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Brazil: there is light at the end of the tunnel

Despite the fact that the Brazilian economy is in an unfavorable situation with regard to productivity and innovation, “there is light at the end of the tunnel”, evaluated, on the last day 17, the economist Zeina Latif, from Gibraltar Consultoria, in the round table “Expectativa da innovation: post-election Brazil”, promoted by the Business Committee of ABPI. “I don’t believe in total regression. Even with setbacks, there is a path to advance in the growth resumption agenda. Although in a situation of low competitiveness, we are improving”.
Mediated by the coordinator of the Business Committee, Patrícia Gestic, the event was also attended by the president of ABPI, Gabriel Leonardos, the representative of WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization), Sacha Wunsch, and the manager of the Planning and Institutional Relations area at EMBRAPII, Cristiane Rauen. In the debate, Leonardos reinforced the industry’s role in the resumption of growth. “Only industry can generate innovation, social mobility and dynamism. And the industry has to be environmentally and socially sustainable,” he said.
For Zeina Latif, the business environment in the country is still unfavorable due, among others, to legal uncertainty, political discontinuity, macroeconomic volatility, the fiscal crisis and tax litigation. “Our industrial production has been stagnant since 2010 and our technological park has a technology gap of 30 years”, he said. Even so, highlighted Zeina Latif, there are some adjustments that allow Brazil to grow again. In this sense, she pointed out the decrease in patrimonialism, the redefinition of the role of the BNDES, which is expanding the spectrum of financing for companies, and the growth of the capital market. “There is demand from the private sector for a liberal agenda,” he explained.

In her presentation, Cristiane Rauen showed expressive numbers about the performance of EMBRAPII, a Social Organization qualified by the Federal Public Power that supports technological research institutions, promoting innovation in the Brazilian industry. With nine years of existence, the company has already supported 1,797 projects demanded by 1,246 companies, totaling resources of around R$ 2.5 billion. EMBRAPII, which finances up to 50% of projects with non-reimbursable resources, has already invested R$ 830 million in R&D projects in partnership with companies and research institutions.
The scenario of moderate optimism regarding the country’s future was confirmed by data from the Global Innovation Index (GII), presented by the representative of WIPO. According to Wunsch, in this regard the country has made significant leaps in recent years: it holds second place in the Latin American ranking and, for the first time, appears among the 18 best economies in the region.
Of the seven pillars of the GIII, Brazil has only not grown in terms of institutions. A highlight was the strong growth in the market sophistication pillar (referring to the availability of funding for innovation), which was the weakest in 2019.
Among the country’s weaknesses pointed out by the GII are some policy difficulties for the business environment and for entrepreneurship.