Brazil stagnant in tech investments and innovation

The South American country is at the bottom of a ranking that analyzes competitiveness across the public and private sectors.
Written by Angelica Mari, Contributing Writer

Brazil has appeared at the bottom of a competitiveness ranking in aspects such as investment in technology and innovation. At the 59th position out of 63 countries analyzed, the country has only surpassed South Africa, Mongolia, Argentina, and Venezuela.

The analysis by the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) in partnership with Brazilian business school Fundação Dom Cabral (FDC) has seen Brazil dropping two positions in relation to last year's ranking. The drop relates to negative performance in areas such as infrastructure, availability of skilled labor, and legal security.

The ranking uses 333 variables that inform the pillars of economic performance, government, and business efficiency, as well as infrastructure. The evaluation also utilizes macroeconomic indicators and qualitative data from 5.500 executives interviewed in all the countries covered in the study. In Brazil, FDC interviewed 134 business leaders. 

Brazil is in the same position it held in the IDC ranking in 2019. The country's best performance in the list, now in its 34th year, was 2020 when it held 56th place. Denmark tops the IMD list, followed by Switzerland and Singapore. The top 10 countries listed in the ranking include the United States, in the 10th position. In Latin America, Chile is the leader in the 45th place, followed by Peru (54th), Mexico (55th), Colombia (57th), Brazil (59th), Argentina (62nd), and Venezuela (63rd).

In relation to the corporate efficiency pillar, in particular, Brazil dropped three positions and now ranks 52nd. According to FDC, factors that contributed to the decline include a brain drain and challenges to adopt new technologies due to the ongoing skills gap and lack of investment.

Data from a separate study carried out by the National Industry Observatory to identify future demands for labor illustrates the issues at play in relation to skills in Brazil. According to the study, Brazil will need to train 9.6 million workers in the industry sector alone over the next three years due to the increasing adoption of new technologies in the sector.

Regarding the shortage of technology professionals in general terms, the situation is also critical. Data from the Brazilian Association of Information Technology and Communication Companies (Brasscom) suggests that 420,000 new technology workers are required to meet the sector demands between 2019 and 2024. Annually, that would be equivalent to 70,000 professionals - but Brazil only produces 46,000 tech professionals each year.

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