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November 18, 2008

Ceara - Investment Opportunities


Ceará - Investment Opportunities

The CRAJUBAR region of Cariri (Crato, Juazeiro and Barbalha) has significant economic development potential. In the Cariri region, tourism and manufacturing industries, such as footwear, have been major drivers of private investment.

Ceara Flag

Tourism in the region encompasses a variety of activities ranging from religious to scientific, cultural, ecological and commercial. Most tourists come for religious reasons, to celebrate the legacy of Father Cicero, an influential Catholic priest who resided in Juazeiro do Norte during the late 19th century and early 20th century.

Major events in honor of Father Cicero take place throughout the year in Juazeiro and the city hosts nearly 1,800,000 pilgrims each year, mainly from the Northeastern region. Most of the jobs in Juazeiro are tourism-related (restaurants, commerce, handcrafts, lodging) and a large portion of them informal. Other municipalities in the Cariri region also have significant potential for tourism, as the region holds an extensive fossil basin which, under UNESCO’s auspices, is lending to the creation of the first geopark in the Americas. Given its peculiar nature, rich culture, emerging commerce and geographic location, Cariri region has become one of the preferred sites for tourism business events.

Finally, the shoe industry in Cariri ranks as third largest in Brazil, is responsible for nearly 8,000 jobs and approximately 40% of shoe firms located in Ceará. Small and medium firms prevail, however, with a corresponding lack of skilled labor, innovation capacity, technical knowledge and market information. With heightened global competitive pressure in this sector, it is critical that the sector be upgraded in terms of design, technology, skills, marketing and other innovations.

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