Digital economy challenges for Brazil’s industry


26th March 2018

by Maria Tereza Fleury, Professor of International Strategy at University of São Paulo and FGV.
The digital economy challenges for Latin American countries are coming strong in the agenda of both government and enterprises. How companies should incorporate higher levels of connected and smart operations, thus moving effectively towards industry 4.0, is the question raised by entrepreneurs, politicians and academics.
In early March this year, the Brazilian government launched an incentive package aiming to foster the adoption of digital technologies by Brazilian firms. The package includes: financing (through BNDES, FINEP, Banco da Amazonia) training programs and on-line assessment tools for firms to evaluate their own status.
A recent study conducted by the Brazilian Confederation of Industries, along with Brazilian researchers, reveals a gloomy scenario for Brazilian industry. The study defines four digital generations: the first being rigid production; the second, lean production; the third, integrated production and the fourth, smart and connected production. Part of the study is a survey carried out with 759 firms in 24 industries, and 14 of those industries, in other words, more than half, do not deploy advanced technologies. These sectors are non-metallic minerals, pharmaceutical, publishing, furniture, apparel, electrical equipment, latex and plastics, textiles, leather, shoes and other transport equipment. The most advanced industries, those at high innovative …

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