President Barack Obama visit to Brazil has energized South Florida's Brazilian community and those doing business with the budding economic powerhouse.
Now even more trade, jobs, and tourism on the horizon for South Florida after the president’s stop.
The president visited Brazil looking for ways to improve trade and relations. Brazil is a growing gold mine for companies in Florida.
“I think it important for President Obama to show up in Brazil and do his part to improve the relations which have been stuck for several years,” said business owner Paulo Bacci-Artefacto.
Bacci-Artefacto sells Brazilian furniture. He started out 10 years ago with 20 workers and now he has 120 employees and is opening a second store.
His sales are now five times what they were. Credit can go tthe thirst for Brazilian goods, which has become the lifeblood of many companies.
“Now we are on the Brazilian wave. It’s bigger because we have our roots there and we are known there and we have big growth,” Bacci-Artefacto said.
Brazil is now the top trading partner in South Florida with most goods flowing to and from Brazil’s largest cities. The top exports and imports include aircraft parts, computers or computer parts, cell phone equipment and handguns.
“It’s huge. It’s the most in the South Florida market for sure,” said Edgardo De Fortuna from Fortune International Realty.
De Fortuna said that Brazilians are helping his company overcome the condo bust. He had more buyers from Brazil come in to see the luxury units than from any other location.
“In the last year, about 35 to 50 percent of the traffic is Brazilian and so is about 25-30 percent of all the contracts we write,” he said..
Each day, the Port of Miami sees a booming Brazil that can fill its docks.
American Airlines is helping out with additional flights. Edgardo says hopefully the visa restrictions will change and that will open up even more trade with Brazil.