Gov. Rick Scott departs late Thursday on a seven-day trip to Brazil, where he will promote Florida to its biggest trading partner and a South American economic powerhouse.
Scott, who has made jobs and economic development the focus of his administration, was embarking on the third trade mission in 10 months in office. Former Gov. Charlie Crist went on only two trips in his first year in office.
Scott says the trips will help in the long run.
"Basically, what you do is you build relationships," said Scott, a former businessman who never held office before his election last year. "Some of the relationships are with the government. Some of the relationships are with individuals. The end result is, if two groups can figure out how they can solve each other's needs, that is something that is going to happen and we're going to get more jobs here."
Brazil is the fifth-largest nation in the world, covering half of South America. The vast nation is already Florida's top export market. In 2010, exports from Florida to Brazil were $13.7 billion, led primarily by the shipment of civilian aircraft, engines and parts, according to Enterprise Florida, the state's economic development arm.