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Geraldo Alckmin


Brazil 2015  I  Economy  I  Leader

Interview with Geraldo Alckmin Governor of Sao Paulo

BIOGRAPHY Born in Pindamonhangaba, ON November 7, 195, he attended the Universidade de Taubaté's medical school, specializing in Anesthesiology, before going on to work in the São Paulo Public Service Hospital. He has been elected as the new governor of São Paulo for the second term and a candidate for president of Brazil in the 2006 Elections.


You have affirmed that the present world scenario offers extraordinary possibilities for Brazil. How is the São Paulo government capitalizing on these opportunities?

Since the start of my administration, the state government has already participated in diverse trade missions abroad, in Europe, the United States and the Far East. We have visited Japan twice and in China have opened an office in Shanghai together with the São Paulo Commodities and Futures Exchange (BM&F). Recently, we traveled to Eastern Europe in a joint partnership with the São Paulo Chamber of Commerce.


Last year we began the Espaço São Paulo, a project aimed at increasing the exposure of São Paulo companies and products at international  trade fairs. The US has invested almost $11 billion in the state of São Paulo, only in 2013. The opening of new trade paths for companies from the state was crowned by the recent opening of the São Paulo Business Center in the Miami Free Zone.


São Paulo is the most important start in Brazil in terms of economic development. What is the role of the state in the current economic growth of the country?

The state of São Paulo has many characteristics similar to those of a country. It is like a country within another country. Boasting the third largest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Latin America, São Paulo accounts for more than a third of the entire nation’s GDP. The state plays a central part in the Brazilian economy. With only 3% of the national land area, it is home to 22% of the population yet generates almost half of Brazil’s industrial GDP, a third of everything the country exports, 45% of its imports and more than two thirds of all credit operations.


São Paulo has a unique mix of attributes: it boasts the largest “German” industrial city outside of Germany – the same with Sweden – and contains extremely representative colonies like those made up of descendants from Japanese and Middle Eastern immigrants. The Lebanese population in the state is almost three times larger than that of Lebanon itself. We have people here from all over, so it is only natural that we strengthen our international relations.


In your opinion, what are the new economy vocations of São Paulo?

First of all, I consider as “new” the traditional and powerful vocations which I continue to support and encourage, as much with respect to industry as agribusiness – clearly, with an emphasis on services. They are “new” because the great majority of our entrepreneurs are attentive to the needs of the international market and have modernized their products and processes, investing in technological innovation.


In fact, innovation is one of the segments with the greatest growth potential in our state, and to which the government has been giving special attention. Our effort to develop four technological hubs is part of this context. I speak of traditional vocations as new because the old ones are constantly being renewed. São Paulo accounts for 50% of the world’s orange juice exports and half of Brazil’s coffee exports. Our agricultural  sector has grown fast as the result of an intense process of industrialization. Our coffee has attained incredible levels of excellence. Our orange juice has taken the world by storm thanks to the incorporation of international standards of quality and technology. Sugar and cane alcohol are two other important chapters: São Paulo is responsible for 70% of Brazil’s exports in these sectors, the same for beef.


In your opinion, what differentials does São Paulo have to offer?

Aggregating technological innovation to the productive process, a higher level of training at companies through human resources, education, and the state infrastructure in general – which is quite varied and in constant improvement – are our medals. The work we have done on our growth potential and the seriousness with which we face the challenges in promoting of social and economic development have prepared us for the opportunities that the current world scenario has to offer.

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