Heenan Blaikie explores business opportunities in Brazil

MONTREAL, Jan. 25 /CNW Telbec/ - Heenan Blaikie is pleased to announce that the firm is organizing the "Brazil Initiative" in partnership with the Canadian engineering and construction group, SNC-Lavalin, and the Brazilian mining corporation, Vale SA.

The "Brazil Initiative" is focused on capitalizing on strategic business opportunities in Brazil and will feature a business delegation made up of a select team of senior business executives who will be traveling to Brazil in mid-March 2011 with a view to establishing profitable and lasting business relations in this country.

According to Marcel Aubut, a senior partner at Heenan Blaikie and who is well known in the international business and sports communities, there is now a clear window of opportunity for such an initiative. "Brazil will be hosting the 2014 FIFA World Cup of Soccer and the 2016 Summer Olympics. Each of these major world sporting events opens up new commercial possibilities and exceptional investment opportunities for Canadian businesses in many sectors, including infrastructure."

Vale's Deputy General Counsel and Executive Vice-President for Corporate Affairs, Mark Travers, is delighted that his company is part of the Brazil Initiative. "Vale is committed to growing its business in Canada and the world - and we're committed to doing our part to ensure this initiative's success. Brazil is one of the most dynamic countries of the Americas and our company plays a key role in promoting economic growth throughout the region and the world given our presence on 5 continents and in 38 countries. We believe this initiative with Heenan Blaikie and SNC-Lavalin is a natural fit that will serve as a catalyst to deepen existing trade relations between Brazil and Canada. We look forward to enhancing opportunities for Canadian suppliers and service providers to partner and grow their business with Vale, be it in Canada, Brazil or around the world."

The Brazil Initiative has been welcomed by both the Brazilian and Canadian governments. Heenan Blaikie, Vale and SNC-Lavalin are particularly grateful for the support and encouragement of Export Development Canada.

Pierre Duhaime, President and Chief Executive Officer of SNC-Lavalin Group Inc., says he looks forward to the commercial benefits of the Brazil Initiative. "The Brazil Initiative will bring together business leaders with a vast network of contacts in Brazil, which will enable participating companies to meet with various Brazilian business and government leaders. Thanks to the Brazil Initiative, participating companies will be able to establish long-term relationships with their Brazilian counterparts."

Since its inception, Heenan Blaikie has grown progressively to over 550 lawyers and professionals in its nine offices in Canada, its Paris office and Singapore representative office. The firm provides sought-after expertise in business law, labour and employment law, litigation, tax law, mining law, intellectual property and entertainment law. Heenan Blaikie is the only major Canadian law firm with a Brazilian qualified lawyer and has been working on several different projects for Canadian companies in Brazil and for Brazilian companies in Canada.

Vale SA is a Brazilian mining company with operations on five continents and in 38 countries. Its Base Metals business is headquartered in Toronto. Vale is the second largest mining company in the world, by market capitalization and is focused on the sustainable exploration and development of natural resources; producing and selling a wide range of metals and mining products, including iron ore and pellets, nickel, copper, cobalt, bauxite, aluminum, ferro-alloys and various precious metals.

SNC-Lavalin (TSX:SNC) is one of the leading engineering and construction groups in the world and a major player in the ownership of infrastructure, and in the provision of operations and maintenance services. SNC-Lavalin has offices across Canada and in over 35 other countries around the world, and is currently working in some 100 countries.

SOURCE Heenan Blaikie

For further information:

Marie Rémillard
Marketing and Business Development
Heenan Blaikie
T 514 846.2297
F 514 921.1297

Frederico Marques
Foreign Legal Consultant
Heenan Blaikie
T 416 643.6935
F 416 360.8425

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