IMPACT OF CURRENCY IN THE BRAZILAN LIFE SCIENCE MARKET
Atualizado: 29 de Jan de 2019
Life was never easy for Brazilians researchers. Lack of suppliers, difficulties to import products, high import taxes, long time for get grants approved and restricted sources of fundings are part of the research business in Brazil.
In addition to that, as Federal government is facing a deep crise Brazilian Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovation and Communication (MCTIC) cutback budgets in a level never seen before, what in opinion of some specialist can destroy the country science as teams break ups will be difficult to revert.
FIgure 1: Brazilian budget cuts¹.
Recently another uncontrollable cause is threatening the researchers, the currency exchange rates. US dollars exchange rate raised approximately 25% in 4 months. As all revenue from all Brazilian research support agency is generated in Brazilian Reais (R$) and as majority of equipment’s and reagents are imported it is becoming more difficult to close the account.
Figure 2: Fapesp revenue evolution²
Fapesp, the most important public foundation to support research has a very stable revenue in R$ in the last 3 years, but when exchange rate is applied the buying power is dramatically reduced. Based on public data it’s possible to estimate 2018 FAPESP revenue of around R$ 1,3 billion, what isn’t too far from the latest years’ revenue, but when look to the revenue in US$ a reduction of 25-30% could be expected.
On September 13th 2018, a new record was achieved. USD exchange rate reached the greater value since 1.994. This variable isn’t remotely controlled by nobody as factors affecting it are related to Brazilian elections, crises on emerging economies, USA exchange rate, China x USA conflicts. What would be the limit? Some specialists say R$ 5,00. Who knows?
Uncertainty is a certain for Brazilians at least until the conclusion of the election process by November 2018, and it’s not clear that certainties will come definitively before next government consolidation.
So, what remain for Brazilian researchers, be resilient and creative as always.