Santa Catarina: Land of oportunities
Santa Catarina is a blessed land, full of virtues and with a great potential. A land where the beauty of its landscapes is the perfect scenery for the progress of a polite and hardworking people, the result of a fascinating mixture of peoples from all around the world who met in this small paradise in southern Brazil. Transforming Santa Catarina into a still better place to live is somewhat of a challenge for any governor.
The success of Santa Catarina as a state that offers good job opportunities and excellent quality of life may be explained in large part due to its decentralized development, with a strong influence of the cultural heritage of European immigrants and an emphasis on work ethics. Appreciation of regional vocations resulted in balanced growth, in that each region plays a relevant economic and cultural role. Instead of large urban centers wrought with the problems caused by overpopulation, Santa Catarina relies on the strength of average-size towns – none has more than 500 thousand inhabitants.
Such characteristic contributed to the emergence of companies with an important presence both in the domesti and international market. Santa Catarina products are exported to 190 countries. The Northern region of the state is known as a metal-mechanic center and for furniture manufacture, whereas in the Itajai Valley, the textile industry and crystal production are the highlights. In the south, the highlights are ceramics and the coal industry. In the West, agro industry is the strong suit of the region, whereas the Plains explore cattle raising and the lumber industry. The technology complex of Santa Catarina includes 1.5 thousand companies with a total turnover of more than R$ 1 billion per year and employs 13,000 workers. The agribusiness, trade and service sectors are major job and income generators in every region of Santa Catarina.
Santa Catarina has a privileged location in the Mercosur, halfway between the two largest industrial centers in the continent, São Paulo and Buenos Aires, and less than a two-hour flight away from the capital cities of the neighboring countries. All regions are served by paved highways in good condition. The three ports (Itajaí, São Francisco do Sul and Imbituba) are among the best equipped in the country for the flow of exports. In the last three decades, the economy of the state grew more than three-fold. The results of education, health, life expectation, income distribution, among others are all above the national average.
Tourism flow in the state is over 8 million people a year, more than the whole of its population. In summer, the 560 km of seashore offer a variety of more than 500 beaches. In winter, snow and rural tourism in the Mountain Plains attract tourists from all over. Becoming more well-known worldwide is a challenge that Santa Catarina has faced with success. The most difficult thing is to bring the visitor here the first time. Returning to Santa Catarina is almost inevitable; such is the passion that this place tends to incite.
We have reinforced the concept of decentralization, a major reason for the development of Santa Catarina, with the creation of 36 Secratariats for Regional Development. We do our share by constantly seeking to govern in an agile and transparent manner. A government that gives voice to each city. A government that values autonomy and the peculiarities of different regions and that brings improvement to every corner of the state. Therefore, this is a government worthy of this land and its people.