Santa Catarina, Brazil, on the other hand, is much smaller, with a population of just 6 million (it has no cities with a population of more than 500,000).
But the two states still have much in common, among them beautiful natural resources, a high standard of living and a prosperous population. And they have tremendous interest in the alternative energy industry, technology, agriculture and tourism.
Because of these common attractions, the Milken Institute and leaders in Santa Catarina have formed a working group to help leaders in both states exchange ideas and explore potential areas of collaboration that can help both regions.
On October 30, 2007, members of a trade mission from Santa Catarina, including Gov. Luiz Henrique da Silveira, attended a roundtable meeting at the Milken Institute to talk about the key issues and challenges facing both states, including energy efficiency, trade expansion, technology-sector growth and the development of human capital.
Participants included a number of California's leaders in public policy, finance, technology, energy and academia as well as more than a dozen representatives from Santa Catarina, including from Gov. da Silveira's government, the state legislature and Brazilian businesses.
The goal of the California-Santa Catarina Working Group is to help build relationships that will benefit both states and to exchange ideas on such topics as education, workforce training, infrastructure and technology. By improving the knowledge and expertise available to leaders of both states, the Institute hopes to explore and develop initiatives that will strengthen each state's economy and improve the lives of those in both regions.