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LI garment maker expanding in Brazil

A protective garment maker based in Ronkonkoma will expand its operations overseas.

Lakeland Industries Inc. received its first order from the Brazilian Navy after winning a $5-million contract in December 2010.

The company will acquire new factory space and hire more workers in its Brazilian operations to complete the order, said Christopher Ryan, chief executive of Lakeland.

The initial order is for $500,000 worth of fire-resistant coveralls, designed specifically by Lakeland for the Brazilian Navy.

Although the contract is for up to $5 million of goods, there is no guarantee that a purchase up to that amount will be made by December this year -- when the contract ends.

But the company plans to complete the first order by the end of October and work with the Brazilian Navy on placing further purchases before December, Ryan said.

"We're expanding essentially into the BRIC countries -- Brazil, Russia, India and China -- they are the fastest-growing countries in the world right now," Ryan said.

Lakeland is headquartered on Long Island but has manufacturing units in India, Brazil, China and Mexico.

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