500px Flag of BrazilFoxconn's Brazilian expansion plans have been on-again off-again ever since the $12 billion proposal was announced earlier this year. Today, Reuters is reporting that Foxconn will start producing iPads in Brazil this December, but the company is still in negotiations with the Brazilian government about the size of Foxconn's investments in Brazil and the level of government involvement in the project.

"They're maintaining the deadline they had announced, which is December. The iPhone is ready for large-scale production and for the iPad they're working with that deadline," [Brazil's Science and Technology Minister Aloizio] Mercadante said after a meeting between [Foxconn Chairman Terry] Gou and [Brazilian President Dilma] Rousseff.

Both sides were still negotiating fresh Foxconn investments, including two new factories to assemble touch screens, Mercadante said.

"We haven't finished the process, it's moving ahead but there's no date," said Mercadante, who had trumpeted the announcement back in April as a sign of growing Asian investments and high-tech industries in Brazil.

The Brazilian iPad project has gone through the typical ups-and-downs associated with large investment projects. Foxconn is seeking tax breaks and other concessions from the Brazilian government in exchange for location new factories within the country. As recently as two weeks ago, it was reported that the deal was in trouble, but it seems those concerns have been alleviated with this report.

Top Rated Comments

frozencarbonite Avatar
143 months ago
Do we really need to go into that again?

1 - Even for China, the number of suicides is at the same level or below average domestic suicide rates;

2 - Brazil, which is not a sweatshop like China or India, has one of the most generous labor regimes in the world (too much in my opinion) in terms of social security and employee rights - it is very expensive to hire or fire any employee in Brazil. Not to mention that the country already offers higher executive/CEO-level salaries when compared to the averages in the US or Western Europe.

I understand both of those points. I look at it this way... no matter the number of suicides and no matter whether or not the workers had to work in sweatshop conditions, human beings died.

It's just very sad that those individuals felt so guilty, scared, horrible, etc. that they felt the only option was to take their own life.

I'm just saying that I hope conditions are better for the workers in Brazil. The secrecy that Apple insists on is ridiculous. I'm not saying that those suicides were Apple's fault. I just feel that Apple takes secrecy too seriously.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
50548 Avatar
143 months ago
I understand both of those points. I look at it this way... no matter the number of suicides and no matter whether or not the workers had to work in sweatshop conditions, human beings died.

It's just very sad that those individuals felt so guilty, scared, horrible, etc. that they felt the only option was to take their own life.

I'm just saying that I hope conditions are better for the workers in Brazil. The secrecy that Apple insists on is ridiculous. I'm not saying that those suicides were Apple's fault. I just feel that Apple takes secrecy too seriously.

The question you ask is legitimate, and I fully agree that conditions in most Asian sweatshops are, well, ridiculously harsh. My point was just to clarify, once more, that even though Brazil belongs to the "BRIC" group of countries, it has absolutely NOTHING to do with them apart from a fast growing economy.

Brazil is and will always be part of the WEST, and has labor requirements which are way higher than those of China. In fact, the US is much closer to China in terms of a virtual absence of job stability or severance rights for private sector employees.

I also don't think Apple's secrecy requirements have anything to do with disgruntled employees at its contractors' premises. If this were the case, we would be having suicides all over the world in industries such as banking, defense or other technology companies.

Fact is: Asian companies pay too little and demand too much from people who are NOT used to protesting, complaining about working conditions or fighting for their rights. This passivity is just not in the DNA of Brazilians, I can assure you.

BRLawyer, você é advogado? I don't believe that you could read into that comment as much as you did. Take it for what it is: an expression of sadness that people committed suicide. Just a note, though: I don't see many Brazilian lawyers killing themselves.

Also, just because Brazil has a terrible problem with inequality and a burdensome state apparatus does not make it a great place to live for many Brazilians. I live in Brazil, and CEO salaries don't matter to the many people living in slums or terrible, broken-down suburbs without carteira assinada. They certainly won't matter to the workers at the factory. So that point is completely irrelevant.

People think inequality is bad in the U.S. They should come here to see the millionaire corrupt a**holes next to people making virtually nothing, a housing boom that's out of control, and a two-tiered system of those who get the privilege to work inside the government and make inflated salaries while their counterparts in the private market make 1/10th of what they make.

The reason that this factory is being built is that the Brazilian government is protectionist and the domestic market is too huge and too into consumerism to miss out on. Just for those of you who don't know: the LOW-END mpb costs 3600 reais here because of import taxes. That's over $2000 and was about $2600 before the real became weaker about a month ago.

Well, your kind of criticism is exactly why Brazil is not yet in the group of highly-industrialized countries - the famous "mongrel dog" complex runs high among Brazilians who are only used to criticizing, criticizing and saying NOTHING positive about the country.

I am fully aware of my country's social issues and I know that not everyone down there is rich or living off the fat of the land. But you cannot ignore that, EVEN in terms of inequality (where we used to share the sad title of world champions with South Africa), Brazil has done a FABULOUS job in raising millions out of poverty and improving its Gini coefficient ALMOST to the same level of the US, which, ironically, still is the richest country in the world.

Your comment also seems to imply that Foxconn workers in Brazil will live as the slave-like employees of China, as if we had no labor regulation oversight whatsoever for such a high-profile project. NO. They will be formal workers receiving an average remuneration which will, FOR SURE, be more than triple that of average Chinese sweatshop people (currently USD 300 per month).

I am also aware of the bad two-tiered pension system in Brazil, since my parents, for a long time small business owners, receive very little money for what they've contributed over many years. But how is this different from public employees around the world, including the US and Europe? We all know reforms are necessary to ensure a sustainable pension deficit reduction; but we also should know that these changes take time to implement, and require absolute respect to acquired rights.

And I know how much imported devices cost in Brazil. But if you think that mere liberalization solves all problems in a huge country with diverse lobbies and interests concerning employment and industrial development, you should perhaps look at other examples around the world (including Switzerland) where protectionism is becoming the rule, not the exception.

Even the recent IPI tax raise enacted by the government for imported cars proved that companies DO HAVE an interest in tapping Brazil's huge domestic market, as at least three of them already announced plans to install local factories. Your so-called "protectionism" also allowed companies like Embraer to start and thrive just as high-tech memory chip companies started with government help in South Korea back in the 70s/80s.

So when you say that Foxconn wants a factory because of Brazil's domestic demand, how can you think this is a negative thing? We are, perhaps together with the US and China, the only country in the world that can live by itself and its own demand.

Imports are cheaper in other places? Sure, and why? Because most such places don't even have a competing industry to begin with. On the other hand, try buying Brazilian beef (the world's best) in Switzerland; you won't find any, because the government imposes a 100 to 1000% tariff plus technical barriers just to protect their local cows and farmers...is their beef any better? Of course not, but we have to live with it.

So don't presume Brazil is the only place in the world with problems...not to mention that homicide rates in big US cities like D.C., Detroit, New Orleans and Baltimore are higher than our "super-violent" São Paulo... :rolleyes: Be patient because things ARE much better than before in objective terms - the only ones not seeing that are Brazilians themselves.
Score: 0 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cara0910 Avatar
143 months ago
Do we really need to go into that again?

1 - Even for China, the number of suicides is at the same level or below average domestic suicide rates;

2 - Brazil, which is not a sweatshop like China or India, has one of the most generous labor regimes in the world (too much in my opinion) in terms of social security and employee rights - it is very expensive to hire or fire any employee in Brazil. Not to mention that the country already offers higher executive/CEO-level salaries when compared to the averages in the US or Western Europe.

BRLawyer, você é advogado? I don't believe that you could read into that comment as much as you did. Take it for what it is: an expression of sadness that people committed suicide. Just a note, though: I don't see many Brazilian lawyers killing themselves.

Also, just because Brazil has a terrible problem with inequality and a burdensome state apparatus does not make it a great place to live for many Brazilians. I live in Brazil, and CEO salaries don't matter to the many people living in slums or terrible, broken-down suburbs without carteira assinada. They certainly won't matter to the workers at the factory. So that point is completely irrelevant.

People think inequality is bad in the U.S. They should come here to see the millionaire corrupt a**holes next to people making virtually nothing, a housing boom that's out of control, and a two-tiered system of those who get the privilege to work inside the government and make inflated salaries while their counterparts in the private market make 1/10th of what they make.

The reason that this factory is being built is that the Brazilian government is protectionist and the domestic market is too huge and too into consumerism to miss out on. Just for those of you who don't know: the LOW-END mpb costs 3600 reais here because of import taxes. That's over $2000 and was about $2600 before the real became weaker about a month ago.
Score: 0 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JabbaII Avatar
143 months ago
Do we really need to go into that again?

1 - Even for China, the number of suicides is at the same level or below average domestic suicide rates;

2 - Brazil, which is not a sweatshop like China or India, has one of the most generous labor regimes in the world (too much in my opinion) in terms of social security and employee rights - it is very expensive to hire or fire any employee in Brazil. Not to mention that the country already offers higher executive/CEO-level salaries when compared to the averages in the US or Western Europe.

Yes, I am sure Foxconn picked Brazil for the above points. You do understand Foxconn can provide the same generosity in China too.
Score: 0 Votes (Like | Disagree)
50548 Avatar
143 months ago
I really hope there are not any suicides like they have had China. It's really sad.

Do we really need to go into that again?

1 - Even for China, the number of suicides is at the same level or below average domestic suicide rates;

2 - Brazil, which is not a sweatshop like China or India, has one of the most generous labor regimes in the world (too much in my opinion) in terms of social security and employee rights - it is very expensive to hire or fire any employee in Brazil. Not to mention that the country already offers higher executive/CEO-level salaries when compared to the averages in the US or Western Europe.
Score: 0 Votes (Like | Disagree)
50548 Avatar
143 months ago
For those able to read Portuguese, here is a link with more complete information:

http://tecnologia.terra.com.br/noticias/0,,OI5410589-EI12882,00-Brasil+tera+fabricas+de+telas+touchscreen+diz+Mercadante.html

So yes; the deal seems close to being confirmed now, with a more than welcome demand from the Brazilian government as well: that all such fiscal and logistical concessions be balanced by virtually unrestricted technology transfer from Foxconn, so that a true trickle-down "expertise" cluster effect can take place in the country.

If this comes to fruition, it is really a great move by Brazil, one that will finally enable a fast-growing, democratic Western country to serve as a major production hub for high-tech products (today monopolized by Asian sweatshops).
Score: 0 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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