The state of Ceará in Northeast Brazil is increasingly on the radar of investors in Brazil. Ceará offers many advantages to businesses and increased awareness of these has led to more foreign investment in Ceará than ever before.
Ceará Global, part of the official Foreign Trade and Investment in Ceará organisation, recently put together a map of international businesses in the state. With facts and figures from the last two decades, the report shows that foreign investment has reached most corners of Ceará and covered a wide variety of sectors.
The big picture
Ceará Global reveals that businesses from 106 countries have invested in Ceará. Between them, they amount to 3,932 companies with almost 4,600 investors and have set up in 100 municipalities across the state. Foreign investment totalled US$4.44 billion up to the end of 2017 (latest figures available).
In terms of numbers of foreign companies established in Ceará, 2017 was the highest year since 2014 and the third highest all round. Some 306 businesses were established with foreign capital in the state last year, 37.2% more than in 2016.
The country making the biggest foreign investment in Ceará in terms of capital is Korea. The Asian country has so far made investment to the tune of US$1.2 billion. The lion’s share of this has been in Pecem Port where Korea companies have made substantial investment in steel production. In the first four months of this year, Ceará was the second largest exporter of steel in Brazil.
Italy has the most companies and investors, although relatively small investment in Ceará. The 921 companies have invested a total of US$247 million. Portugal comes a close second in terms of the number of companies – 806 have been set up in the state with investment of over US$839.9 million.
German businesses made substantial investment in Ceará last year when Fraport took over the management of Fortaleza International Airport. The company posted a 15% increase in revenue between January and June this year, due partly to business at airports in Brazil.
The business areas
The commerce sector has received the majority of investment in Ceará. Investment has reached US$1.7 billion and accounts for almost 40% of the total. Industry comes a close second with investment to the tune of US$1.3 billion and almost a 30% share.
Both sectors make important contributions to the export industry in Ceará, a sector currently booming. According to state figures, US$1.27 billion of exports left Ceará between January and July this year, an increase of 12.87% on the same period in 2017.
Property investment in Ceará also appears on the radar for foreign investors with 7% of the total share. Analysts believe this will increase as international tourism in the area expands.
Foreign investment in Ceará has taken place almost across the state in its entirety, although just two locations account for almost 80% of the total. Sao Gonçalo do Amarante, home to Fortaleza Airport, has received US$1.92 billion in foreign investment funds, 43.34% of the total, although just 80 foreign companies have set up in the area.
The city of Fortaleza accounts for over 36% of the total with some 2,366 international companies present and a total of US$1.61 billion investment. But even small municipalities such as Trairi, to the north of Fortaleza, feature on the foreign investment map. The locality has 53 non-Brazilian companies and foreign investment of over US$7.7 million.
(Source: Ceará Global)