This article discusses whether a globally competitive high-tech firm is sustainable without being associated with a sufficiently dense sectoral innovation system. It focuses on Embraer and hence on the Brazilian aeronautics industry. Despite not benefiting from a highly subsidized process for technological and financial modernization, Embraer has become the world’s third-ranking producer of commercial jets thanks to institutional innovations, especially in producing and managing contracts with suppliers and risk-sharing partners. The conclusion drawn is that the competitiveness of the Brazilian aircraft industry depends on the continuing supply of technology in international markets. Technological restrictions imposed for geopolitical reasons, or even for market constraints, could fatally undermine the strategy adopted by the company.
Facultad de Economía y Negocios, Universidad Alberto Hurtado