Brazilian business leaders and government officials warmly welcomed the Utah delegation Monday, September 23, by presenting Gary Neeleman Honorary Consul of Brazil, with an honorary citizen award from the City of Sao Paolo, and signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED).

The honorary citizen award was presented to Gary Neeleman for his tireless efforts in improving relationships between the U.S. and Brazil. This is a very rare and prestigious award that has only been given out three other times. The Brazilian government has recognized the efforts Utah is making to strengthen trade relationships and increase exports to Brazil.

“I am very humbled by this honor coming from one of the largest cities in the world. A City my wife, Rose, and I, along with my children have grown to love over these many years,” said Gary Neeleman, Honorary Consul of Brazil.

Utah is a key player in the Unmanned Vehicle Systems (UVS) industry. To help expand the UVS industry in Brazil, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed by leaders from the State of Paraná, Brazil and Vincent E. Mikolay, Managing Director, GOED. The MOU establishes a framework which will facilitate and implement a long-term relationship between Utah and Brazil. As the relationship with Brazil is built around the MOU, advancements in business exports, development, investment and research of UVS will expand in both Utah and Brazil.

“The State of Paraná in Brazil and our great State share a parallel path in history, culture, economic principles and an industriousness of people that connect us far beyond this MOU,” said Vincent Mikolay, Managing Director, GOED. “However the focus of this document will be to engage in the sharing of best practices across key disciplines of interest to both our people.”

The Utah delegation will return on September 28th after visiting the cities of Sao Paulo, Curitiba, Londrina, and Rio de Janeiro, for business match making meetings with potential Brazilian customers. The success of this trade mission will become apparent as we see Utah exports to Brazil increase in the near future.