Brazil 4 Business


A state of great wealth and potential, holder of matchless natural resources, which includes geographical features of the Amazon, Bush Land, Caatinga, Cocais, Wetlands and Dunes; Maranhâo occupies an area of 331.935,507km², the second largest state in the Northeast Region and the eighth largest state in Brazil.


With privileged geographic position which favours the flow of state’s and the central-north axis of Brazil’s industrial and agricultural production, Maranhão has 217 municipalities housed in five regions and a population of 6.6 million inhabitants, with more than one million of them in the capital, São Luiz (IBGE 2012). Climate stability allows various types of agriculture to adapt quickly to the Maranhão soil, which enables a wide range of crops with broad potential and the establishment of agricultural industries.
Maranhão has many skills in the areas of agribusiness, industry, trade and services. It is housed in the North Central Corridor of Brazil, which facilitates access to most of the Brazilian states and major transport corridors, such as BR Belém-Brasília and the Railroad Carajás. There are good prospects for the GDP of Maranhão in the coming years, including growth rates above the national and the Northeast average.
To assist and support to foreign investors, the International Business Centre (CIN) makes available to businessmen information, consulting services, organization of fairs, events and international missions. The CIN-FIEMA is part of a network led by the Confederation of Industry (CNI) and connected with dozens of international institutions in promoting business and investments.

Check in the left menu, several advantages of investing in Maranhão and please contact our team in the state.

The agricultural sector of Maranhão now accounts for 17% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), slightly higher rate than the industry (15%). Currently, soybeans and sugarcane are the most important crops in the state's economy. With a territorial extension of 332.000 km² and owns 56% of the total hydrographical network in the Northeast, Maranhão is a state that offers ideal conditions for agribusiness, with competitive advantages of soil, climate and the logistics of production flow.
Maranhão has the 2nd largest cattle herd in the Northeast and was declared by the Ministry of Agriculture as a FMD-free zone in 2013. According to the State Bureau of Agricultural Defense of Maranhão (AGED-MA), the effective creation in 2010 of cattle herd sum 6.9 million heads of cattle. The 3rd largest cattle producers in the state are occupied by swine production, with the creation of 1.3 million pigs. The buffalo production has already reached 77.800 animals.
Electrical Energy
Maranhão tends to turn into a great national electricity producer. The sector currently receives billionaire investments in generation complexes involving hydroelectric and thermoelectric plants that are being implemented. These are projects that will enable the state to meet market demands facing the new demands of enterprises. The installed capacity of power generation currently in Maranhão is 1.316 MW according to data by ANEEL (National Electric Energy Agency). With the new investment projects (a thermal completed in March 2010, as well as thermal and hydroelectric on-going and projected), the capacity of power generation of the state will jump to 7.571 MW.
Oil and Gas
The oil and gas industry is taking great strides in Maranhao and reflects the great economic momentum of the state. Companies like Petrobras, OGX, Petra Energy, GASMAR, Engept and Panergy invest in various projects like refinery, gas pipeline, oil and natural gas exploration. The Petrobras project is one that concentrates the biggest share of investments. With resources of approximately R$ 40 billion, the state has already started to build its largest refinery in the country , the Premium I - the fifth largest in the world -, in the municipality of Bacabeira, about 60 km from São Luis.  Premium I refinery will have the capacity to process 600.000 barrels / day. The unit will produce mainly for diesel for export, naphtha, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and jet fuel. The works are in excavation phase and will generate 132.000 direct & indirect jobs and will have an income effect.
Maranhão has large companies in the mining and metallurgical sector, highlighting the activities of steel mill, lamination, gold mining, pig iron production, and the production of alumina and aluminium. One of the largest manufacturing complexes of alumina and primary aluminium in the world is located in São Luís - Aluminium Consortium of Maranhao - Alumar, formed by the companies Alcoa, Rio Tinto, Alcan and BHP Billiton. Maranhão has a pig iron pole that has 19 blast furnaces and an installed capacity of 2.2 billion tons per year and accounts for 11% of Brazilian production.
Large beverage industry plants are located in Maranhão, such as Equatorial Brewery (AmBev), Refrigerantes do Noroeste S/A (Renosa) and Schincariol Brewery. The state also counts on genuinely Maranhão brands such as soft drink Guarana Jesus (Renosa) and mineral water Lençóis Maranhenses.

Program for encouraging industrial and technological activities in Maranhão - PROMARANHÃO

Created in 2010, the program aims to promote the development of industrial, agro-industrial and technological activities in the state. Among the benefits it includes:

  • ICMS incentives for industry and agribusiness
  • Waiver of 75% of the ICMS balance due
  • Pioneering implantation for 20 years
  • Non-pioneer implantation for 15 years
  • Expansion for 12 years and 6 months
  • Relocation and reactivation for Industrial Districts for 10 years
  • Reactivation, provided they have not previously been covered for a period of 10 years
  • Implementation, expansion, relocation and reactivation in municipality with lower HDI to the average index of the state for 20 years

For more information about the tax incentives offered by Promaranhão, contact  SEDINC by phone (98) 3235-8621 or by e-mail:

Federal incentives in Maranhão

Situated in the Central North of Brazil, the state of Maranhão is part of the Legal Amazon and is inserted in the Northeast region. Therefore it is part of in areas covered both by the Northeast Superintendent of Developement (SUDENE) as well the Superintendent of the Amazon Development (Sudam).

For more information visit the websites e

Suzano Papel e Celulose inaugurated on March 20 the Imperatriz Unit, factory with a production capacity 1.5 million tons of pulp per year and to generate 100 MW of surplus energy. Announced in 2008, the new plant went into operation on 30 December last year and the entire production is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®).
With an industrial investment of $ 2.4 billion and another R$ 575 million in the formation of the forest base, the factory will serve primarily the European and North American markets. Reference in state of the art technology, the Unit Imperatriz has two dryers and two lime kilns, which allows greater operational flexibility, greater stability in production and increased competitiveness. To put the unit in operation, our company has recognized services and equipment providers such as Metso, Siemens, Pöyry, among others.
To transport the pulp, its own railway spur of 28 kilometers will be used, the North-South railroad and  Carajás railroad, the latter two administered by Vale. In February, the first shipment of pulp produced at the Imperatriz Unit was executed, bound for the United States. 11.900 tons at three different ports were shipped from the Port of Itaqui in São Luís (MA). The factory in Imperatriz occupies a total area of 1.5 million m², 96 thousand square meters of constructed area.