The high-tech industry - which has boosted innovation and development in rich countries like the United States, Germany, and South Korea -is shrinking in Brazil even before it booms. The finding comes from a study that mapped the evolution of different industrial segments in Brazil's Gross Domestic Product over the decades.
The five segments of the most sophisticated industries made up a 9.7% share of GDP in the early 80s. The segments include the electronics and computer industry; machines and equipment; chemistry; automotive and pharmaceutical. But by 2016-the most recent year for which info is available-this had retreated to 5.8%.
“The competitive advantages of agriculture and the extractive industry have cheapened imports of manufactured goods," says Fernando Montero, chief economist at Tullett Prebon brokerage. This helps which helps explain why, despite the country's stronger economic growth, the most technologically intensive industry did not take off.
Bull periods contributed to the competitiveness of Brazilian industry. Experts also point out that with the strong demand for commodities in the 2000s, Brazil has specialized more in the production of basic products. Since the industrial sector is an important source of innovation for the economy, its early shrinkage may limit the development of the country.
Translated by Kiratiana Freelon