4. Industrial Policies
The GoB extends tax benefits for investments in less developed parts of the country, including the Northeast and the Amazon regions, with equal application to foreign and domestic investors. These incentives were successful in attracting major foreign plants to areas like the Manaus Free Trade Zone in Amazonas State, but most foreign investment remains concentrated in the more industrialized southeastern states in Brazil.
Individual states seek to attract private investment by offering tax benefits and infrastructure support to companies, negotiated on a case-by-case basis. Competition among states to attract employment-generating investment leads some states to challenge such tax benefits as beggar-thy-neighbor fiscal competition.
While local private sector banks are beginning to offer longer credit terms, the state-owned Brazilian National Development Bank (BNDES) is the traditional Brazilian source of long-term credit as well as export credits. BNDES provides foreign- and domestically owned companies operating in Brazil financing for the manufacturing and marketing of capital goods and primary infrastructure projects. BNDES provides much of its financing at subsidized interest rates. As part of its package of fiscal tightening, in December 2014, the GoB announced its intention to scale back the expansionary activities of BNDES and ended direct Treasury support to the bank. Law 13483, from September 2017, created a new Long-Term Lending Rate (TLP) for BNDES. On January 1, 2018, BNDES began phasing in the TLP to replace the prior subsidized loan rates. After a five-year phase in period, the TLP will float with the market and reflect a premium over Brazil’s five-year bond yield (which incorporates inflation). Although the GoB plans to reduce BNDES’s role further as it continues to promote the development of long-term private capital markets, BNDES continues to play a large role, particularly in concession financing, such as Rio de Janeiro’s water and sanitation privatization projects, in which BNDES can finance up to 65 percent of direct investments.
In December 2018, Brazil approved a new auto sector incentive package – Rota 2030 – providing exemptions from Industrial Product Tax (IPI) for research and development (R&D) spending. Rota 2030 replaced the Inovar-Auto program which was found to violate WTO rules. Rota 2030 increases standards for energy efficiency, structural performance, and the availability of assistive technologies; provides exemptions for investments in R&D and manufacturing process automation; incentivizes the use of biofuels; and funds technical training and professional qualification in the mobility and logistics sectors. To qualify for the tax incentives, businesses must meet conditions including demonstrating profit, minimum investments in R&D, and no outstanding tax liabilities.
Brazil’s Special Regime for the Reinstatement of Taxes for Exporters, or Reintegra Program, provides a tax subsidy of two percent of the value of goods exported.
Brazil provides tax reductions and exemptions on many domestically-produced information and communication technology (ICT) and digital goods that qualify for status under the Basic Production Process (Processo Produtivo Básico, or PPB). The PPB is product-specific and stipulates which stages of the manufacturing process must be carried out in Brazil in order for an ICT product to be considered produced in Brazil. Brazil’s Internet for All program, launched in 2018, aims to ensure broadband internet to all municipalities by offering tax incentives to operators in rural municipalities.
Law 12.598/2012 offers tax incentives to firms in the defense sector. The law’s principal aspects are to: 1) establish special rules for the acquisition, contract, and development of defense products and systems; 2) establish incentives for the development of the strategic defense industry sector by creating the Special Tax Regime for the Defense Industry (RETID); and, 3) provide access to financing programs, projects, and actions related to Strategic Defense Products (PED).
A RETID beneficiary, known as a Strategic Defense Company (EED), is accredited by the Ministry of Defense. An EED is a legal entity that produces or develops parts, tools, and components to be used in the production or development of defense assets. It can also be a legal entity that provides services used as inputs in the production or development of defense goods. RETID benefits include sale price credit and tax rate reduction for the manufacturing supply chain, including taxes on imported components. Additionally, RETID provides exemption from certain federal taxes on the purchase of materials for the manufacture of defense products, strategic defense products (PRODE / PED) and services provided by strategic defense companies (EED).
In April 2020, the Brazilian Defense and Security Industry Association (ABIMDE) requested the Minister of Defense to consider implementing improvements to Law 12.598 by allowing all its members to: 1) have access to special bidding terms (TLE) for defense and security materials; and, 2) automatically utilize their RETID status, rather than being required to individually apply to the Ministry of Defense for certification, as is currently the process. However, as of April 2021, the law has not been changed.
Foreign Trade Zones/Free Ports/Trade Facilitation
The federal government grants tax benefits to certain free trade zones. Most of these free trade zones aim to attract investment to the country’s relatively underdeveloped North and Northeast regions. The most prominent of these is the Manaus Free Trade Zone, in Amazonas State, which has attracted significant foreign investment, including from U.S. companies. Constitutional amendment 83/2014 extended the status of Manaus Free Trade Zone until the year 2073.
Performance and Data Localization Requirements
Government Procurement Preferences: The GoB maintains a variety of localization barriers to trade in response to the weak competitiveness of its domestic tech industry. These include:
- Tax incentives for locally-sourced information and communication technology (ICT) goods and equipment (Basic Production Process (PPB), Law 8248/91 (amended by Law 13969/2019), and Portaria 87/2013); and
- Government procurement preferences for local ICT hardware and software (2014 Decrees 8184, 8185, 8186, 8194, and 2013 Decree 7903); and the CERTICS Decree 8186, which aims to certify that software programs are the result of development and technological innovation in Brazil.
At the end of 2019, Brazil adopted a New Informatic Law, which revised the tax and incentives regime for the ICT sector. The regime is aligned with the requirements of the World Trade Organization (WTO), following complaints from Japan and the European Union that numerous Brazilian tax programs favored domestic products in contravention of WTO rules.
The New Informatic Law provides for tax incentives to manufacturers of ICT goods that invest in research, development, and innovation (RD&I) in Brazil. In order to receive the incentives, the companies must meet a minimum nationalization requirement for production, but the nationalization content is reduced commensurate with increasing investment in R&D. At least 60% of the production process is required to take place in Brazil to ensure eligibility.
The Institutional Security Cabinet (GSI) mandated the localization of all government data stored on the cloud during a review of cloud computing services contracted by the Brazilian government in Ordinance No. 9 (previously NC 14), made official in March 2018. While it does allow the use of cloud computing for non-classified information, it imposes a data localization requirement on all use of cloud computing by the Brazil government.
Investors in certain sectors in Brazil must adhere to the country’s regulated prices, which fall into one of two groups: those regulated at the federal level by a federal company or agency and those set by sub-national governments (states or municipalities). Regulated prices managed at the federal level include telephone services, certain refined oil and gas products (such as bottled cooking gas), electricity, and healthcare plans. Regulated prices controlled by sub-national governments include water and sewage fees, and most fees for public transportation, such as local bus and rail services. For firms employing three or more persons, Brazilian nationals must constitute at least two-thirds of all employees and receive at least two-thirds of total payroll, according to Brazilian Labor Law Articles 352 to 354. This calculation excludes foreign specialists in fields where Brazilians are unavailable. There is a draft bill in Congress (PL 2456/19) to remove the mandatory requirement for national employment; however, the bill would maintain preferential treatment for companies that continue to employ a majority of Brazilian nationals.
Decree 7174/2010, which regulates the procurement of information technology goods and services, requires federal agencies and parastatal entities to give preferential treatment to domestically produced computer products and goods or services with technology developed in Brazil based on a complicated price/technology matrix.
Brazil’s Marco Civil, an Internet law that determines user rights and company responsibilities, states that data collected or processed in Brazil must respect Brazilian law, even if the data is subsequently stored outside the country. Penalties for non-compliance could include fines of up to 10 percent of gross Brazilian revenues and/or suspension or prohibition of related operations. Under the law, Internet connection and application providers must retain access logs for specified periods or face sanctions. Brazil’s Lei Geral de Proteção de Dados Pessoais (LGPD) went into effect in August 2020. The LGPD governs the processing of the personal data of subjects in Brazil by people or entities, regardless of the type of processing, the country where the data is located, or the headquarters of the entity processing the data. It also established a National Data Protection Authority (ANPD) to administer the law’s provisions, responsible for oversight and sanctions (which will go into effect August 2021), which can total up to R$50 million (approximately $9 million) per infringement.
13. Foreign Direct Investment and Foreign Portfolio Investment Statistics
|Host Country Statistical source*||USG or international statistical source||USG or International Source of Data:
BEA; IMF; Eurostat; UNCTAD, Other
|Host Country Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ($M USD)||2020||$1.43 trillion||2019||$1.84 trillion||www.worldbank.org/en/country|
|Foreign Direct Investment||Host Country Statistical source*||USG or international statistical source||USG or international Source of data:
BEA; IMF; Eurostat; UNCTAD, Other
|U.S. FDI in partner country ($M USD, stock positions)||2019||$145.1 billion||2018||$81.731 billion||BEA data available at https://apps.bea.gov/international/
|Host country’s FDI in the United States ($M USD, stock positions)||2019||$21.956||2019||$4.617 billion||BEA data available at
|Total inbound stock of FDI as % host GDP||2019||$34.6%||2019||34.9%||UNCTAD data available at https://unctad.org/en/Pages/DIAE/
[Select country, scroll down to “FDI Stock”- “Inward”, scan rightward for most recent year’s “as percentage of gross domestic product”]
|Direct Investment from/in Counterpart Economy Data|
|From Top Five Sources/To Top Five Destinations (U.S. Dollars, Billions)|
|Inward Direct Investment||Outward Direct Investment|
|Total Inward||648.353||100%||Total Outward||247.605||100%|
|The Netherlands||147.688||22.8%||Cayman Islands||74.298||30%|
|United States||117.028||18.0%||British Virgin Islands||56.184||22.7%|
|Portfolio Investment Assets|
|Top Five Partners (Millions, current US Dollars)|
|Total||Equity Securities||Total Debt Securities|
|All Countries||45,085||100%||All Countries||36,161||100%||All Countries||8,923||100%|
|United States||19,451||43%||United States||15,754||44%||United States||3,697||41%|
|Cayman Islands||4,727||10%||Cayman Islands||4,378||12%||Republic of Korea||863||10%|