The original report was published in the USA Today on Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Brasília, a forward-thinking, knowledge-based economy
First envisioned by former Brazilian President Juscelino Kubitschek over 50 years ago as Brazil’s most futuristic city, today Brasília aims to become a world-class center of human and technological development
Though services and tourism are Brasília’s leading sectors, current development is also prioritizing the area of science and technology focused on creating an intelligence industry.
“We have a small territory compared to other states in Brazil and our main asset is human resources,” says Agnelo Queiroz, Governor of Brasília. The Government believes the Federal District’s population is predisposed towards knowledge-based industries ranging from IT and biotechnology, to pharmaceuticals and civil engineering.
The State Government’s most notable initiative to position Brasília as a technological hub is the creation of the Digital Technological Park (Parque Tecnológico Capital Digital), a center of excellence focused on R&D that will cover 23 hectares. Staikos Tzemos, President of Methabio Farmaceutica is excited by the plan. “Today, there are research development funds that are not only limited to technological development, but even target the pharmaceutical sector, as in the case of the Digital Park”
The project is expected to generate 80,000 direct and indirect jobs with the establishment of 10 anchor companies. Five multinationals have already expressed interest in the project (Oracle, Microsoft, IBM, Cisco and Banco do Brasil).
Bearing in mind that Brazil is currently the 13th country worldwide in terms of scientific production (and according to estimates will soon be 10th), and 47th in terms of patent registration, the Federal District aims to take a leading role to reposition Brazil in the international arena in terms of R&D.
The main reason for attracting leading international players such as Microsoft is to stimulate the transfer of technology and knowledge into Brazil’s workforce. Having a qualified workforce is of paramount importance, as Antonio Rocha da Silva, President of FIBRA observes: “Without qualified people, we will not have sustainable growth, as despite all the technological advancement which exists in the world, human capital is irreplaceable.” From an economic perspective, 53% of the Federal District’s economy is related to the public administration (namely, the Federal Government). The remaining 47% is shared between the services sector, industry and commerce.
Despite having the highest GDP per capita, Brasília also has one of highest levels of inequality in the country. With this in mind, and in view of the forthcoming soccer World Cup 2014, where Brasília will take center stage as a hosting city, the State Government – fully aligned with the Federal Government in terms of public policy – has formulated an investment attraction policy which is expected to draw socio-economic development led in the most part by the private sector.
Nadine Padrón, Ana García Navarro and Eddy García-Zapatero.
United World would like to extend a special thank you to Isanulfo Cordeiro and Britz Lopes for their invaluable guidance in making this report a success.