The Brazilian government is adopting a sharper focus on technology policy to ensure the opportunities within the sector are properly leveraged.
At The Economist summit on Brazil’s long-term ambitions last week, the secretary at the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation Virgílio Almeida (pictured above, first from left) said that the government is currently working on a four-pillar strategic plan for the technology sector for the next five years.
One of the pillars of the plan is the creation of a hub for the production of semiconductors and displays.
“We are looking to attract big players to Brazil, facilitate their entrance and also provide fiscal incentives,” Almeida told IT Decisions.
The secretary added that the government will launch an incentives package before year end, adding that the measures, currently being reviewed, will reduce taxes down to “practically zero.”
“We are also working on the creation of qualified human resources, engineers and technicians,” said the secretary. Almeida added that there are efforts in place to form at least 1,000 engineers that are specialized on displays within the next two years.
According to Almeida, only Foxconn is talking to the government about setting up a display production site. Despite the fact that the Taiwanese company expressed interest in investing in Brazil back in April, the launch date of said facility is still uncertain.
“It is a big investment and we are talking about a new industry for Brazil and these things take time, they do not happen overnight, ” said Almeida.
“We are working with [Foxconn] and trying to create the conditions for them to come to Brazil, we are talking to [Brazilian] states around possible locations [for the factory] and what kind of incentives they would offer,” he added.
“The Brazilian Development Bank is also working on a final engineering plan to put that investment together. I would say that things are moving, but it all demands a lot of interaction with different parties and one of our main concerns is attracting Brazilian private sector organizations to take part.”
Almeida said that one of the potential investors is Brazil’s richest man, Eike Batista, and that conversations with other possible backers are still ongoing.
See above a video with Virgílio Almeida, where he discusses the Foxconn investment, as well as technology skills challenges and the areas of focus for the government around technology.
Photo by IT Decisions.