Sao Paulo’s hard-tech and UAE’s software ventures make good combination: Minister

ABU DHABI, Hard tech ventures in Sao Paulo and software enterprises in the UAE make a good combination for mutual partnership in science and technology sector, a senior Sao Paulo official told Emirates News Agency, WAM.

"In Sao Paulo, the private sector is mostly investing in hard tech [involving hardcore science/engineering and hardware] ventures. [However] most of the startups here [in UAE] are investing in software...including the fintech startups. This can complement what we do in Sao Paulo," said Patricia Ellen da Silva, Secretary of Economic Development for the State of Sao Paulo, in an exclusive interview in Abu Dhabi.

"So it is a good combination. We can help bring some of those companies here and vice versa. In my discussions with Hub 71, Abu Dhabi Investment Office, and Abu Dhabi Global Market, we discussed that there is a high potential for good partnership between us [in this regard]," explained the minister of the largest state in Brazil.

Hub 71 is a know-how hub launched by the Abu Dhabi Government to provide monetary incentives to tech startups.

The growing links between Sao Paulo and the Emirate of Dubai are also further strengthening the state's relations with the UAE and wider region, said da Silva who is on a 6-day official visit to the UAE with a large business delegation led by Joao Doria, Governor of Sao Paulo.

Dubai is hosting one of the seven existing centres in the world for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The eight such affiliate centre, in collaboration with the World Economic Forum, will be opened in Sao Paulo in near future, the minister said.

Sao Paulo's Trade Promotion Office opened in Dubai on Monday will help entrepreneurs in the state to establish business relations in wider Asia and Africa, beyond the Middle East region, she pointed out.

The state's second overseas office in Dubai, after Shanghai in China, will provide information to potential investors about Sao Paulo's announced concessions [as part of the government's privatisation programme], which are expected to generate US$10 billion investments, the minister said.

Of the 21 concessions, most of them will go live in March and April. About 70 percent of the concessions are in infrastructure sector, especially in transport, including railways, metros, subways, ports, ferry etc., da Silva said.

She expressed hope that investors from the UAE and wider region would participate in the concessions.

Free Trade Agreements, FTAs, and Special Economic Zones, SEZs, are crucial pillars for fastest growing economies, especially for the growth of science and technology sector, she suggested.

"They can establish SEZs and forge FTAs with good partners across the globe and together they can invest heavily in science and technology, education and vocational training," the minister said, noting that Brazil and Gulf Cooperation Council, GCC, countries can also consider these aspects.

da Silva was recognised as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2016 in recognition of her achievements on digital innovation, education and economic development in government.

She was a Chief Executive Officer of Optum Brazil until 2018 and previously a Partner at McKinsey and Company for nearly 18 years. "I enjoy the role of a minister as it is more satisfying. It is a giving back to the community," da Silva added.

Source: Emirates News Agency