Rated as the seventh world’s largest technology market, Brazil attracts companies from across the globe but only has very small exports in the sector. “The international market does not recognise Brazil as a producer of high-level technology in the IT field”, admits the Coordinator of the Department of Service and Computer Programs from the Department of Science Policies on Computer, Technology and Innovation, José Henrique Barreiro.
Brazil exports very little in hardware compared to software. According to Barreiro, the country exports about four to five times more in software and IT services than hardware. “The software business is our expertise.”
For the president of the Ibero-American Federation of Information and Communication Technology Entities (Aleti), Robert Mayer, the information technology sector and Brazilian communication or ICT as it is called, is lacking in specific public policies to strengthen them.
Mayer heads he Federation of Associations of Brazilian Companies for Information Technology (Assespro Nacional) and as representative of the business community, regrets that, although Brazil has great strength in the information technology market, does not have one public policy able to change the reduced exports framework, as a structured program with a defined goal.
According to International Data Corporation (IDC), a US consulting firm that specialises in the information technology market, ICT investments in Latin America will grow this year about 5.7%.
However, if compared to the neighbouring countries, Brazil is not improving, said Mayer. The Aleti Technology Sector census shows, for example, that although the number of IT businesses with exports corresponds to 17% of the total, the actual companies that export represent a very small percentage (3% on average).
Currently, the Department of Science, Technology and Innovation is doing an assessment of the Major IT programs, to evaluate what can be adjusted. This digital agenda will involve other government agencies, should be completed in December and will result in a new program.
The Government is encouraging the internationalisation of Brazilian ICT companies through the Association for Promotion of the Excellence of the Brazilian Software (Softex) and the Brazilian Agency of Promotion of exports and investments (Apex-Brazil).
According to Jose Henrique Barreiro, the Brazilian market of ICT continues to grow. “We see growth rates of 10%, 11% per year”, he said.
One of the challenges of the sector is human resources. In Brazil, training and retaining specialised human capital is complicated.
Mayer (Aleti) stated that the expansion that occurred in recent years in technology was not accompanied by training or even human capital formation. “In all countries where this explosion took place, we have a lack of human resources”. With it, you end up subcontracting technology services to other countries. According to Barreiro, there is a lack of technical personnel, such as programmers.
Source: Agência Brasil