After The Crisis: How Brazil Can Create Growth

Daniel Runde, Forbes, 04/04/2016

It is a strange time to be talking about growth in the Brazilian economy; Brazil is in the middle of its largest recession in decades. Falling commodity prices have taken their toll, and Brazil continues to rely on exports of agricultural and mining outputs. However, the most important facets of the Brazilian economy are changing, and Brazil’s future relies on a series of sectors that get less attention than the traditional mining and agriculture sectors. In particular, Brazil’s future involves its growing creative sector.

The term “creative economy,” popularized by John Howkins in 2001, is all about branding. A country’s creative sector translates the ideas and passions of the people into profitable, marketable goods and services such as media, technology, advertising and art. Idea-based companies in the U.S. can access capital through venture capitalists and deep capital markets. Brazilian financial service providers, however, often struggle to value and encourage these industries due to the current recession and the archaic intellectual property laws that hold back the creative sector.

Brazil’s creative sector is an asset worth protecting; 5.5% of Brazilians work in related fields, accounting for 320,000 companies and millions of new jobs. For comparison, the agriculture sector employs 15% of Brazilians, but is rapidly shrinking. Agriculture accounts for 5.6% of Brazil’s GDP, while creative industries generate 2.6% – exhibiting a nearly 70% increase in the last decade. The growing creative sector in the Americas accounts for 14% of all exported goods and services in this sector – $87 billion out of a total of $640 billion worldwide – and in Brazil, creative exports contribute to the Brazilian “brand.”

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