New Approaches to Development in Brazil's Northeast: The Case of Pernambuco

September 9, 2004 - 12:30 pm

Cláudio Marinho, Secretary, Secretariat for Science, Technology and the Environment
State of Pernambuco

The seminar will focus on recent economic development policy-making by the Government of Pernambuco, one of Brazil’s Northeastern states. Northeast Brazil is undergoing important structural changes in its economic basis, with emerging economic sectors (agribusiness based on irrigated crops, modern urban service industries) redirecting growth strategies and industrial policies. The case of Pernambuco is interesting for historical reasons: the state has had a central role in the regional economy for centuries, with an export industry based on a dominant sugarcane production being gradually substituted by a service economy. The existence of modern tertiary activities (especially the information technology industry, tourism, logistic operations, higher education) is a real opportunity for the state reinsertion in the new global economic geography of knowledge-intensive sectors and regions. Special emphasis will be given to the state strategy for internationalization of its IT industry, including details on the 350th American Jewish community anniversary and the opportunity for mindshare and business reconnections between New York and Recife, the capital city of Pernambuco, in the cultural tourism and IT sector. Recife was the place from where a small group of 23 Jews migrated to create the first Jewish community in the US in 1654.

Claudio Marinho is a civil engineer with post graduate studies in urban planning and economics. He has dedicated his professional life to governmental policy-making, assuming different roles as a public-sector CEO. More recently, he has been involved as the state government coordinator of a very innovative initiative to strengthen the Pernambuco IT sector through a cluster-based strategy (the Digital Port project, creating an urban economic cluster in the old port area of Recife). He has the Brazilian national scientific merit order, belongs to the London Business School advisory board of the Center for New and Emerging Markets and is a fellow in the World Technology Network.