Engineering and technologies firm Semcon says it has signed a new contract with an unnamed "global automotive partner" to develop autonomous vehicles in Brazil.

The Brazilian assignment is described by Semcon as part of its global strategy to involve cutting edge expertise in high-tech development projects from different countries.

It says that by moving parts of the project the customer can also benefit from lower tax through the Brazilian support scheme for the automotive industry, Inovar Auto. "In this way we are helping to reduce the customer´s costs while providing additional expertise," says Markus Granlund, Semcon's President and CEO.

The new agreement will initially consist of ten specialists from Semcon in Brazil and four in Europe engaged in a joint development project in close cooperation with the customer. Most of the assignment went to Brazil because of Semcon's experience of coordinating projects in various places around the world and access to local skills in Brazil, it said.

Semcon has been in Brazil since 2006 and now has 180 employees there. The new project includes software development related to autonomic - or driverless - driving, run from the office in Sao Paolo.

"Semcon has had a global presence for many years and has advanced processes in place for dividing work between countries. As costs rise and expertise is becoming harder to find in Europe, we are seeing huge potential in spreading high-tech projects to more of our offices around the world," Granlund adds.

Semcon was founded in Sweden and is an international technology company in the engineering services and product information sectors. It has around 3,000 employees "with extensive experience from many different industries", it says. The group had annual sales of SEK2.7 billion in 2014 with activities at more than 40 sites in Sweden, Germany, the UK, Brazil, China, Hungary, India, Spain and Norway.

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