georgia Economic Development Commissioner Craig Lesser is leading the trip, which is to include a business forum on Monday, Oct. 3, in Rio de Janeiro, prior to the Oct. 4 opening of Georgia’s Sao Paulo office.

“The Brazil office will add to the growing list of countries in which Georgia has representation… This trip is about business, economic development and the opportunity to talk up the FTAA… We are building on Georgia’s existing relationship with Brazil,” Mr. Lesser told GlobalAtlanta prior to the trip. “Brazil is such an important market that we are re-opening our office there,” he added.

Atlanta has had a sister-city relationship with Rio de Janeiro since 1972, and Georgia had an office in Brazil in the late 1970s. The state’s Sao Paulo office opened in 1994 but closed last year for budgetary reasons.

The new Georgia representative in Sao Paulo is Fabio Yukio Yamada, a contractor who will be seeking out Brazilian companies to invest in Georgia and assisting Georgia companies to conduct business in the region.

During the business forum in Rio de Janeiro, Rio’s governor, Rosinha Garotinho, and Brazil’s ambassador to the United States, Roberto Abdenur, are to give some remarks. The president of the state of Rio de Janeiro’s Federation of Industries, Eduardo Gouvea, will also address the forum.

Georgia officials will present two sessions about Atlanta as an international trade hub, including one by Mr. Lesser, DeKalb County Economic Development Director Maria Mullins and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport Marketing Director Robert Kennedy.

Another session on doing business with Atlanta’s Fortune 500 companies will be given by Hemisphere Inc. Executive Director Jose Ignacio Gonzalez; Delta’s vice president of international and alliances, Jorge Fernandez, and managing director of international relations for AmericasMart Inc., George Lancaster.

In Sao Paulo, the Georgia delegation will tour the new state trade office as well as the American Chamber of Commerce in Brazil, where Georgia’s office is located. The chamber is to host a luncheon for businesspeople interested in doing business with Georgia.

Mr. Yukio Yamada in the Sao Paulo office is a professor of strategic planning and marketing intelligence at Ibmec, one of Brazil’s top business schools. He has served as an executive for companies such as Chemical Bank Corp., Johnson & Johnson, Du Pont Powder Coatings USA Inc. and 3M Co. He is fluent in Portuguese and English, is proficient in French and Spanish and has knowledge of Japanese and German.

The new Rio flight is Delta’s third non-stop flight from Atlanta to Brazil. The flight had been cancelled on Dec. 1, 2002, due to unfavorable economic conditions, and the new flight is a re-opening of that route. Rio is Brazil’s second largest business market, and Brazil is Georgia’s 11th most important export destination.

For more information, contact Alison Tyrer at (404) 962-4078 or visit Contact Mr. Yukio Yamada in Sao Paulo at (55) 11-5180-3626 or