Discover the production sectors of Minas Gerais and its main economic players:
The state has the second largest Brazilian consumer market, with a 10.4% share, just behind the state of São Paulo. Given its privileged geographical position, Minas Gerais companies have easy access to 49% of the Brazilian consumer market, with estimated consumption potential of R$ 1,826 trillion in 2016.
Innovation and entrepreneurial environment
With its accelerators, research and innovation centers, startup communities, innovation promotion agencies, incubators, open laboratories and technology parks, Minas Gerais has a privileged position on the national R&D, innovation and entrepreneurship scene. Minas Gerais has the only Google R&D center of Latin America, the Coordination for Technological Innovation and Transfer- CTIT, the R&D center of Embraer, Helibras, among others. Minas Gerais currently has 1083 start-ups, second only to the state of São Paulo. In addition to the renowned San Pedro Valley, Minas has important start-up communities throughout the state: Zero40 (Juiz de Fora), ZebuValley (Uberaba), Uberhub (Uberlândia), Vale da Eletrônica (Santa Rita do Sapucaí), Vale do Conhecimento (Itabira), Santa Helena Valley (Sete Lagoas), Libertas Valley (Itaúna) e Vale dos Inconfidentes (Ouro Preto).
It is worth mentioning FIEMG Lab, Seed, a Acelera MGTI and the Founder Institute. Prominent technology parks are BHTec and Tecnoparq, in Viçosa. Prodabel, SENAI, Fab Lab Newton and In Forma 3D are open Laboratories that collaboratively encourage the creation and experimentation of products and processes by inventors, entrepreneurs and start-ups. Development agencies such as the Minas Gerais Investment and Foreign Trade Promotion Agency (INDI), Minas Gerais Development Bank (BDMG), Minas Gerais Economic Development Company (CODEMGE), P7 Creative and State Research Support Foundation Minas Gerais (FAPEMIG) support innovative initiatives and contribute to the state’s innovative clout on the national scene. It is noteworthy that 11% of all edtechs (start-ups in the education segment) in Brazil are concentrated in Minas Gerais.
As a result, projects such as Hub Digital, start-ups from the Raja Valley region, Fiemg Lab, Café Atmosfera, Sistema Mineiro de Inovação (SIMI) and Start-ups and Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Development (SEED). In addition, Belo Horizonte hosts a major innovation meeting – the International Business, Innovation and Technology Fair – FINIT.
Belo Horizonte Innovation Ecosystem
In the state capital of Minas Gerais one of the most important innovation ecosystems in the country has flourished. The city has more than 600 start-ups from various industries, one of the leading life science (over 310 companies) and biotechnology clusters, various co-working spaces, research centers and universities. Not surprisingly, three start-ups from the top ten ranked 100 Open Start-ups 2017 are from Belo Horizonte.
San Pedro Valley of Belo Horizonte
Twice elected the best start-up community in Brazil by Spark Awards and among the top ten most significant initiatives in the country, the San Pedro Valley is an ecosystem located in the São Pedro neighborhood, a south-central region of Belo Horizonte.
More than 580 technology-based companies, including accelerators, incubators, shared workspaces and venture capital companies, make up the mix. Sambatech, Hotmart, Méliuz, Rock Content, Sympla are some of those established in the ecosystem.
The term creative economy is used to identify every type of work, product, content and service that has as its main element human inventiveness. The creative act is the raw material for generating value.
According to a study conducted by the Minas Gerais Creative Industry Development Agency, the creative economy is responsible for the generation of more than 457,000 formal jobs and about R$ 788 million of monthly income from work, which corresponds to 9.89% of total state employment. In the national ranking, Minas Gerais is in third place, with about 10% of Brazil’s total creative jobs. Of these, 54% belong to the culture sector, 30.3% to functional creations, 9.7% to the technology and innovation sector, and 6% to the media sector.
The creative economy of Minas Gerais is made up of over 63,000 companies, equivalent to 12% of Brazil’s creative companies, most of which are micro and small. Although scattered throughout the regions of the state, creative activities are concentrated in the poles of Belo Horizonte, Juiz de Fora, Uberlândia and Contagem.
An example of an initiative that operates in Belo Horizonte is the Creative Economy House for the formation and dissemination of the concept and space for cooperation between entrepreneurs in this segment. The space is part of the Praça da Liberdade Cultural Circuit.
It is worth mentioning the importance of P7 Criativo, an independent association and development agency, supported by the state government and several entities, which aims to transform the state of Minas Gerais into a creative industry hub. The agency’s remit, in its first experimental phase, consists mainly of connecting investors to collectives, artists, cultural groups, companies of all sizes, creators, associations, and others with good ideas in Belo Horizonte.
Textiles and Clothing
The Minas Gerais textile industry employs nearly 130,000 people and is among the three largest in Brazil, according to data from the Brazilian Association of Textile and Clothing Industry (ABIT). Minas Gerais is responsible for 13% of the country’s textile sector production, behind only São Paulo and Santa Catarina.
The main destinations for its textile exports are to neighboring Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia and Peru. The Minas Gerais fashion industry mainly exports to the United States, Argentina, Vietnam, Hong Kong and Colombia.
The state, a trail-blazer for national fashion, has hosted 25 editions of the largest fashion business event in Latin America, the Minas Trend Preview, promoted by the Federation of Industries of Minas Gerais State (FIEMG). In two annual editions, the meeting brings together the entire chain of the fashion industry, represented by exhibitors of clothing, shoes and accessories. One of the main pre-launch events, it predicts Brazilian fashion trends and is one of the main business generation platforms in the sector.
New Minas Gerais Economy
Information and Communication Technology
The second largest concentration and third largest GDP of companies in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector in the country is in Minas Gerais. The state has Technology Parks, Industrial Districts and Industrial Technology Condominiums, which produce hardware and software for the aerospace industry, embedded software and IoT for the automotive industry, sensors and software for mining, electronics for appliances, among others. There are more than 6,000 companies that employ more than 134,000 professionals and generate about $ 2.5 billion per year.
Within the ICT ecosystem, Minas Gerais is home to Google’s R&D centers (the only one in South America), Embraer, Erikson and Fiat, as well as companies such as Accenture, Infosys, Axxiom, Hexagon Mining, Algar Technology, Totvs and Cadence.
Belo Horizonte stands out in the Mining Information Technology scenario, with more than 5,300 companies, 20,875 employees in IT activities, of which 1,800 are software developers, and employ 8,100 professionals.
Santa Rita do Sapucaí is the Brazilian Silicon Valley Compared to Silicon Valley in California (USA), Minas Gerais is proud of its Electronics Valley, located in Santa Rita do Sapucaí, a municipality with 43,000 inhabitants, 387 kilometers from Belo Horizonte. The first city in Latin America to have a technical electronics school and the first college of telecommunications engineering in Brazil, Santa Rita today houses 153 technology-based companies, 60 R&D labs and more than 30 start-ups.
The list of more than 14,000 items manufactured by a contingent of 14,700 professionals, includes digital TV transmitters, electronic ballot boxes and technological games, also for autistic children. Revenue from local technology companies is around R$ 3.2 billion annually.
Photo: Genilton Elias
Biotechnology and Life Science – Vocation for Health
Multidisciplinarity, with the creation of high quality jobs, and a need for a better qualified workforce, leads to higher average pay. This is the basic profile of biotechnology, a sector that adds value and is boosting Minas’ economy, not only due to the economic activity itself, but also for its impact on social wellbeing. Biotechnology, defined as the application of biological organisms, systems or processes is also known as “Life Sciences”. It has a relevant role in increasing agricultural productivity; in the health area (new medicine, vaccines and diagnostic kits); energy (biofuels).
Minas Gerais has one of the national biotechnology innovation hubs, accounting for 11.2% of all innovative initiatives in the sector.
Belo Horizonte is home to one of Latin America’s leading life sciences clusters, comprised of more than 310 companies that generate more than 4,100 jobs in the industry. It is the third city in Brazil that most generates patents, of which about 70% are from the biotechnology area.
In the state’s main production centers, located in the central region (Belo Horizonte and the Metropolitan Region), Minas Triangle, Zona da Mata (Viçosa) and North (Montes Claros) it is worth noting companies such as Hermes Pardini, Fundação Hemominas, Fundação Ezequiel Dias (Funed), Novo Nordisk, Fiocruz Minas, GE Healthcare, Biomm Technology, Philips and Biominas Brasil. In addition, there is the scientific contribution from a contingent of 160 PhD researchers from the Federal University of Minas Gerais, as well as the support of other public institutions.
In July 2018, the first private center for accelerating biotechnology and life sciences business in Latin America was inaugurated in the Clean Development Zone (ZLD) in Nova Lima. This is BiotechTown (biotechtown.com).
Strategic for the national economy and promising for Minas Gerais, the air segment has been the subject of studies to identify and enable opportunities in several other economic areas of the state.
Minas Gerais has 86 aerodromes and airports and three important axes in the sector, in the Belo Horizonte Metropolitan Region (RMBH), Itajubá and Santa Rita do Sapucaí, in the south of Minas.
In addition, the state maintains a high standard of qualification in educational institutions that offer courses for the sector, such as PUC Minas Aeronautical Engineering and the UFMG Center for Aeronautical Studies.
It is also important to include the Engineering and Aeronautical Sciences courses of the Minas Gerais Foundation for Education and Culture (FUMEC). Important companies are present in the state: Embraer, with its R&D center in Belo Horizonte; Helibras, the only helicopter manufacturer in Latin America; and GOL, which maintains an advanced maintenance center near Belo Horizonte International Airport, in
Transport and Automobiles
The production of motor vehicles in the state is responsible for about 16% of jobs generated, which are concentrated in the Central and South mesoregions. It is the fourth largest export sector in Minas Gerais, behind mining, metallurgy, and machinery and equipment.
Brazil’s second largest automotive hub, Minas Gerais has Fiat Chrysler Automobilies (FCA) as the industry’s key player in the state. The surrounding area of the factory in Betim, in the Belo Horizonte Metropolitan Region (RMBH), has hundreds of auto parts industries serving the Italian automaker, installed in Brazil since the mid-1970s. The history of the factory in the state has contributed huge investments since its implantation and for establishing its presence in Minas through the production of an exclusive car for Brazil. FCA’s industrial unit is the group’s largest manufacturing plant in the world and has an annual production capacity of 800,000 vehicles.
In May 2019, the company announced that it will invest $ 8.5 billion in the Betim plant and launch 15 new models by 2024. According to Governor Romeu Zema,
The Mercedes Benz plant located in Juiz de Fora, in the Mata Mineira Zone, was the first of the automaker installed outside Germany. In 2018 the company inaugurated a new production process, Industry 4.0, innovative technology that will be extended to all stages of production. The action is part of a R$2.4 billion investment in Mercedes operations in Brazil to be completed by 2022.
Minas Gerais gains national prominence by hosting factories for companies such as GE Transportation, EMD Equipamentos e Serviços Ferroviários (subsidiary of Caterpillar) manufacturing units for locomotive production. The two companies – both American – are the only manufacturers of freight train locomotives in Brazil.
Photo: FCA Group Comunication Departament
Mining and Metallurgy
Brazil occupies a significant position in the world mineral sector, mainly due to its vast territorial extension, which boasts different territories and geological formations and vast mineral diversity. Mining and mineral transformation constitute one of the basic sectors of the Brazilian economy, currently accounting for approximately 4% of national GDP.
The state is responsible for 33% of metallic mineral extraction and 23.6% of non-metallic minerals in the country. In Minas Gerais, iron ore, bauxite, phosphate, manganese, aluminum, potassium, zinc, gold and others are produced.
The most exported item by Minas Gerais in 2018 was iron ore, with 30.6% share of all foreign transactions and 71% of the state’s mineral exports.
The civil construction sector in Minas Gerais is the driving force behind the state’s economy, as it is an important generator of jobs, as well as constantly evolving and innovating. Along its production chain are large-scale companies that develop everything from raw materials and inputs to the final product: properties for the real estate market and large public works to improve the state’s infrastructure.
By contributing socially to a decrease in the Brazilian housing deficit of 6 million houses, the sector’s dynamism also spurs on the chain of financial services, commerce, technology, transportation, consulting, training among many others. In this scenario, some companies stand out both in Minas and beyond.
In the niche of popular constructions, the construction company Emccamp is notable for its performance in important national rankings. Similarly, MRV, is focused on classes C, D and E, where it serves one client in every 200 Brazilians.
Precon Engenharia is the first in the industry to obtain a certificate of competitiveness, SiAC PBQP-H-2017 certification. Solução Habitacional Precon, or SHP, is also by the company and involves a technical innovation that applied the concepts of automotive assembly to civil construction.
Other important companies located in Minas include: Andrade Gutierrez Engenharia, Direcional Engenharia, Grupo ARG, Construtora Barbosa Mello, Construtora Caparaó, Empresa Construtora Brasil, Construtora Aterpa, Construtora Cowan and PHV Engenharia.
Sustainable buildings advance in Minas Gerais
New concepts in civil construction focusing on sustainability, innovation and social responsibility are emerging in the world as a response to environmental impacts caused by humans over time, and show that more than being a trend, concern for the environment and natural resources is a necessity.
The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) and AQUA (High Environmental Quality) certifications, the adapted Brazilian version of the HQE (Haute Qualité Environnementale), present parameters to be considered in the construction of works with better environmental management. It is argued that benefits to the projects are not only social and environmental, but also economic, as there is a reduction of costs during construction and the project’s life cycle.
Minas once again showed its pioneering spirit by having the first building in Brazil to receive the Leed v4 seal. Located in Governador Valadares, the building houses an architectural office and environmental consultancy. The certification of more “green buildings” in Minas, however, did not stop there. One of BH’s postcard images, the Mineirão Stadium, is currently the only stadium in Brazil to receive LEED Platinum classification, as it contains the largest roof photovoltaic plant in the country, and has reduced drinking water consumption by over 70%.
Alongside these projects are the Coca-Cola factories, the Forluz Building, CEMIG’s new headquarters, Boulevard Corporate Tower, a corporate center integrated with Boulevard Shopping, among others. There are already 52 projects registered and 18 certified, according to the Green Building Council Brazil.
The Aqua-HQE certification process arrived in Brazil in 2008. It is applied exclusively by the Vanzolini Foundation, which adapted the French process to the Brazilian culture, climate and legislation. One of Odebrecht’s newest developments was the first to win the Aqua seal in Minas Gerais. It is the Parque Avenida Shopping Complex, located on Avenida Raja Gabaglia in Belo Horizonte. Currently, Minas Gerais already has 13 Aqua-certified.
Minas Gerais also has the largest cement producing park in Brazil, with 9 factories representing the main brands operating on the market. The national cement industry has an installed capacity of 100 million tons and produces 57 million tons annually.
In 2018, the commodities registered the largest volume shipped, demonstrating the greatest dynamism in the historical series. Revenues in this sector reached US$ 101 billion in exports, while the Brazilian trade surplus was US$ 58.3 billion. Minas Gerais followed the national scenario and Minas’ agribusiness contributed to 48.9% of the trade balance, highlighting the importance of the sector for the national and state economy. Agribusiness represents one third of Minas Gerais’ Gross Domestic Product. The expansion of agribusiness exports in recent years is mainly due to the trade relationship established with China. Within a decade, there was 80.9% growth in trade between the two countries.
In 2018, total exports from Minas Gerais totaled US$ 23.97 billion and went to 193 trading partners. Foreign sales of agribusiness products totaled US$ 7.94 billion, a decrease of 0.2% when compared to the previous year. Agribusiness products went to 167 international destinations.
Agribusiness purchases totaled US$ 660.57 million, an increase of 17.4%. This expense represented a 7.3% share of state purchases. The “cereals” group was the main demand of Minas Gerais, at 2.8% of all purchases. Agribusiness products were imported from 80 countries.
Minas Gerais is a national leader in coffee production, with 56.4% of the country’s planted and processed crop and continues to be one of the world’s leading coffee suppliers. The amount obtained in 2018 was $1.7 billion higher than the other seven major competing states. The result was US$ 7.5 billion in 2018, a 2.9% increase over 2017.
The grain is grown in 607 of 853 Minas Gerais’ municipalities and is the main activity in 340 of them. Minas Gerais coffee is produced mainly in the South and Southwest, followed by the Mata Zona, Triangle and West.
The top ten exporting municipalities in 2018 were Varginha, Belo Oriente, Uberlandia, Guaxupé, Tres Marias, Araguari, Patrocínio, Alfenas, Manhuaçu and Poços de Caldas, whose revenues totaled US$ 4.99 billion, that is, 66.5% of sales came from these municipalities.
Coffee production attracts important projects, such as the Dolce Gusto Nestlé capsule factory in the municipality of Montes Claros, set up in 2015, showing the consolidation of differentiated value-added coffees on the foreign market. On the list of agribusiness products exported by the state, coffee occupies first place, representing 13.5% of the total exports of Minas Gerais. In 2018, the main commodity of Minas Gerais’ agribusiness accounted for foreign sales of US$ 3.22 billion. Regarding quantity, 21.89 million bags were shipped, the highest value since the beginning of records.
Surveys indicated that there was a significant improvement in the quality of coffee from Minas Gerais, when analyzing the attributes of aroma, flavor, body, acidity, bitterness and fragrance.
Germany resumed its position as main trading partner in 2018. Purchases totaled US$ 625.96 million, from 4.5 million bags. 11 countries began a new trade partnership with Minas Gerais, among them: Norfolk Island, Philippines, Ecuador and Belarus. In all, coffee from Minas Gerais was sent to 87 international destinations.
Over the last 10 years, China has shown a strong interest in Minas Gerais coffee. At the beginning of the decade, the Asian country bought US$ 2.1 million from the state. In 2018, Chinese imports totaled more than $18 million, an increase of 764%.
The coffee market stands out for its added value and has received support and incentives in its development. One of them is the International Coffee Week, the largest meeting of the sector’s production chain in Brazil, and one of the main coffee events in the world.
Minas Gerais has the 2nd largest Brazilian cattle herd and in 2018 managed to achieve the largest shipment of meat to the foreign market. The revenue generated was US$ 604.97 million, derived mainly from the in natura modality. Strong Asian demand boosted sales and the result was not even better due to the truckers strike in the first half of 2018. Compared to the beginning of the series, revenue variation was 97.8% at an annual growth rate of 7.87%.
China accounted for 59%, with its US$ 356.98 million purchase. Hong Kong ranked 2nd in the ranking due to purchases of US$ 90.27 million. Beef was sent to 106 different countries.
The state is home to major brands of refrigerators such as JBS Friboi, the world’s largest animal protein producer, BRF Foods and Minerva.
Exports of the “soy complex” broke records for the fifth consecutive year. Revenue reached US$ 1.87 billion. Total volume was 4.5 million tons. Soybeans were the main item in the segment, which contributed to a revenue of US$ 1.69 billion and 4.2 million tons, demonstrating that the vast majority of exports are in grain form.
China continued to lead the ranking with revenues of US$ 1.22 billion, equivalent to 65.3%. The other ranking positions were occupied by new trading partners, such as Russia (US$ 282.47 million), Iran (US$ 55.24 million), South Korea (US$ 49.25 million) and Thailand (US$ 44.66 million). In all, 32 destination countries were accounted for.
Soybeans accounted for 7.3% of the total exported by Minas Gerais to the world in 2018, especially to China. As the 7th largest national producer, the contribution of Minas Gerais totaled 5,042.9 million tons, a 4.5% share of the total produced in the country.
Minas’ soybean and corn production occupies 6th and 5th positions, respectively in the national ranking. Both products are grown on a larger scale in the municipality of Unaí, in the northwest of the state. The main multinational companies engaged in the processing and marketing of soybeans and other types of grains are Cargill, ADM, Louis Dreyfus Commodities.
In the largest irrigated area in South America – Jaíba Project – lemon, mango and banana are produced. Since its inception in 1960, the project has transformed the socioeconomic reality of the northern region of Minas Gerais, where today 25,000 hectares are constantly in full production. The irrigated area used by the project corresponds to 66,000 hectares.
Over the past three years, sales in the animal feed group have been steadily growing. Minas Gerais is the third state in the national export ranking, accounting for 2 2% of the country’s sales. In 2018, sales recorded their highest value in the historical series, with US$ 59.89 million.
The main destinations are Thailand, Uruguay and Taiwan, representing 14%, 12% and 10% of Minas’ production, respectively. Negotiations with five newcomers expanded in 2018: Vietnam, Jamaica, Kuwait, Croatia and the United Arab Emirates.
Food and Beverages
The food and beverage industries account for 20% of Minas Gerais’ Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Including the inputs for the typical local dishes and the accompanying beverages, there is a whole chain generated from agribusiness (meat, poultry, chicken, milk and derivatives, coffee, fruit), industry and the food and beverage trade.
In the Union of Beer and Beverage Industries in the State of Minas Gerais (Sindbebidas) there are 850 industries registered, with 510 producers of cachaça; 70 of beer; 125 of juices; 70 soft drinks and 75 other drinks, such as energy drinks. The sector collects generates R$ 1.5 billion in Tax on Circulation of Goods and Services (ICMS) per year, or about 8% of all collection for this tax from Minas’ industry. ”
In Minas Gerais, there are 337 beverage manufacturers, of 2,656 in Brazil. 12.7% of the companies producing alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages in Brazil are in Minas Gerais.
In the state, there are industries of local, national and international brands, producing beverages such as Ambev, Baker, Barry Calebot, Coca Cola Femsa, Falke Bier, Kopenhagem, Krug Bier, Uberlândia Refrescos, Vale Verde, and Walls.
In food production, there are 7,611 companies and 170,794 employees in Minas Gerais, representing 15.9% and 11.2% of the national total, respectively.
Here you can find names like Faleiro Food Service, Forno de Minas, Pif Paf, Vilma, Aymoré, BRFoods, Bauducco. The chocolate industries are well represented through Ferrero Rocher, Barry Callebaut, Kopenhagen (CRM group).
Cachaça has a prominent position in traditional brands such as Salinas, Havana, Canarinha, Seleta, Vale Verde, Germana Heritage and Boazinha.
With growing production and presence in various regions of the state, such as Belo Horizonte, the metropolitan region of the capital and the Zona da Mata, the craft market is responsible for a high value-added product, becoming a phenomenon among thousands of connoisseurs.
As the third largest producer of craft beer in the country, Minas Gerais already has 90 establishments that produce about 2 million liters of the beverage per month. Minas’ breweries are increasingly recognized for their quality and flavor on the national and international scene. In 2018, the World Beer Awards, the most important award for brewers around the world, awarded seven Minas Gerais breweries. Labels from Wäls, Capa Preta, Backer, Albanos, Verace, Vinil and Dos Caras were recognized, winning 40 prizes for Minas Gerais.
And, to stimulate further market expansion, guarantee the product to the end consumer, and increase the visibility of Minas Gerais brands, the Minas Gerais Beer and Beverage Industry Union (Sindbebidas-MG) with the support of the Federation of Minas Gerais State Industries (FIEMG) and Sebrae Minas, launched the stamp of origin “Beers of Minas – Free by Tradition”.
Sugar and alcohol
As the 2nd largest sugar producer in Brazil and 4th largest ethanol producer, Minas Gerais guarantees a harvest of 63.5 million tons of sugarcane, from which 3.98 million tons of sugar and 2.65 billion liters of ethanol originate. The main producing regions of the state are the Minas Triangle, Zona da Mata , Central and North.
In 2018, the Sugar-Alcohol Complex (sugar, alcohol and other sugars) generated US$ 775.67 million for the state. Sugar is the most representative component of the complex: 95.3% and accounted for US$ 740.28 million. Bangladesh, a traditional trading partner, continued to be the main buyer of Minas Gerais sugar, at 11.2% of all exports, totaling US$ 83.14 million.
Saudi Arabia jumped from 9th to 4th place among the largest buyers in 2018. Sales to that country totaled US$ 65.95 million. The list of trading partners in 2018 accounted for 49 international destinations, 9 of which were newcomers.
Paper and Pulp
Minas Gerais accounts for 24.5% of the area planted with eucalyptus in Brazil. The state has three cellulose companies, 14 of paper and 345 of packaging and paper products.
Exports of Minas Gerais cellulose set new records in 2018, both in value and volume at US$ 766.32 million. Compared with the start of the decade, growth was 93.9%.
The sector invests in sustainability and performance, as the Chinese market shows constant interest in this segment and stands out as the main buyer of mining pulp. Revenue was US$ 223.73 million, which represented 29.2% of product sales to overseas markets.
The municipality of Belo Oriente, located in the Rio Doce Valley and headquarters of Cenibra, has been the main outlet of the Minas product. The company achieved a record production of 1.2 million tons of pulp and an investment of US$ 50 million to modernize one of its industrial plant lines.
Keeping pace with the global trend for more sustainable products, Klabin, a producer of paper for packaging and cellulose, has also set up an industrial unit in Minas Gerais and has intensified research to develop viable alternatives to plastics. To this end, in 2018, it announced a contribution of R$ 32 million in its research and development (R&D) program.
Most value-added production comes from the service sector, which accounts for over 65% of the state’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). It is worth mentioning those related to health, education and commerce. Approximately 71.5% of formal workers work in some public or private organization that belongs to the tertiary sector of the economy.
Among the segments of the services sector, the car rental industry is a reference in Minas Gerais. Belo Horizonte is home to the largest car rental company in Latin America, Localiza, which has a 33.7% share of the Brazilian market.
The state is home to the largest national and international insurers – it is the second largest insurance guarantee market in Brazil.
The Belo Horizonte Metropolitan Region (RMBH) is also consolidated as a center for specialized business consulting services, with Falconi Consultores de Resultado and Instituto Aquila.
In 2018, the trade segment increased by 2.3% compared to 2017 and accounts for over 12% of Minas Gerais GDP. The main retailers and wholesalers of Minas Gerais are: Supermercados BH, Mart Minas Distribuição Ltda, DMA Distribuidora S/A, Martins Comércio e Serviços de Distribuição, Super Nosso, Vila Nova, Tonin Superatacado, Supermercado Bahamas and Drogaria Araújo.
The online sales sector shows signs of warming, with a 12.5% growth in sales. This expansion has revealed that traditional retail and e-commerce are actually complementary. Traditional stores that have entered e-commerce hold 51% of total sales, highlighting the strength of retailers’ brands, as it is a competitive factor over digital ones.