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Ceará economy ends 2018 on a high

The Ceará economy has stood out in Brazil generally over the last few years. The state consistently posts strong results. Ceará does particularly well at regional level and regularly registers better figures than the rest of the states in Northeast Brazil. This year is no exception. In 2018, Ceará shines in several key areas including economic development, telecommunications and tourism.

Highest economic development in Northeast

A recent survey carried out by Sebrae Minas Gerais comparing economic development in Brazilian states places Ceará at the head of Northeast Brazil. The report found that the state had a score of 0.365 (out of a possible total of 1.000), the highest in the Northeast. Ceará ranks 13th in Brazil with Sao Paulo at the top of the table with a score of 0.538.

Strengths of the Ceará economy lie in two main areas: business structure and business governance. The survey highlighted that the business scenario in Ceará has improved significantly over the last few years. As a result, the state has better technology for doing business and it’s easier to set up a company. The capital of Ceará, Fortaleza, ranked 11th in the country and as the second highest state capital in the Northeast.

Fibre optic boost

One area of the Ceará economy that has seen particularly impressive growth over this decade is telecommunications. Fibre optic technology in the state has expanded rapidly to cover most locations including more remote inland areas.

This expansion has been possible thanks to the Digital Belt. The Ceará government set it up in a bid to bring broadband internet to the state. In 2011, fibre optic reached just 403 points. By September this year, the figure had grown to 283,955.

Ceará stands out as a telecommunications hub within Brazil. Growth in the sector is the fifth highest in the country and the strongest in Northeast Brazil. The state’s businesses and health and education services have already reaped big benefits from the widely-available fibre optic network.

Since 2017, the state has focused on telecommunications as one of the main growth areas for the Ceará economy. Submarine cables now connect Ceará (and by extension, Brazil) to the US, Europe and Africa. The submarine technology combined with fibre optics has led the authorities to place their sights on establishing data centres in Ceará serving companies worldwide.

Strong tourism

One sector of the Ceará economy that has outperformed all others throughout 2018 is tourism. Thanks to the Air France/KLM/Gol flight hub at Fortaleza Airport, the state has seen its visitor figures grow exponentially this year.

This summer season (December to March) looks set to be particularly busy. According to the flight comparison app Voopter, Fortaleza is the second most sought-after destination for summer holidays this year, second only to Recife.

The Brazilian Association of Travel Agents (ABAV) forecasts a busy summer season as more Brazilians take ‘stay-cations’. Their figures point to an increase of between 18 and 20% in summer holiday sales between now and the end of March.

(Sources: Diario do Nordeste, O Povo)

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