The Manaus Industrial Pole, in the city of Manaus capital of the northern state of Amazonas, beat their revenue record in 2004. The region managed to obtain receipts of US$ 13.86 billion. The greatest revenue had been in 1996, when the Pole had a turnover of US$ 13.26 billion.
In comparison to 2003, when the revenues were of US$ 10.53 billon, there was a 31.69% increase. Due to the increase in internal demand, the companies reduced external sales to meet the demand in the national market. Exports showed a decrease by 11.67%, closing at US$ 1.08 billion.
The performance indicators for the Pole show that the electronics sector leads the revenues with US$ 4.78 billion, followed by computer products, with US$ 3.12 billion, and by the motorcycle sector, with US$ 2.34 billion.
Exports from the Free Zone of Manaus should grow in 2005 pushed by the tariff preference agreements signed between the Mercosur and other countries and blocs worldwide.
The Mercosur has signed accords with India and also with the Southern African Customs Union (Sacu), which includes South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland. The treaties also benefited the products made in Free Zones.
According to the person responsible for the Manaus Free Zone Superintendence (Suframa), Flávia Skrobot Grosso, the fact that companies in the Manaus Industrial Hub may take advantage of these tariff preferences opens new possibilities for trade negotiations.
The Mercosur signed the accord with the African countries in mid December, at the 27th Meeting of the Council of the Common Market, which took place in Belo Horizonte, capital of the southeastern Brazilian state of Minas Gerais. The treaty with India should be signed at the beginning of this year.
In the agreement with the Africans, 950 products have been given tariff preference on each side. With the Indians, the number of products was 450, including capital goods, chemical, industrialized and finished products, and processed agricultural products.
The two new partners are strategic for the Mercosur. India, with a population of almost one billion inhabitants, has a middle class population of approximately 150 million people, a promising market for business with Brazil. The Sacu is a commercial bloc that works as a window of business opportunities between Brazil and the African continent.
The region of Manaus, in northern Brazil, considered one of the most important business centers in Latin America, concentrates 430 companies and generates around 440,000 direct and indirect jobs.
The hub has been growing year by year. In 2003, exports reached US$ 1.22 billion, with growth of US$ 200 million over the previous year.