Northern Ireland's political leaders have travelled to Brazil in a bid to forge new links with what is one of the world's fastest-growing economies.
First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness are on a five-day visit to the South American country, making stops in Sao Paulo, Brasilia and Rio de Janeiro.
The ministers said they are hoping to promote economic development, trade, tourism, university and sporting links between Brazil and Northern Ireland.
This visit is part of the Executive's wider international objectives aimed at establishing relations with the world's most quickly developing economies. These nations are referred to as the BRIC - Brazil, Russia, India and China.
Mr Robinson said: "Our programme for Government placed our economy as the key priority. We will leave no stone unturned as we continue to identify new markets and promote Northern Ireland in Brazil.
"Northern Ireland has a lot to offer potential investors with our skilled work force and world-class education system. Brazil is a major player on the world stage and I look forward to a very informative and productive visit."
Mr McGuinness added: "As the fifth largest country in the world and a population in excess of 191 million, Brazil is a key market for us. We will meet with the Brazilian government, business leaders and universities and avail of every opportunity to promote the north of Ireland.
"The only way to develop international relationships is through face-to-face meetings. Our presence here demonstrates to the Brazilians that we are committed to exploring mutually beneficial opportunities to grow our economy."