Alliance Trade Mission blog
As reported in the Alliance’s International Trade Study, hundreds of thousands of jobs in the state of Oregon, including 268,000 right here in the Portland region, depend on international trade. In order to strengthen the region’s trade relationships, the Alliance and its affiliate, the Pacific Northwest International Trade Association (PNITA) organize trade missions to strategic trade partner countries. In 2009, a delegation went to China, last year in the spring a delegation went to Germany and the latest is a mission to Brazil from December 1-9, 2012.
This blog gives you insight into Alliance and PNITA trade missions. If you are interested in learning more about these trade missions, contact Doug Badger.
Sunday, December 9, 2012
Oh ... And we ran into another Portland manufacturing representative looking at the potential to have operations in Brazil.
So, a few days of fun (and more good food) and then we are heading home on Tuesday. It was a great trip. Some reflections on our trade mission to Brazil will come later.
Saturday, December 8, 2012
Much of the city, and all of the mining industry that was spawned, was built on the backs of African slaves. That sad legacy is very apparent here.
On the two-hour drive here we saw a lot of mining activity still underway. Brazil is rich in iron ore and other minerals, and in the area of Ouro Preto, there is still mining for precious and semi precious stones, which vendors offer in the open air markets and finer shops.
We returned to our hotel happy that we made this side trip to Ouro Preto, which is truly a beautiful spot.
Friday, December 7, 2012
Their strategy is to locate near their customers, which means they are near mining centers, like Minas Gerais, the state that includes Belo Horizonte. They are in most of the global mining centers, on six continents and 21 countries. ESCO was founded in NW Portland in 1913 and in the last couple of decades they have grown into a major global company.
Brazil exemplifies their strategy. They entered the country in 2007 through a joint venture, and then bought 100 percent of the operations in 2009. They have brought their "lean" manufacturing model and continuous improvement practices to Brazil, and now the plants here are are among the best performing in the company. They have also innovated a practice in Northern Brazil of embedding a team with their customers in the field where mining operations are occurring to make repairs more efficient. Their philosophy: they sell solutions, not just parts. As a result, their market share has grown.
ESCO has more than 500 employees, including 350 in Belo Horinzonte. The workforce is young, with an average age of 33. The plant is run by a Brazilian recruited from one of their mining companies, and the entire team clearly loves working for this great Oregon company.
That was the end of our working tour. Tomorrow: we are off to Ouro Preto, a historic UNESCO site, then to Rio for a couple of days of fun!