Good news hit the Brazilian shores, as according to a spokes person from the International Finance Corporation - IFC, the World Bank affiliate is looking to invest close to $2 billion in Brazilian private sector companies. Targeted sectors are financial, energy, low-income housing, business hotels, agriculture and water. By doing so the IFC will improve Brazil’s competitiveness, support job creation, infrastructure development and access to financial services.
Although foreign direct investment is growing in Brazil, the local government is also investing in growing the country’s innovation industries, which can be leveraged before, during and after the 2014 global event. A good example is the government subsidized Recife’s Porto Digital, one of the largest tech parks in the country, with technology firms focusing on areas such as urban mobility, neural networks, artificial intelligence for finance & banking, as well as security and outsourcing. Recife’s Porto Digital has been a success, and is now home to 150 IT firms, which generated about US$488M in 2012.
As we approach the kickoff moment of the 2014 World Cup, another industry that is seeing significant investments is the security industry, as FIFA and foreign nations are pressuring Brazil to be prepared to counter possible terrorist threats during the 2014 event.
As a result Brazilian security forces recently awarded a US$7.2M contract to Boston-based iRobot Corp. to have American drones and robots keep an eye on the areas around the soccer stadiums during the games and inspect suspicious packages and diffuse potential chemical and explosive devices.
In addition, according to Brazil’s Defense Ministry, Brazil has put in place a massive military operation to secure its porous 10,440-mile frontier, to crack down on drug trafficking and smuggling of arms and illegal migrants.
With heavy investments in infrastructure, innovation and security the nation hopes to leverage its passion for soccer, to lift the country out of its developing economic stage and into a brighter and sustainable future.