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Brazil: Opportunity Knocks for Progress on Tech Policy Issues

On November 19, the U.S. Department of Commerce and Brazilian Ministry of Development, Industry, and Foreign Trade convened in Brasilia for the 13th plenary meeting of the U.S.-Brazil Commercial Dialogue. ITI traveled to Brazil to join this bilateral trade discussion where trade leaders and industry representatives met to discuss topics ranging from trade and investment to standards. Despite the sometimes distinct perspectives on the roles of government and industry in achieving economic progress, ITI applauds both governments for continuing to pursue a productive and comprehensive dialogue, especially in areas related to common, industry-led standards development and regulatory convergence.

While in Brazil, ITI participated in two roundtable conversations with government and industry representatives from both countries, sharing information communications technology (ICT) industry best practices in standardization and learning more about Brazilian practices and traditions in this area. In particular, ITI sought to identify potential partners who share our desire to maximize Brazilian participation in developing globally relevant standards and best practices, in order to help fuel innovation and expand business and employment opportunities in both the U.S. and Brazilian markets.

Incredible growth over the past several decades has enabled Brazil to become an important destination for technology companies seeking new markets, new suppliers, and new talent. Over 80 percent of ITI’s member companies have established a presence there, ranging from manufacturing and research and development, to regional headquarters and training centers. In recent years, however, global ICT firms have encountered more challenges in Brazil’s economic and political landscape. The revelations about U.S. surveillance activities caused an immediate uptick in unilateral data privacy and cybersecurity actions, and temporarily strained bilateral relations, making a collaborative, international, and inclusive policy approach to these issues more difficult. Additionally, internal political and economic issues created further uncertainty in the market, resulting in a negative GDP growth forecast for Brazil in 2015 for the first time since 1992.

As Brazil seeks to address these significant challenges, ITI has made it a priority to be a partner and a resource to the Brazilian government and industry, providing input and dialogue on the impacts of these new policy efforts The problems Brazil faces are intrinsically linked to solutions ICT companies can provide - and the world is watching to see how it responds. We hope Brazil will embrace policies that can spur innovation, economic development and job creation. Much work remains to be done, and the road ahead will be difficult at times. Even so, the potential of a U.S.-Brazilian collaboration is significant for both countries, and ITI is excited about the prospects for partnership as both work to develop these important initiatives under the U.S.-Brazil Commercial Dialogue in 2016.

Public Policy Tags: Trade & Investment