ATPC representatives traveled to Brazil in June as part of a trade mission driven by Governor  Nathan Deal and the Georgia Department of Economic Development. The Governor’s weeklong trade mission included visits to Rio De Janeiro, Sao Paulo and other surrounding areas.

The governor extended invitations to ATPC Executive Director H. West Richards, Jay Morgan (ATPC’s state government affairs consultant) and Holland & Knight Partner Roth Kehoe, and Senior Counsel Robert Green to help lead the Sao Paulo leg of the trade mission. The Governor’s goal for the trip was to strengthen Georgia’s ties with Brazil, which boasts the world’s eighth-largest economy in real GDP.

The trade mission included an ATPC-led meeting with Cielo, the parent-company of ATPC member Merchant e-Solutions. Representing the payments industry in Georgia, H. West Richards facilitated the meeting between the governor, GDEcD Commissioner Chris Carr, Cielo CEO Romulo de Mello Dias, and other Cielo senior executives. During the meeting, Commissioner Carr credited ATPC for creating connectivity between the State of Georgia and Cielo but also for its work in becoming an important resource for both the payments industry and the state’s economic development agenda.

Merchant e-Solutions, a Cielo company, has a small Atlanta sales force but is headquartered in Silicon Valley. The company joined the ATPC in July 2014 at the Tier One level, selecting CFO Marcelo Perez as the company delegate on the Board of Directors. Governor Deal used the meeting to tout Georgia’s prominence in the industry, not only in the United States but also globally. The governor’s goal was to demonstrate the state of Georgia’s commitment to the Payments industry and to invite Cielo to consider expanding their operations in metro Atlanta – which they ultimately agreed to do.

As part of the trip, ATPC representatives also met with Elavon, another membercompany with operations in Brazil. One of the trip highlights included the American/Brazilian Chamber of Commerce event in Sao Paulo, where ATPC, Elavon, and Cielo represented the payments industry portion of the Georgia delegation.