By Manuela D`Avila.
Embraer is more than one of the largest aviation companies in the World – it is the materialization of Santos Dumont‘s dream. It is a symbol of our peoples’ capacity, the realization of the power of flight, and the Brazilian intellect.
When Embraer was founded during the end of the 1960s, it overcame the disbelief that Brazil could make planes that could fly the entire World. This is a now a reality. Today, Embraer is a private, open capital company that is strategic to Brazil in terms of innovation, economics and national defense.
Known throughout the World for its technology and the construction of mid-size airplanes, the company has an impressive position in a highly competitive and concentrated market. In recent years, with support from the Brazilian government, is has acquired new markets and innovated in the field of aviation. One example of this is the KC 390 military cargo plane which has received innumerable orders and is gaining an international customer base. Income from this project, as of last September, reached R$19.76 billion.
Last month, at the moment when most of us were hooking up our Christmas lights, we were surprised by news of plans to sell Embraer to the North American giant Boeing, which is trying to gain a larger slice of the market.
Due to the strategic nature of Embraer, the Brazilian government – which is a shareholder in the company – has a special type of stock, called a golden share, which gives it veto power and the final word over negotiations that are considered strategic, so that it can avoid allowing international transactions like this to damage our national interests.
The commissioner of the market, Finance Minister and pre-candidate for the presidency, Henrique Meireles, shocked everyone with the news that he plans to sell these aforementioned golden shares. It is an initiative of national betrayal. The main impact of the possible sale of Embraer, is loss of intelligence and restrictions on the nation’s technological development.
Temer has a duty to veto this transaction. Denationalizing a sector that is so strategic to the Brazilian economy is profoundly serious and affects the nation`s defense interests. With the intuition of pleasing the market, he wants to conduct a veritable liquidation of strategic sectors of Brazil that have been built over the course of decades.
However, the debate over Embraer is opportune because it reminds us of what we want to be as a nation. Do we want to be a nation that produces knowledge and products of aggregated value or one that merely exports commodities?
Embraer represents the materialization of Santos Dumont`s dream and the and the capacity to fly in the Brazilian imagination. A dream of this size cannot be sold. A dream of this size, to the contrary, should be valued as a potential model of how far Brazil and the Brazilian people can go.
Santos Dumont’s pioneering 14bis aircraft, in which he conducted the World’s first powered, controlled flight.