(July 2011 est. CIA)
Capital City: Brasilia
Largest City: São Paulo
Area: 8.55 million sq. km (3.3 million sq. miles)
Monetary Unit: 1 Brazilian Real
GDP Growth: 4.1% (2011 est.)
Unemployment: 7% (2010 est.)
Brazil is without doubt one of the most beautiful, fun-loving and friendly countries in the world. Its people are big-hearted and always waiting with a smile. It is one of the most geographically, ecologically and culturally diverse countries on the planet, offering sunny skies, spectacular sunsets, amazing culture, world class shopping and extreme adventure. Brazil is home to 22% of the world’s arable land and its property market is booming. Today, Brazil is renowned for its expanding economy, stable politics and ever increasing investment potential.
One of the most geographically diverse countries in the world, Brazil is approximately 8.5 million km in size, making it the largest country in South America and the fifth largest in the world. Brazil is so vast that it occupies nearly half the continent of South America and is bordered by every South American country except Ecuador and Chile. Brazil’s geographic regions are as diverse as its people. The magnificent unspoiled Brazilian coastline spans 7,491 km along the Atlantic Ocean. Brazil offers an abundance of tropical lush rainforests, majestic rivers and bountiful agricultural lands.
Bauxite, gold, iron ore, manganese, nickel, phosphates, platinum, tin, rare earth elements, uranium, petroleum, hydropower and timber (Source: CIA World Factbook).
With its ideal agricultural climate, Brazil boasts a healthy export trade in coffee, sugar, soya beans, textiles and electrical equipment. The country is rich in ethanol, ore, iron, gemstones, steel and oil. Recent discoveries of oil sources that could potentially hold more than 9 billion barrels of oil is helping to confirm Brazil as a major new oil exploration frontier. Green fuels, such as bio-diesel and ethanol made from sugar cane, is a growing industry where Brazil is expected to become a major leader in world markets.
Brazil’s elected Head of Government and Head of State is President Dilma Vana Rousseff, who was voted in to power in January 2011. The form of government is a federal democratic republic. The federation is divided into 26 States in 5 regions and the Federal District of Brasilia is where the federal government is located. Former Brazilian President, Lula da Silva, championed many significant federal programs to help Brazilians improve housing, education, employment and their overall standard of living. The newly elected President vows to continue enforcing the economic and social policies introduced by Lula.
Brazil is the largest economy in Latin America and the 6th largest in the world. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Brazil registered 7.5% GDP growth in 2010 and is predicted to grow by 4.1% in 2011 and 3.6% in 2012 (Source: Bloomberg). Financial analysts across the globe are highly bullish about Brazil’s economy and the country’s investment potential. Brazil is one of the Goldman Sach’s ‘BRIC’ (Brazil, Russia, India, China) economies touted to become the world’s most dominant economies by 2050.
Brazil’s banking sector is sound and showing strong growth. According to RNCOS Industry Research report “Opportunities in Brazil Banking Sector”, growth in Brazil’s banking sector is expected to be around 16% during 2011 to 2014. The industry was relatively unaffected by the recent financial crisis due to strict government mortgage regulations that kept the industry protected from ‘subprime’ options.
Brazil is a land filled with joyous people, beautiful landscapes, the Amazon Rain forest, untouched tropical beaches – some of the most beautiful in the world – historical cities with incredible night life and some of the world’s most breathtaking waterfalls. The growing tourist and eco-tourism industries cater to all tastes. North eastern Brazil has long been a much loved holiday destination for Brazilians; 50 million Brazilians holiday in Brazil each year, the majority of whom holiday in North East Brazil. In more recent years it has begun to attract foreigners from around the world. In 2008, 6 million international tourists visited Brazil. Tourism is expected to soar as the country will host the 2014 Football World Cup and the 2016 Olympics.