Microsoft is set to invest around $100 million USD in Rio de Janeiro over the next four years while the opening of its first advanced technology center in Brazil, Agência Estado reports.
The new center will be based in Rio’s port zone, an area known as “Porto Maravilha” due to the vast revitalization process it is undergoing. It will receive support from the Brazilian federal government and from the city hall, although the investment will reportedly come entirely from Microsoft.
As the news agency notes, this represents a much larger investment than the $5 million USD Microsoft fueled into its Sao Paulo R&D hub earlier this year. As a matter of fact, Rio’s center is only the fourth of its kind, following the opening of similar bases in Germany, Israel and Egypt.
According to the news agency, this decision is the result of one year of negotiations with the Brazilian authorities, and is set to be officially announced tomorrow during a ceremony in Brasilia in presence of the Education Minister, Aloizio Mercadante, and the Innovation, Science and Technology Minister, Marco Antônio Raupp. An official event co-hosted by Rio’s mayor Eduardo Paes will also take place at Microsoft’s future site in Rio on Thursday.
As you may remember, Microsoft had already announced in September 2011 that it would start manufacturing Xbox 360 in Brazil to cater to local demand. While it was already a newsworthy move, it is even more interesting to see Microsoft take things one step further; its plans confirm that it is now seeing Brazil as more than a market where to sell its products.
Microsoft aside, the list of tech companies that have recently announced large investments in Brazil includes names such as Lenovo, Foxconn and Cisco – not to mention IBM and GE, which already have research centers in the country.
According to the Brazilian authorities, Microsoft’s decision will now boost this trend, and result in the opening of at least three advanced tech centers by multinational companies in Brazil by 2014, starting with a research hub from Intel.
Image credit: VANDERLEI ALMEIDA / AFP/ Getty Images
This post is part of our contributor series. The views expressed are the author's own and not necessarily shared by TNW.