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PA Governor Winds Up South America Trade Mission

Wed, 04/17/2013 - 1:58pm
The Associated Press

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett was headed home Tuesday from a 10-day trade mission to South America with high hopes for the future but few concrete accomplishments to talk about.

In a teleconference with Pennsylvania reporters, Corbett described a whirlwind schedule of meetings and events in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and Santiago, Chile, that involved him and his wife Susan as well as several dozen others, including Cabinet members and representatives of the business, tourism and academic communities.

The governor said interest in Pennsylvania's vast natural-gas resources was high.

"Everywhere we went, both in Brazil and in Chile, there was a great understanding of our energy presence," he said.

In Chile, an important Pennsylvania trading partner, the governor said he had an hour-long discussion Monday with Chilean President Sebastian Pinera. He said he invited Pinera to visit the state when he travels to the United States later this year.

On Tuesday, an agreement to promote business partnerships between Pennsylvania and Chile was signed by the Chilean-American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry and the Santiago Chamber of Commerce.

Last week in Brazil, Corbett announced that Wipro Infrastructure Engineering, an international manufacturer of hydraulic cylinders, plans to open a plant that will bring 74 new jobs to Chambersburg. Wipro is a major supplier of Volvo Construction Equipment, which officials said has a strong presence in Brazil and has a production facility in Shippensburg.

The governor said he is optimistic that the trade mission had "planted seeds" that will yield long-term benefits to the state.

He said he expects to be back in the capital Wednesday afternoon.

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