Foreign investment in Ceará continues to pour in this year. The latest multinational drawn to the region by its strategic location is a Chinese-backed electrical company. This is the first of several planned investments and brings welcome capital and employment opportunities to the state.
The latest arrival in Ceará is Brazil’s largest manufacturing company of energy meters and solutions. Owned by Eletra Energy Solutions, part of the Chinese giant Hexing Electrical Co. Ltd, the plant is based in Eusébio, south of Fortaleza, the capital of Ceará.
Eletra Energy Solutions began operations earlier in the autumn and employs around 650 people. Initial investment costs totalled R$52.5 million, some of which was financed by the Banco do Nordeste. The R$12.7 million loaned by the bank paid for the construction of the plant. The factory currently has the capacity to build half a million meters a month.
Unique to Brazil
Electra is one of the benchmark companies for electrical components in Brazil, particularly when it comes to meters. The company produces systems for electronic boards for multiple purposes for both residential and industrial uses around the world.
Eletra was founded in 2010 in Ceará by a consortium of local capital in conjunction with the Asian Hexing Group. This latter acquired Eletra in its entirety three years later. The company now supplies meters to all electricity distributors in Brazil including the giants Cemig, Electropualo and Endesa Group.
Strategic location draws foreign investment in Ceará
Hexing Group chose to invest in Ceará for two key reasons. Firstly is the state’s strategic location. As the closest point in Brazil to Europe, Ceará has the competitive advantage when it comes to import and export.
The Governor of Ceará Camilo Santana highlighted this proximity in his inaugural speech at the plant. “Ceará was chosen for the installation of this company because of its strategic position in relation to the main consumer markets in the world,” he said.
So far this year, Ceará has already attracted several key investment including fibre optic installations in Fortaleza.
Local professionals also key advantage
For his part, the CEO of Eletra Danilo Coimbra pointed out the importance of local professionals in this new venture. He emphasised that although the capital for this foreign investment in Ceará comes from China, job opportunities are local.
“Investing in local jobs is one of our main pillars,” he said, “so all our employees are from Ceará.” He commented that although the assembly of electricity meters is a little known skill in Northeast Brazil Eletra has trained all its employees.
More foreign investment in Ceará
The Eletra plant is the first of several Chinese investments in Ceará. According to Hexing Electrical, the company’s goal is “to expand, grow and excel in the market” from the springboard in Ceará.
The company has shown particular interest in the Pecem Port Free Trade Zone, an area attracting considerable foreign investment in Ceará. The Ceará FTZ was recently named best in Latin America and the Caribbean for Large Tenants, one of the world’s top accolades awarded by fDi Magazine. Pecem Port is currently on track for its best year ever in terms of cargo handling volumes.
“Ceará continues to attract foreign investment proving that this part of Brazil offers real advantages,” said Dies Poppeliers, Managing Director of BRIC Group. “We expect to see much more foreign capital in the area over the next few years, providing job opportunities particularly at professional level.”
An investment company specialising in global real estate opportunities, BRIC Group is currently developing The Coral resort, in Northeast Brazil, a luxury beachfront resort. BRIC Group also offers US real estate investments including turnkey properties in Florida and Houston, and land plots in Florida. BRIC Group has been creating wealth for its clients since 1996 and has offices in Brazil, Dubai (consulting office), Hungary, Spain and the US.
(Source: Ceará Government)