International insertion is a determining factor in the competitiveness of Rio Grande do Sul. Its trade openness, defined as the sum of exports and imports divided by GDP, is the highest in Brazil, reaching 27.1% of the GDP compared to 19.6% of the Brazilian average trade openness. In absolute terms, Rio Grande do Sul is Brazil’s third largest exporting state (FEE, 2015), accounting for 9.2% of all Brazilian exports, totaling US$ 17.5 billion.
The competitive advantages of Rio Grande do Sul attract many international investments. According to a 2014 issue of FDI Magazine, of 2014, published by the Financial Times group, Rio Grande do Sul is the third most promising state of Brazil. The United States is the largest investor, and many of its leading multinational companies (John Deere, General Motors, Dell and Dupont, for example) have branches in the state. European multinationals (such as German Stihl and SAP) are a significant part of the industrial fabric of Rio Grande do Sul, and Japanese (Takeda and Mitsubishi Electric), Chinese (Foton) and Korean (Hana Micron and Hyundai Elevators) companies have considerably increased their participation in the state’s economy.