Minas Gerais Economy by Business Sectors


Important business initiatives contribute to an environment of innovation which characterizes Minas Gerais.

Minas Gerais has reached excellence in a wide range of production sectors and its people  is the main reason for this quality.

People from Minas Gerais appreciate introspection, deepening  knowledge, and understanding. They  have an unique ability for reflection – talent and ingenuity – that leads to exceptional results regarding modern productive sectors.

It is also fundamental to add to this trait the existence of practices,  principles and values that explains the “mineira” ability to get along well with each other and warm welcoming people– extremely important for the modern business environment.


New business scenario counts on new, digital and creative workplaces.



1. Electronic, Information and Communication Technology (ICT)

Minas Gerais stands out as one of the national leader in obs1microelectronics and ICT (Information and Communication Technology) and prepares to consolidate its presence with large projects.
Minas Gerais has one of the main software development centers, nanotechnology and electronic industries of communication, automation and semiconductor production – “Wafers”. The State also hosts the second largest industrial hub of suppliers for the electric energy sectors in production, transmission and distribution.
In Belo Horizonte Metropolitan Region, important companies stands out such as GE Healthcare, Philips e Unitec Semiconductors, America Latina’s first semiconductors plant.

In the Organic Electronic research area, especially solar energy, CSEM Brazil, a non-profit applied research center, and also its subsidiary, the company SUNEW, focused on organic solar panels production, both based in Belo Horizonte – stand out.

Eletronic and Technology Valleyobs2
Santa Rita do Sapucaí
The Electronic Valley located in Santa Rita do Sapucaí consists of 3 educational institutions and 153 companies ranging from computing to telecommunication areas and generates 14 thousand direct and indirect jobs. It´s no surprise it is compared to the Silicon Valley, a great technological hub in California, in the United States also built on the same age, in the 1950´s. More than 13 thousand products are manufactured in the city which left behind a huge part of its traditional production of coffee and milk to explore another world of wires, plates and softwares. Santa Rita has created important products such chip for electronic passport and also the national digital transmitter for TV.

San Pedro Valley in Belo Horizonte
The significant cluster located in Belo Horizonte in São Pedro neighborhood, in the capital of the city, the so-called San Pedro Valley is composed of approximately 50 technologies startups

MGTI 2022
It also must be noted the program MGTI 2022 aiming to expand world-class companies in Minas Gerais led by the main associations of the software sector – FUMSOFT, ASSESPRO, SUCESU e SINDINFOR, being supported by the Government of Minas Gerais.



2-Life Sciencesfoto3

Minas Gerais is considered one of the main Brazilian hubs of biotechnology, especially on human health, being the country’s largest exporter of heart valves, intraocular lenses and medical products holding insulin.

It was boosted by the creation of Biobras, in 1975, in Montes Claros. In 2000, the company was the world´s number one to receive an international patent for insulin production before being sold to a Danish company, Nordisk in 2002.

Since then, the industry has been growing in this area being supported by research and development centers established and associated with companies such Hermes Pardini, Labtest, GE Healthcare , Biomm (in implementation stage) and St. Jude Medical.

Triângulo Mineiro region (west of the State) is a worldwide reference center in stockbreeding genetics allowing synergy with large slaughterhouses installed in the region such as Minerva Foods and JBS Friboi.


3-Cosmetics and Pharmaceuticalsfoto4

There are 146 companies in the cosmetic sector in Minas Gerais and it has been investing in new product development, using cutting edge technology resulting in an increasing productivity.

Minas Gerais is the third Brazilian state in numbers of establishments which manufacture medicines for human use with 59 unities accounting for a total of 11.26% in 2011 and it also ranks the third position in Brazil in the pharmachemical industry, with 15 unities, accounting for a total of 8.77% (Sindusfarma, 2013; data from RAIS/MTE, 2011).

Besides several universities and other education institutions, science and technology, the State counts on FUNED´S great experience in research, medicine production, immunobiologicals, and technology transfer for biopharmaceuticals and also on the Research Center René Rachou (CPqRR/Fiocruz Minas).

Competitive advantages: product development, cutting-edge technology, and increasing productivity.


The aerospace Sector in Minas Gerais has a great influence in the national scenario, due to the high qualification of educational institutions and the presence of important sector’s firms as Embraer, that has an R&D center in the state, Helibras, IAS, aerospace supplier company, and Gol, that owns the most advanced maintenance center in Latin America, located close to BH International Airport.



5-Creative Economy

Inspired by this magnificent scenario, Minas Gerais has developed a great potential in sectors as musical production, gastronomy, architecture, life science and design.

Among the initiatives taken, it is important to highlight the work on identifying entrepreneurs that have interest to settle in P7 Criativo, building located in the center of Belo Horizonte that will become the major vertical pole of Creative Economy in Brazil.

Arts & Craftsfoto6
Minas Gerais is home to some of Brazil’s most sophisticated arts & crafts production. Craftspeople use their skills to create decorative pieces, jewelry, utensils, toys, furniture and much more. Everything is created from a variety of raw materials like soapstone, wood, straw, fabric, clay, metal and stone, among dozens of others.


Textiles And Apparel
The state’s fashion industry has been expanding its role on the national scene having a share of 11,72%.

In 2014, 8,701 companies and 115,723 people produced, sold and exported goods related to apparel, footwear and handbags accessories.

Every season, the creativity and bold design of Minas’ fashion designers are showcased in Minas Trend Preview, promoted by the Federation of Industries of the State of Minas Gerais (FIEMG). The fashion show has been consolidating its position on the Brazilian Fashion Calendar as one of the main events for setting trends.

Competitive Advantages: value chain control, domestic and international market expansion.

Footwear and Handbags
Minas Gerais is Brazil’s fifth largest producer and sixth largest exporter of footwear and handbags, home to approximately 3,650 companies – 98% of them are small and medium-sized companies – that together generate approximately 37,500 direct jobs.
Nova Serrana region, the state’s main production hub and Brazil’s third largest, is located in Mid-west Minas, 125 km away from Belo Horizonte.

It counts on 800 small companies that generate more than 40 thousand job positions – Nova Serrana region cluster is a reference in sports footwear production in Brazil.

6-Transport material industry  obs6

Minas Gerais stands out as the country´s second largest automotive pole being responsible for the assembly of about 20% of the vehicles produced nationally. The industrial unit of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), located in Betim is the company´s largest manufacturing plant in the world being able to produce over 800 thousands vehicles per year. It is also important to mention the diverse and robust supplying network of automobile parts installed in Minas Gerais and the Mercedes Benz automobile factory located in Juiz de Fora.

The State is also Brazil’s largest locomotive producer. The main production sites are located in Contagem, GE Transportation and in Sete Lagoas, MGE Equipment and Rail Services, a subsidiary of Caterpillar.



7-Mining and Metallurgy

The name “Minas Gerais” refers to ad1
“mining”, due to the large amount of minerals that the state has.
Minas Gerais is the most important mining state in the country, drawing more than 180 million tons / year of iron ore. The State is responsible for approximately 53% of Brazilian production of metallic minerals and 29% of minerals in general. Seven of the ten major mining districts of Brazil are in Minas and Itabira City, in the state, is the largest in the country.

Minas Gerais is Brazil’s major producer of Phosphate, Tantalite and Zinc. CBL, Brazilian Company of Lithium has its operations of exploration and production in the north of the State.
It is important to highlight that the state is the world’s most important Niobium producer (85% of the world production) thanks to Companhia Brasileira de Mineração e Metalurgia – CBMM, based in Araxá, MG.

Minas Gerais is one of the most important Brazilian states in steel production.
Some of the most important production of the largest steel groups operating in the country are located in the state, such as Arcelor Mittal, Gerdau, Usiminas, Vallourec and VSB (Vallourec & Sumitomo).

Minas Gerais Brazil’s second largest production hub in Brazil for cast products, in iron, steel, aluminum, bronze, lead and tin, producing 1.7 million tons in 2012, 16% of that being aimed at foreign market. It serves the automotive sector, basic sanitation, mining, capital goods and household utensil sectors.

Competitive Advantages: value chain control, market share.


8-Ornamental Rock

Minas Gerais is one of the main producers of granite, slate, quartzite, marble, soapstone and serpentinite reaching the domestic and international market in approximately 160 commercial varieties. Brazil is the world’s fifth largest exporter of processed rock in terms of volume and has some of the world’s largest ornamental rock reserves.

Competitive Advantage: diversity, market share.


9-Construction Industry

Construction Industry is one of Brazil´s major productive chains in industrial sector in Brazil and also in the State of Minas Gerais. In the national arena, the sector held 6.4% of Brazilian GDP in 2015 and 55.5% regarding Gross Fixed Capital Formation (Investment Rate) on the same year, that is to say, more than 50% of the investments made in this term went into the construction industry. In 2015, it employed 272.000 people – 5.63% of the total formal job positions. Major companies in Minas Gerais: MRV Engenharia, Andrade Gutierrez Engenharia, Direcional Engenharia, Grupo ARG, Emccamp Residencial, Construtora Barbosa Mello, Empresa Construtora Brasil, Odebrecht Ambiental, AG Construções e Serviços, Construtora Artepa, Construtora Cowan, among others.



Minas Gerais state is the largest cement producer in Brazil, accounting shutterstock_288224675
for 20% of national production. The result is due to large investments in the sector, especially in technology and equipment, the application of competitive costs and raw material of excellent quality.

Important companies such as Votoratim Cimentos, Lafarge, Intercement Brasil e Holcim have significant presence and production sites in Minas Gerais.

Competitive Advantages: value chain control, market share, competitive costs, raw material quality.



Important sector in Minas Gerais, agribusiness stands out for a large livestock and agricultural production as well as for the processing in food industry and in every other link in its value chain.
Innovation is everywhere. Important universities collaborate to nurture a community of biologists, agronomists and food engineers that allows Minas Gerais to increase its productivity year by year.


Brazil’s leader in coffee production, Minas Gerais produced 28.5 million bags on 1.0 million hectares of cultivated area distributed across more than 600 cities and towns, 57.4% of Brazilian production (2016).

Coffee leads the state’s international agribusiness sales and it is the state’s third largest export product, after refined iron ore and its products.
Minas Gerais coffee farmers exported US$ 3.6 billion, 59,6% of the state’s total agribusiness exports (2015).

This great coffee production attracts large related projects such as the installation of Dolce Gusto Nestlé coffee capsules factory in the municipality of Montes Claros. The plant, inaugurated in December 2015, is the first unit of the company located outside Europe.


Minas Gerais is Brazilian’s largest milk producing State. In 2014, 9.4 billion liters were produced, equivalent to 26.6% of what was milked nationwide.
It has the second largest herd of cattle with more than 24 million animals.

The large supply of raw material attracted processing units from the most important dairy companies operating in Brazil. Among them is Nestlé, which operates its largest dry milk factory Minas Gerais; Danone, which has its most important yogurt factory and it’s nutrition care industry, both in Poços de Caldas; Itambé, Brazil’s largest dairy cooperative; Jussara and Porto Alegre dairy products.

According to Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) data, agricultural grain production occupies 3.2 million hectares of land statewide.

In 2015, the state’s total crop weighed in at 11.8 million tons, corresponding to 6.4% of the nation’s production, or 6th place on the national ranking.

Corn and soybeans are the main products and represent 90% of the volume produced in the state.

Minas Gerais’ agribusiness exports represent 20.6% of the state’s total exports. For its part, the state’s agribusiness GDP equaled to 33% of the Brazilian agribusiness GDP in 2015.

The state’s main soybean processing hub is located in Unaí, in the northwest region.

The three main multinational companies (Cargill, ADM, Louis Dreyfus Commodities) active in the processing and commercialization of soybeans and other types of grain have important facilities in Minas Gerais.

Jaíba’s Fruit Project
The Jaíba Project, South America’s largest irrigated area, transformed the North region of Minas Gerais.

The project’s useful irrigated area is 66,000 hectares. Conceived in the 1960s, Jaíba has approximately 25,000 hectares in production. Currently, Jaíba produces approximately 1.3 million tons of fruit, vegetables seeds and grain, in addition to 900,000 tons of sugarcane used to manufacture ethanol, sugar and bioenergy.

The highlights of the project are its banana-prata, of which Jaíba is Brazil’s largest producer, Persian limes and Palmer mangoes. Jaíba is also Brazil’s main producer of vegetable seeds.

Sugar And Ethanol
Minas Gerais is Brazil’s third largest sugarcane producer. In 2015, 65 million tons of sugarcane was produced, destined to the sugar and ethanol plants, in 930 mil hectares of planted area.

The state is the third largest ethanol producer with 3 billion liters, and the nation’s second largest sugar producer with 3.2 million tons in 2014. There are 36 industries in operation in the state. Sugarcane sector is an important producer of electricity from sugar cane biomass, about 700 MW installed capacity.

Food And Beverages
Minas Gerais has also a consolidated pole of the food industry and is home of big companies such as BR Foods in Uberlândia, and Pif Paf Alimentos, with units in various State locations.

Big players of the chocolate industry like the Belgian-Swiss Barry Callebaut, the Brazilian Kopenhagen and Bauducco, the Italian group Ferrero, chose Minas Gerais to base its units, that are concentrated in the south of the state. This region is also home of Danone in Brazil, another important food company.

In the beverage sector, the American Beverage Company (Ambev) integrates the largest beer production platform and marketing of the world and has units in several cities of the state, including the largest plant of the company in the world, in the city of Uberlândia. In addition, Coca Cola Femsa is also established in Minas Gerais, in the municipalities of Itabirito and other cities like Belo Horizonte and Contagem.

The bovine herd in Minas Gerais consists of 23.7 million heads and is co-leader in the country, with 11.2% of the Brazilian total. Meat exports (bovine, pork, poultry and others) added up to US$ 800 million, placing this group of products in second place among the state’s agribusiness exports. Among the major slaughterhouses operating in the state are JBS Friboi, the world’s largest animal protein producer, BRF Foods and Minerva.

In 2012, Minas Gerais produced nearly 1.2 million tons of cellulose pulp, equivalent to 8.6% of the nation’s production; 94.5% of the state’s production was exported. The volume of the state’s cellulose exports represent 12% of all Brazil‘s exports.

Cenibra and Klabin are important companies of the sector in the state.

Brazil’s main reforestation state, Minas Gerais has 1.53 million hectares of planted forest, spread out over several cities and towns, 25.5% of the country’s planted area.
Total charcoal consumption in 2011 was 18.04 million ccm (charcoal cubic meters), with 82% of this originating from planted forests.

Charcoal is fundamental feedstock for all steelmaking industries. The state’s exports of wood and forest derived products totaled US$ 533 million in 2015, corresponding to 7.1% of Brazil’s total exports in this sector.




12-Services and Trade

Services and Trade industry plays an important role for Brazilian obs7economy once it was the sector which created several jobs and income over the past few years. In Minas Gerais it is definitely the same. In 2015 services and trade employed 3.42 million people, it means, 70.93% of the states’ workforce. In 2013, services sectors, in which is included trade, accounted for 63.7% of Minas Gerais GDP, thus generating an added value of US$ 83.06 billion.

foto9Featured Business Services Companies in Minas Gerais

Localiza Services, Algar Group, RV Systems and Technology, PRODEMGE Elba Equipments and Services, Master Brasil, Gontijo Transports, Tora Industrial Transports, Unimed-bh, Hermes Pardini Institute, Mater Dei Hospital and Vitallis Health.

C&A, Lojas Marisa, Lojas Renner, Riachuelo, Ricardo Eletro, Casas Bahia, Ponto Frio, Lojas Americanas, Carrefour, Extra Hipermercado, Wal-Mart, BH Shopping, DiomandMall (Shooping), Boulevard Shopping, Shopping Del Rey, Minas Shopping, Shopping Cidade, Shopping Estação BH among other shopping malls located in Belo Horizonte.