In the 1990’s, Brazil implemented imports release policies aiming at a wider integration in the world economy. During that decade, the state started to reduce significantly its role in the economy throughout a decade of stagnation. In IT industry, the market reserve policy was abandoned in 1992 and replaced by another policy targeted on free competition. In the beginning, the government did not want to lose the capabilities acquired by local companies during the reserve policy but to reduce the problems with its trade balance by encouraging the multinational companies to manufacture the imported products in Brazil. These motivations led to incentives so that multinational companies could manufacture in Brazil and also yielded programs aiming at domestic companies’ development.
The Information Technology Law no 8248/91 was one of the main instruments implemented at that milestone, http://www.mct.gov.br/index.php/content/view/6093.html. The aim was to establish alternative mechanisms to preserve the domestic production and R&D in the Information Technology industry. Thus, hardware companies would be exempt of several types of charges and taxes since they committed themselves to keep certain domestic production levels and develop domestic contents and R&D.
That law came into force in 2000 as it was modified through Law 10.176/01 keeping the same spirit of the previous law but changed the incentives application percentages and defined those that must be applied in the North, Northeast and Mid-West regions.
Another instrument used by the Government was the Information Technology Strategic Development Project (DESI). In 1992, the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) and the United Nations Program for Development in Brazil (PNUD) created Project DESI that had SOFTEX 2000 – National Software Program for Export as one of its three programs to stimulate the creation of a Brazilian Software Industry for exports. In 1994, the Ministry of Science and Technology considered through the governmental regulation MCT nº 200, SOFTEX 200 as an Information Technology Priority Program having the application of Law nº 8.248/91 incentives as its main objective.
At the end of 1996, SOFTEX – Brazilian Association for Promoting the Software Export was created as a non-governmental organization whose objective is to carry out, promote, foster and support innovation and scientific and technologic development for technologies generation and transfer besides the human capital promotion provided through education, culture and adequate technical and marketing training in the Software Technology and its applications focusing on the external market and targeting on the Brazilian socio-economic development in the world economy.
On December 4th, 2006, MCT (The Ministry of Science and Technology) promulgated the governmental regulation nº 142/96 appointing The Brazilian Association for Promoting the Software Export – SOFTEX to be as from January 2, 1997 the manager of the Brazilian Program for Software Export – a priority program of the Ministry of Science and Technology related to Law no 8248 incentives of October 23, 1991 coordinated by CNPq – National Council for Scientific and Technological Development.
In 2002, the Program for Promoting the Brazilian Software Excellence was considered by the Ministry of Science and Technology through the governmental regulation 386, as an IT Priority Program in order to apply Law 10.176/01 incentives.
As from 2003, the governmental regulation MCT051/2003, Art 1 regulated the participation of beneficiary companies of the tax incentives due to Law 8248, Art 4 dated Oct. 23, 1991 through specific partnerships where we find programs considered as priority by CATI – Information Technology Area Committee. Resolution no 1 of CATI considered the Program for promoting the Brazilian Software Excellence coordinated by SOFTEX as a priority program of national interest within the information and automation area.