Brazil is finally really taking off – and some of its’ best cities too.

A lot is being said and highlighted about Brazil lately. It seems that everyone else around the globe is taking notice that the “forever sleeping giant” has finally waken up. And this is true. Amazingly enough, despite several political mismanagements and rampant corruption, Corporate Brazil is proving to be much bigger than just a set of specific political interests groups.  Corporate Brazil now is being coined as the country of the future with a date: 2026, when it is forecast that it will be the 5th largest world economy behind China, United States, India and Japan. Check out the BBC News link @ http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/8345071.stm

But one needs to look beyond just the country and look at the regions and cities that are really making it into the 21st century, and providing the fuel to help the country accelerate its insertion into the “big league”. One of these cities is Curitiba, capital of the state of Paraná, one of the most progressive states in the federation, that lies just south of São Paulo.

The city has for a long time been a world model for modern urbanization. From pedestrianising main down town streets, to creating a mass transit system that was laid out based on the city’s growth pattern, where no one is farther than 400 meters from a bus stop, to being the first Brazilian city to take recycling serious and enact it into law. All this was done in the early 80’s and has made Curitiba one of the cities with the highest living standards, with a local per capita GDP higher than 60 % the Brazilian average.

Now Curitiba is out to make it happen again in another front, this time in the Information Technology frontier. For some time now, the city has been host to several multinationals captive centers, such as HSBC, Exxon Mobile, Bosch and most recently Volvo, where they host IT services that are provided around the globe to their several subsidiaries and outposts. The city’s life quality, with lack of pollution and traffic jams has become a preferred place for many professionals, including the “nerd crowd”.

Just as the move many years ago, when the city was one of the first ones to make the move to be truly “green”, now it moves into also becoming the high tech hub of Latin America. The latest call was the creation of the Curitiba Offshore Center, a cluster of the best of breed companies from the state of Paraná.

It has the purpose of taking the word out to the world that the city also means IT combined with high quality and in synch with world standards.  It wants to claim a stake in the future IT segment’s market growth and create a new wave of economic development for the city and the state.  In a recent interview, the Curitiba Offshore Center’s Founding Members Council President, Hamilton Barretto, CEO of Xtrategus, stated that the Curitiba Offshore was set out, together with government, to raise the bar and help the country make up for the overall national deficit in qualified IT professionals.

It seems whichever direction Curitiba Offshore takes, based on the legacy the city has, it is destined to succeed one more time in becoming the standard for the region as well for other parts of the world.

Check out the full interview with Hamilton Barretto below:

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