A combination of infrastructure and advantageous business conditions not only for large industries, but also for those of small and medium size with a focus on exports. Thus, a new phase is being designed for the Ceará SPA, which, now, with the implementation of sector 2, expands the range of opportunities for industrial plants of all sizes, seeking competitive advantages to operate in the international market.
All exporting industrial activities are welcome, but a market study reveals great potential for business related to transformation of non-metallic minerals, food, electrical machinery and equipment, computer and electronic equipment, as well as metallurgy.
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Considering the list of exports from Ceará, the fish and crustacean processing industry, fruits, cashew nuts, vegetable waxes and ornamental rocks (like marbles and granites) can also, and should, have in the Ceará ZPE a strong ally in the expansion of its international business, in view of the benefits offered.
Still in the food sector, the market study points to the meat, coffee, wheat, sugar and milk processing industries, as potential new businesses.
According to Alessandra Grangeiro, manager of Industrial Business and EPZ at Complexo do Pecém, the current expansion of EPZ Ceará was designed with the aim of expanding and diversifying investment opportunities in the area.
“Altogether, sector 2 will cover 137 hectares (about 1,37 km²) of area. We are starting with the first 23 hectares, divided into industrial lots totally focused on attracting small and medium sized industries. The expectation is that the infrastructure will be delivered in the first half of 2021 ”, he says.
In this sense, he says, 30% of the land preparation works have already been completed, with 5% of the projected building completed.
According to her, in addition to the advantages of the customs regime, in tax, exchange and administrative terms, offered for the investments that decide to join the Ceará SPA, the investor will receive his lot ready to install his factory unit, since he will have all the infrastructure of the industrial area ready, with main and secondary access roads, electricity, sanitation and water supply, internet connection by optical fiber and security by means of closed circuit TV.
"In short, the investor will have the land ready to receive his industry, immediately enjoying the facilities and advantages that the ZPE Ceará has as an instrument to make Brazilian companies more competitive in the international market", guarantees the executive.
Alessandra draws attention to the fact that the businesses that, perhaps, will be installed in the expansion of the enterprise may have, since its conception, tax exemptions both in the purchase of assets (furniture, machinery and equipment) and in the acquisition of raw materials and inputs, both in the domestic and foreign marketsin order to get your industry up and running.
In contrast, equal tax benefits apply when exporting finished and semi-finished products processed there.
Gains and benefits for the investor
“With the customs regime granted by ZPE Ceará, we estimate a reduction of up to 40% in production costs”, projects the manager of Industrial Business and ZPE of Complexo do Pecém.
In his assessment, a gain that only reinforces the conditions “extremely advantageous for exporting industries that want to place themselves in competitive conditions in the foreign market”.
Advantages complemented by the provision of access and industrial utilities and by the proximity and integration with the Port of Pecém (only six kilometers), in addition to the fiscal, federal, state, municipal and regional incentives - since the ZPE Ceará is located in the Sudene area .
“We are talking about a huge leap in quality for the industrial plants that are installed in the Ceará SPA, because we have this synergy between it and the port. Not only the proximity, but the possibility of using the port terminal, with different conditions for the importation of assets and raw materials, as well as for the exportation of processed products ”, says Raul Viana, manager of port operations at Complexo do Pecém.
According to him, the investor, regardless of his manufacturing unit, should keep in mind that he will be in a privileged area, equipped with all the operating and logistics infrastructure designed for his business. "The benefits and gains are significant", he highlights.
The executives of Complexo do Pecém also remember that the Ceará SPA is a great differential of the State for the attraction of new businesses. After all, it is currently the only Export Processing Zone authorized to operate in Brazilian territory. Located in a privileged geographical position vis-à-vis regions such as the United States, Europe and North Africa.
Ten years of the Ceará SPA
In practice, an EPZ is an incentive industrial district, in which industries located in it operate with tax, exchange and administrative benefits. However, in contrast, Brazilian law establishes that at least 80% of its revenue must come from its exports.
The Ceará copy was created by State Law No. 14.794, of September 22, 2010, starting operations on August 30, 2013, authorized by the Federal Revenue of Brazil.
That year, the structures used for the construction of the Companhia Siderúrgica do Pecém (CSP), which was budgeted at US $ 5,4 billion, the largest private sector investment in the history of Ceará.
To give you an idea, during the peak of the work, more than 15 thousand jobs were created by the company, benefiting several families, mainly from the municipalities of São Gonçalo do Amarante and Caucaia.
During the construction of the steel mill, all the material used arrived in Ceará through the Port of Pecém, and it is there, too, that most of the production of the companies that are in the SPA is disposed, which emphasizes the importance of integration between the areas that make up the Pecém Complex.
In addition to the CSP, which has a total area of 989 hectares and occupies almost the entire sector 1 of the Ceará SPA, Praxair White Martins do Pecém (an investment of US $ 111,3 million) operates on site, the largest industrial gas manufacturing plant from Latin America, and Phoenix do Pecém (US $ 86 million invested), which provides various steel services, including the handling and processing of slag and the recovery and sizing of scrap metal.
The three companies work in synergy, as Praxair and Phoenix are part of the steelmaking production chain, the industry's anchor in the sector in which it is installed.
Between the main goods that pass through the Ceará SPA there are iron ore, mineral coal, steel plates, industrial gases and fluxes.
In total, CSP generates 4 thousand direct jobs and 12 thousand indirect jobs, Praxair White Martins directly employs 480 people and Phoenix 200 direct jobs.
In 2020, when the ZPE Ceará celebrates its 2th anniversary, the works for its first expansion began, more precisely in June. Called Sector XNUMX, the new area will be located approximately four kilometers from the customs clearance area of the SPA, with a total area of 137 hectares, focused on attracting small and medium-sized projects.
Expected for the first half of 2021, the first module of the expansion of the Ceará SPA will cover 23 hectares, with an investment of approximately R $ 25 million. The area will be divided into lots of varying sizes and will have the same operational process as Sector 1.
In 2019, four years after the movement of productive material through the export processing zone of Ceará began, about 12,5 million tons passed through its gates, a jump of approximately 123%, considering the 5,6 million tons counted in 2016.
In September 2020, even in the face of the global economic crisis triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Ceará SPA ended the month with a 13,2% increase in its cargo handling (949.274 tons), compared to the same period last year.
At the same time, the subsidiary of Complexo do Pecém also registered an increase in cargo handling in the third quarter of this year. This is because, despite the challenges generated by the crisis, 3,03 million tons passed through the company between July and September, 5,1% higher than the 2,88 million tons of the same period in 2019.
In the accumulated result for the year (January to September), the Ceará SPA has already handled 8,41 million tons (67% of the total volume handled in 2019), including more than three million tons in iron ore and more than two million tons of steel plates, which are produced by CSP.
From January to September, more than 1,8 million tons were exported by the Ceará SPA. Of this volume, 706,1 tons were destined for the United States, 401,3 tons for China and another 188,4 tons left Ceará for Canada.
Ornamental rocks in the sights of the SPA
The main strategy adopted by ZPE Ceará to promote the enterprise and attract new business has been the participation in national and international events and fairs.
Before the Covid-19 pandemic, in February this year, the company was present, for example, at the 48th International Marble and Granite Fair - Vitória Stone Fair 2020, which takes place in the municipality of Serra, in Espírito Santo (ES). The event is the largest in Latin America and was attended by more than 50 countries. Therefore, potential investors in Ceará's SPA.
Eighteen ornamental stone processing companies have already demonstrated their intention to settle in sector 2 of the Ceará SPA. Until they arrive, Porto do Pecém has been carrying out operations with ornamental rocks such as granite, porphyry, basalt, sandstone, quartz (except natural sands), quartzites, masonry or construction stones (except slate), marbles, travertines, granites Belgian and other limestone.
Last year alone, 21.897 tons of ornamental rocks were moved through the port of Ceará.
“And while the face-to-face events do not return, ZPE Ceará has been promoting itself and trying to attract more investments through virtual initiatives. In this way, we are making use of tools such as webinars and virtual meetings with other strategic sectors in this work of commercial prospecting ”, explains Alessandra Grangeiro, manager of Industrial Business and EPZ at Complexo do Pecém.
Oil refinery between bets
Once again, the privileged geographical location and the strategic advantages of settling in Ceará spoke louder. In September of this year, the Ceará government signed a memorandum of understanding for the installation of an oil refinery in the area of the SPA, in charge of the Brazilian company Noxis Energy. The total investment amount for the implementation of the project is R $ 4,24 billion, generating 150 direct jobs and about three thousand indirect ones.
Headquartered in Rio de Janeiro, Noxis Energy operates in the area of oil refining with plants being installed in strategic locations along the Brazilian coast. In Ceará, the oil refinery will have as its main product marine fuel oil (bunker), with a refining capacity of 50.000 BBL / day, and when fully implemented, the expected production is 1,5 million tons / year of fuel, until 2025.
The project is configured as strategic for Ceará and, as with CSP, it may trigger the attraction of related businesses to the surroundings, establishing a synergy for the development of the refining sector in the State.
New rules may attract more investments
Currently, companies located in the EPZs are obliged to allocate at least 80% of all their gross sales revenue to the foreign market, leaving up to 20% to be destined for the national market.
However, the Brazilian Association of Export Processing Zones (Abrazpe), has been working to improve and make legislation more flexible, in order to increase the number of ZPEs in Brazil and attract more business to these spaces.
According to the entity, the idea is to increase the percentage of revenue that can be sold in the national market from 20% to 40%, thus reducing the proportion turned to the foreign market, leaving it at least at 60%.
However, another change capable of increasing investments in SPAs is being sought in the drafting of Bill 5.957 / 2013, which deals with changes in the rules for the operation of Brazilian export processing zones. This is the introduction of services in the SPA, thus opening a front to take advantage of information and communication technology companies.
According to Victor Samuel, secretary of Economic Development of São Gonçalo do Amarante, a municipality with the largest area of the Ceará SPA, "these changes are fundamental if we want to develop and consolidate the EPZs in Brazil". “When we overcome these barriers, we will, in fact, be able to stimulate Brazilian exports and enjoy achievements similar to those of other countries that have also adopted the SPA system”, he concludes.Content translation is performed automatically by Gtranslate / Content translation is performed automatically by Gtranslate