Florida Realtors® Takes Part in Brazil Trade Mission

Florida Realtors<sup>®</sup> Takes Part in Brazil Trade Mission

ORLANDO, Fla., Oct. 24, 2011 –Representing the interests of the state’s real estate industry, a Florida Realtors® delegation headed by 2011 President Patricia Fitzgerald is in Brazil this week to discuss real estate investment opportunities for Brazilians living or vacationing in Florida.

The group is part of Gov. Rick Scott’s Team Florida Business Expo & Trade Mission to Sao Paulo, Brazil from Oct. 23-27, 2011.

“Brazilians love owning a home in Florida for a variety of reasons,” said Patricia Fitzgerald, president of Florida Realtors and a key member of the trade delegation. “Everything from home prices to shopping and even traveling to Florida is very affordable for Brazilians today. Brazilians see the entire state, from Key West to the Panhandle, as not just the place to be but the place to buy.”

Brazilians made up 8 percent of Florida foreign homebuyers in 2010-2011, up from 3 percent a few years ago, according to the 2011 Profile of International Homebuyers in Florida report. As Brazil continues to prosper and people look for places to invest, the percentage of Brazilians calling Florida their first or second home is expected to keep increasing, said John Sebree, Florida Realtors vice president of public policy.

“Many companies in Brazil cite the state’s favorable business climate, and its commitment to cut taxes and grow jobs as strong incentives,” said Sebree.

In announcing the trade mission, his third so far, Gov. Scott said Brazil was a logical choice. Brazil is Florida’s top exports market; in 2010, exports from Florida to Brazil surpassed $13.7 billion, according to Enterprise Florida, a public-private partnership devoted to statewide economic development.

Florida Realtors delegates will meet with Brazil’s leading real estate investment managers, along with the U.S. Ambassador to Brazil, Thomas A. Shannon Jr.

“Brazil is the world’s seventh-largest economy, and the most dynamic and prosperous economy in Latin America,” said Carlos Fuentes, chair of Florida Realtors global business committee. “Florida is well positioned to capitalize on Brazil’s market opportunities.”

While the trade mission emphasizes leisure travel to Florida, Scott said he hopes to attract companies willing to do business in the state. In Sao Paulo, the governor wants to play matchmaker, linking Brazil and Florida companies that can help each other grow.

For more information on the trade mission, go to Enterprise Florida’s website at http://www.eflorida.com/Events.aspx?Id=8832.

Florida Realtors®, formerly known as the Florida Association of Realtors®, serves as the voice for real estate in Florida. It provides programs, services, continuing education, research and legislative representation to its 115,000 members in 64 boards/associations.

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