We commend Gov. Martin O'Malley for his recent trade mission to Brazil ("Between Obamacare and BGF, a rough year for O'Malley," Dec. 12).

The mission was an invaluable opportunity for Columbia Technologies, BEACON Environmental Services and the rest of the delegation to meet face to face with government officials, business executives and other decision makers in one of the world's largest economies.

BEACON, based in Bel Air, delivers highly accurate and reliable analysis of soil, gas and air samples. Columbia Technologies, of Baltimore, provides innovative data collection, analyses, visualization, mapping and tracking tools for soil and groundwater contamination. Together, we have collaborated on projects in Brazil, employing advanced technologies and expertise to assist with the successful characterization of challenging sites with significant environmental contamination.

During the mission, we furthered discussions with local companies on additional opportunities for collaboration. Columbia Technologies announced the establishment of a Brazilian subsidiary. BEACON discussed establishing a distributorship with a partner of Columbia in Sao Paulo. While in Rio de Janeiro, BEACON met with and finalized a long-term distributorship agreement with GEOAMBIENTE, a preferred contractor to the multinational energy company Petrobras. GEOAMBIENTE seeks to provide technology innovation to the Brazilian market by offering the most advanced solutions in environmental risk assessment and remediation.

Today, we face competition around the world. But our global economy also presents us with incredible international opportunities to find new partners and new markets. The governor's trade mission opened new doors for us in Brazil and will lead to a stronger BEACON and Columbia Technologies here in Maryland.

Harry O'Neill and John Sohl

The writers are president and CEO, respectively, of Beacon Environmental Services and Columbia Technologies.

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