The recently installed president of the Federation of Industries of the State of Paraná (Fiep), businessman Edson Vasconcelos, has bold goals for his four-year administration. The new board is assigned to travel around the state to raise awareness among public authorities about the industrial parkswith a special focus on master plansin a formula that includes highlighting regional vocations and strategies for implementation of new complexes.
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Fiep also began a process of strengthening relations with regionalized movementssuch as the Oeste em Desenvolvimento Program (POD), which brings together different links in the productive sector, economy and public administration and serves as inspiration for other aggregating models throughout Brazil.
In an exclusive interview with People’s Gazette, Vasconcelos recalled that the megastructure of the National Industrial Learning Service (Senai), linked to the Fiep System and present throughout the state, only makes sense in the preparation, qualification and placement of professionals in the market if there is understanding and public policies to promote new industrial bases. “This care and training of employees only makes sense in the understanding of the industrialist who needs trained labor. We need to look at the State more pro-industrial policy, not just at what is there, but by showing that Paraná is competitive in installing new production units, showing investors that we have the conditions, structure and that we are attractive”, he highlighted.
Vasconcelos remembers that an industry, when defining its headquarters in a municipality, does not only sell to that location, in addition to generating development, wealth, employment and income. “There are two characteristics: companies that are dedicated, that need to be in a certain region because their raw materials are there, and companies attracted by the infrastructure conditions, security, access to markets, less bureaucracy with operating and environmental licenses”.
The president of Fiep wants to strengthen ties with municipal and state governments in an attempt to put industrial policy in the spotlight. “So that the subject can be included in its public policies, to attract new structures, to show how competitive we are and how much we have to grow”, he reinforced.
With this focus, Fiep began a process of approaching municipalities. “We would like to provide the mayor with a different perspective on the industry. They are necessary and promote development”, he continued, reinforcing that the closure of a company is unlikely to be covered by another in the location and in the same sector.
Municipalities and industries need to evolve together
The president of Fiep also considered that the industry needs differentiated tax and regulatory assessments and that bureaucracy hinders progress. “A businessman cannot wait a year for licensing. He goes somewhere else. The master plan for a municipality not connected to industrial potential is extremely detrimental to development.”
As an example, Vasconcelos mentioned the municipality of Assis Chateaubriand, in western Paraná, where the largest pig slaughterhouse in Latin America was opened. The structure is from the Frimesa cooperative, the largest player of the segment in Paraná and the fourth in Brazil. In addition to the 1,700 employees, the company needs 1 thousand more workers by the end of this year.
Frimesa’s objective is to close the year with 5 thousand slaughters per day. When it is fully operational, a target set for the end of this decade, it will need 8,500 workers to slaughter stipulated to reach 15,000 animals/day. It turns out that the municipality has just under 37 thousand inhabitants and, according to Vasconcelos, there are already more open job vacancies in the city than there are residences that can accommodate these workers.
“That’s why we want to start talking again about the industry in the municipalities. I’m not from agriculture, but I defend the sector because it is the strength of the economy (of Paraná). Commerce and services are not exported, and industries drive the local economy. The industrial complex is fundamental for economic consolidation, we need more of them throughout Paraná and conditions for those that exist to advance and remain there”, he assessed.
Fiep wants to assess impacts of tax reform on industry in Paraná
Another front with action in the field at Fiep corresponds to the working group that evaluates, segment by segment, the impacts of tax reform on the state’s industry.
The result should be released in December, but some preliminary assessments are possible. “If revenue is not expected to fall, someone will pay more, others may pay less. That’s why we want to observe, sector by sector, how this will reflect on the economy of Paraná’s industry”, said the president of Fiep to People’s Gazette.
Vasconcelos believes that it is necessary to provide conditions to see the evidence of transformation process, to level the knowledge, the perception of the dedicated industries, such as “harvesting the corn and having the chicken packaged”, and that in this there is an immense chain of inputs, often unnoticed between the different links of the industrial segment. “We had a small movement in the region of Arapongas (north of the state) with the furniture and metalworking industries. This approach can make a segment of the industry perceive a market niche to be served next. These are windows of opportunities that exist, but they need to be approached”, he reinforced.
For the president of Fiep, it is essential that new components are observed between two bridges in the chain: the primary industry of durable and non-durable consumer goods and industries that work without contact with different segments. “Paraná has the fourth industrial GDP in Brazil and with enormous growth potential given our projections for the future in infrastructure, logistics, opportunities.”
He compares it with the state of Santa Catarina, which industrialized the coast and has logistics in collapse. “We cannot let ours collapse, we need to project growth and we are proposing that. We have water, energy, renewable sources, almost everything that is needed. We want, in a good way, to sell the state and whoever wants to set up an industrial park , come here”, he called.
Asked about the Industry Planwhich has been structured by the federal government to provide financial and economic incentives to the segment, Vasconcelos considered that “any attention is important”, but that the program is directed towards neo-industrialization.
“It is valid and necessary, but we cannot forget the real world that depends on available energy, on what exists. We will not fail to draw your attention to the existing industrial park. We need new sustainable generations, but we also need to look at what exists and needs support and structuring”, he added.
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