The Brazilian aerospace conglomerate Embraer recently signed a deal with China's state-owned AVIC International Leasing to finance the sale of $1.5 billion worth of aircraft over the next five years. In an e-mail interview, Daniel Vertesy, Ph.D. fellow in the Innovation Studies and Development program at UNU-MERIT, discussed Brazil's aerospace sector.
WPR: What is the current state of Brazil's aerospace sector?
Daniel Vertesy: The aerospace industry is once again growing in Brazil. Over the past three decades, Brazil has secured a place among the top 10 global producers, owing to the regional-scale aircraft-maker, Embraer. The financial crisis hit the sector hard in 2008, and Embraer was forced to cut its workforce by some 30 percent. Its backlog and the counter-cyclical measures of the Brazilian Development Bank kept the company going, but other small and medium enterprises (SMEs) were hit more severely. The sector is now experiencing a smaller-scale transition. The production of Embraer's larger E-Jets (ERJ-170/190) peaked in 2008 and the company is increasingly relying on the executive and defense segments.