Brazilian Industrial Policy in the 21st Century: Achievements, Challenges and Shortcomings

Ben Schneider
Session Organizers:
Yuri Kasahara and Antonio Botelho
Thursday, 2 July 2015: 8:30 AM-10:00 AM
CLM.B.05 (Clement House)
In the last decade, an industrial policy debate has been relaunched in Brazil with the adoption of several measures aimed to stimulate investment and innovation by domestic companies in both traditional and new sectors. This revival, however, has been lately characterized by a renewed “developmental” perspective with the predominance of protectionist measures that impose local content requirements in different sectors, preference for domestic suppliers in government procurement, and give fiscal and credit incentives for companies that prove to produce in the country. This inward policy orientation has targeted an increase in the domestic generation of jobs and meeting internal demand for products and services, breaking with the dominant export-oriented industrial policy of the 1990s. A seemingly main factor behind this shift has been, the consolidation of China as an industrial superpower, outcompeting most middle-income industrialized countries, such as Brazil. 

The goal of this session is to discuss the achievements and limitations of the current wave of industrial policy in Brazil and the papers on it deal with many interrelated questions. How policy-makers have been dealing with sector idiosyncrasies when developing and implementing incentives? To what extent current initiatives differ from the past ISI measures? Are these measures successful in creating competitive Brazilian companies or repeat a strategy of attracting MNCs to produce in the country? To what extent the current industrial policy has been successful in stimulating the creation of new sectors, particularly ones related to the “green” economy? As an effort to answer these questions, the papers in this session will contribute to a deeper understanding of the achievements and limitations of an important emerging economy as Brazil in carving an alternative path to industrial development in a highly competitive global economy.

Policy-Entrepreneurship or Policy-Opportunism? the Diffusion of Local Content Requirements in Brazilian Industrial Policy
Yuri Kasahara, Norwegian Institute for Urban and Regional Research; Antonio Botelho, Iuperj / UCAM
Brazilianization with Foreign Ownership: Oil Nationalism or New Policy?
Helge Ryggvik, Centre for Technology, Innovation, and Culture - University of Oslo