As the Southern Hemisphere’s most visited city, Rio may be, at first glance, be seen more for its beaches and Carnival celebrations than booming business and tech scene. However, with its rich history and diverse economy, it may come as no surprise that the city has the second largest GDP of any city in Brazil, second only to São Paulo.

Having been the capital of Brazil for over 300 years, the city of Rio de Janeiro boasts a robust economy that is highly diversified. In fact, many private, national, multinational, and state corporations are still headquartered in the city, despite some having factories located in other cities or states. Which has provided a variety of employment in both heavy and light industries, including manufacturing, commerce, finance, trade, and other service sectors.

The area is also home to many universities and institutes, making it the second largest center of research and development in Brazil, accounting for over 17% of national scientific output. Which may contribute to the city’s more recent transformation into a major hub of services and new businesses. Even leading large telecom companies, such as Intelig, Oi and Embratel to call Rio de Janeiro home.

Recently the city took a big step into the future and brought in IBM’s Smart Cities concept, a model that uses information and communication technology to improve economic efficiency, with the hopes of enabling further development. Proof that the city strives to position itself as a leader within the region for the development of technology, startups and infrastructure.