Several technology giants have reaffirmed their investment in Brazil despite the recession the country has experienced. Oracle is an example: the company has stated that the country is still a "strategic priority", with local infrastructure receiving a boost. Analytics firm SAS is developing its training business in the Latin nation, security company Kaspersky is placing its bets in Latin America and in Brazil specifically, while other companies such as SAP announced expressive local growth.
During 2016, several startup fostering initiatives in Brazil led by tech companies themselves or end users looking to harness the potential of new technology ventures were announced. Examples included the partnership between Monsanto and Microsoft for biotech ventures, Chinese web giant Baidu launched a tech startup program, Pfizer kicked off a process to find Brazilian health startups while Visa sought to accelerate Brazilian ventures active in the fintech segment, as did rival MasterCard.
Mobile manufacturers have had a hard time in Brazil this year - not only because of consumer cautiousness caused by the recession but also due to changing behaviors as consumers take longer to upgrade devices. As a consequence, players who had previously placed bets on the Brazilian market had to change their strategies - that includes Chinese manufacturer Xiaomi, who virtually killed off its local operations and Sony, who ended its Brazilian manufacturing agreements. Mobile phone makers have all seen an overall decrease in sales, including Apple. Things aren't looking good for the coming year, either.
The battered Brazilian science and technology department suffered repeated budget reductions during 2016, which led to the reduction of personnel as well as the downsizing of flagship programs. In May, Brazil's interim president Michel Temer announced that the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MCTI) would merge with the Ministry of Communications - a move that was not welcomed by the local tech industry.
Technology was one of the highlights of the successful staging of the Rio Olympics this year. From improved connectivity to skills creation, there were several technology-led benefits that Games host city Rio de Janeiro - as well as all of Brazil - retained following the sporting competitions, which were enabled by technology work. Other noteworthy tech projects focused on the Games included the tech overhaul of Rio's international airport as well as other initiatives introduced by firms such as Samsung around payment technology.