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Tech Takes the Spotlight: Brazil’s Industrial Policy Shifts its Focus

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TITLE: Technology Takes Center Stage In Brazil’s New Industrial Policy

TLDR:

  • Brazil has announced a new industrial policy focused on sustainability and innovation, with BRL 300 billion ($60 billion) set to be invested in the sector.
  • The plan includes the development of technologies in areas such as biotechnology, chip development, and systems to enhance national sovereignty.
  • Short-term goals to be accomplished by 2026 include boosting the use of mechanical methods in family-owned farms and digitalizing 90% of businesses operating in the industrial sector.
  • Longer-term objectives to be attained by 2033 include enhancing the production of technologies focused on ensuring national sovereignty and reducing carbon emissions in industries by 30%.

 

Article:

Technology has emerged as a central theme in Brazil’s new industrial policy, a plan that will see BRL 300 billion ($60 billion) invested in the sector, in areas such as biotechnology, chip development, and systems to enhance national sovereignty. Announced on Monday (22), the plan is aimed at propelling national development with a focus on sustainability and innovation through to 2033. Brazil’s new industrial policy intends to stimulate productive and technological development, promote better jobs, attract investments, and increase international competitiveness.

“It is very important that we have an industrial policy again that is innovative and digital to cater to global demands,” said Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva during the launch of the new plan in Brasília.

To counteract premature deindustrialization, Brazil’s new industrial policy includes instruments such as special credit lines, non-repayable resources, and regulatory actions. Additionally, new mechanisms like development credit lines, a regulated carbon market, and green taxonomy are set to be introduced in response to the global shift towards environmentally-led transformation.

The document outlining the new policy is split into six pillars, dubbed “missions,” with short-term goals to be accomplished by 2026 and longer-term objectives to be attained by 2033. While some of the pillars contain technology-related actions, other areas are more specific.

A priority outlined in the new policy is ensuring food security by boosting the use of mechanical methods by 70% within family-owned farms. Currently, only 18% of these businesses in Brazil use machines in their everyday operations. According to the plan, the goal is to have 95% of these machines used on farms produced nationally.

Enhancing the production of technologies focused on ensuring national sovereignty by 50% is also among the goals of the Brazilian industrial policy. This will include the development of nuclear energy, communication and sensing systems, propulsion systems, as well as autonomously and remotely-controlled vehicles.

An increased role for biofuels in logistics and reducing carbon emissions in the industrial sector is also part of the new policy. The government aims to increase by 50% the participation of biofuels in the energy matrix for transportation — currently, green fuels represent 21.4% of this matrix. In addition, Brazil will aim to increase the use of its biodiversity in the industrial sector. Priorities in this area also include the production of bioenergy and equipment for generating renewable energy.

Digital transformation is also among the goals set out in the plan: the aim is to digitalize 90% of all businesses operating in the industrial sector in Brazil (the current percentage of companies that operate digitally in the sector is 23.5%). This will involve investments in the Industry 4.0 approach, with the integration of intelligent digital technologies into manufacturing and industrial processes, as well as boosting national semiconductor production.

Goals outlined in the new policy also include improving wellbeing in cities, in areas such as reducing the time Brazilians spend getting to work — currently an average of 4.8 hours a week, according to data from the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics. This will entail ramping up use and production of electric vehicles as well as battery production.

 

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