Campinas is a city located in the state of São Paulo, Brazil, it was founded July 14, 1774, and is the second largest city in the state. Population: approximately 968,000 (2000 census).

The dynamic and modern center of a rich metropolitan region of 19 counties with a total of 2.33 million inhabitants, Campinas has an area of 801 km², with 98.34% of its population living in urban areas. Per capita income is one of the highest in Latin America (US$ 10,000). The region is responsible for 9% of Brazil's Gross Industrial Product, with just over 3% of the country's population. Of the 500 largest companies listed by Fortune magazine, 50 are already established in the Campinas region (which includes several other cities, such as Limeira, Araras, Jundiai, Americana, Paulinia.

Campinas' main economic activities are agriculture (mainly coffee, sugarcane, and cotton), industry (textiles, machinery, agricultural equipment, chemical and petrochemical, pharmaceutics, paper and cellulose, telecommunications, computers and electronics, etc.), commerce and services.

The home of many national and multinational high tech industries (IBM, Motorola, Lucent, Nortel, Compaq, Celestica, Samsung, Alcatel, Bosch, 3M, Texas Instruments, General Motors, Honda etc.), research centers and universities (such as UNICAMP and PUCCAMP), it has been dubbed the Brazilian Silicon Valley. Wired Magazine has elected Campinas as one of the two highest-growth high-tech areas in Latin America (the other being the city of São Paulo itself). Since 1995, the city received over US$ 7 billion in investments in telecommunications, information technology and electronics. It also has a sizable pharmaceutical industry sector, with companies like Medley Farma, Sigma Pharma, Merck, etc. Because of this, Campinas has been dubbed the Brazilian Silicon Valley.

Near Campinas, in Paulinia county, it is located the largest oil refinery of Latin Amarica, operated by Petrobras and surrounded by many petrochemical industries, such as Dupont, Rhone-Poulenc and others.

Served by a powerful and extensive highway system and a modern international airport (Viracopos), Campinas is a large transportation and telecommunications hub.

The current government belongs to the Partido dos Trabalhadores party.

It is also considered a delightful city to live and to work, having all the comforts and facilities of any modern city in developed countries.

Official home page: [In Portuguese]

See also Wired magazine story, July 2000.

Article contributed by Renato M.E. Sabbatini, PhD