Business Environment in Brazil
Brazil is one of the top ten world economic powers. Its cautious taxation and monetary policies, together with the necessary microeconomic reforms, have given the Brazilian economy solid basis allowing it to withstand the global economic crisis. After going through a slight recession in 2009 (-0.2%), the Brazilian economy returned to robust growth in 2010, driven by the resumption of international trade and supported by the government’s stimulus measures. Estimated at 7.5% of the GDP, Brazil enjoys the strongest growth in Latin America.
The new president Dilma Rousseff, elected in October 2010, has made a commitment to pursue the policies of the former president Lula. The growth acceleration plan launched in 2007 includes, among others measures, a vast program of infrastructure construction, support for lending and investment funding, as well as long-term fiscal measures. The government also seeks to reduce the public debt, which amounts to up to 40% of the GDP.
Despite the good economic performance, the country continues to face large social problems. Brazil remais one of the most unequal countries in the world, with strong regional disparities, while crime and criminal violence are also on the rise. The unemployment rate is at around 7% and casual employment is widespread.
|GDP (billions USD)||1,600.84||2,090.31||2,421.64e||2,576.24||2,735.30e|
|GDP (Constant Prices, Annual % Change)||-0.6||7.5e||4.5||4.1||4.1|
|GDP per Capita (USD)||8,360||10,816||12,423||13,109||13,812e|
|General Government Balance (in % of GDP)||-2.4||-3.5e||-2.5||-2.6||-2.4|
|Inflation Rate (%)||4.9||5.0e||6.3||4.8||4.5|
|Unemployment Rate (% of the Labor Force)||8.1||6.7||6.7||6.7||6.7|
|Current Account (billions USD)||-24.33||-55.65e||-59.88e||-68.53||-|
|Current Account (in % of GDP)||-1.5e||-2.9||-2.9||-3.2e||-|
Source: IMF - World Economic Outlook Database
Note: (e) Estimated Data
Main Sectors of Industry
Brazil has abundant natural resources and its economy is relatively diversified.
A major agricultural power, Brazil is the world's first producer of coffee, sugar cane and oranges, as well as one of the largest producers of soy. It also attracts many world groups in the food industry and biofuels. Brazil has the world's largest commercial livestock herd. Nevertheless, agriculture's contribution to the GDP is relatively small, accounting for only 6.6%, yet the sector represents 40% of its exports. Forests cover half of the country, with the largest ombrophilous forest in the world situated in the Amazon Basin. Brazil is the world’s fourth largest exporter of timber.
Brazil is also a great industrial country. It benefits from its mineral ore wealth and is the second world exporter of iron and one of the main producers of aluminum. As an oil producer, the Brazil is aiming to become self-sufficient in the near future. The country is asserting itself more and more in the textile, aeronautics, pharmacy, automobile, steel and chemical industry sectors. Most of the large automobile manufacturers have set up their production plants in the country. The industrial sector contributes more than quarter of the GDP.
The tertiary sector represents almost two-thirds of the GDP.
|Breakdown of Economic Activity By Sector||Agriculture||Industry||Services|
|Employment By Sector (in % of Total Employment)||19.3||21.4||59.1|
|Value Added (in % of GDP)||6.1||25.4||68.5|
|Value Added (Annual % Change)||-5.2||-5.9||2.7|
Source: World Bank - Last Available Data.
|Brazilian Real (BRL) - Average Annual Exchange Rate For 1 USD||2.43||2.18||1.95||1.83||2.00|
Source: World Bank
Indicator of Economic Freedom
- Mostly unfree
- World Rank:
- Regional Rank:
Foreign Trade in Figures
Although foreign trade only represents a quarter of its GDP, Brazil is amongst the 20 top world exporters. However, the country still has enormous economic potential. The country's main trade partners are the EU, the countries of the Mercosur (Common South American market which encompasses Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay), the United States and China. Brazil’s trade deficit is a surplus and after a drop in trade due to the global economic recession, it has improved in 2010, a trend which should continue.
|Foreign Trade Indicators||2006||2007||2008||2009||2010|
|Imports of Goods (million USD)||95,838||126,645||182,377||133,673||191,468|
|Exports of Goods (million USD)||137,808||160,649||197,942||152,995||201,915|
|Imports of Services (million USD)||27,149||34,700||44,396||44,074||59,640|
|Exports of Services (million USD)||17,946||22,615||28,822||26,245||30,292|
|Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change)||18.4||19.9||18.0||-11.4||-|
|Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change)||5.0||6.2||-0.6||-10.3||-|
|Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP)||11.5||11.8||13.6||11.3||-|
|Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP)||14.4||13.4||13.8||11.3||-|
|Trade Balance (million USD)||46,458||40,032||24,836||25,290||-|
|Trade Balance (Including Service) (million USD)||36,804||26,813||8,146||-||-|
|Foreign Trade (in % of GDP)||25.8||25.2||27.4||22.6||-|
Source: WTO - World Trade Organization ; World Bank
Main Partner Countries
(% of Exports)
|Other partnersClose extended list||56.8%|
(% of Imports)
|Other partnersClose extended list||51.4%|
Sources of General Economic Information
Ministry of Agriculture and Reserves (MA)
Ministry of Foreign Relations (MRE)
Institute for Mine development (INDI)
Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade
Ministry of the Economy (Fazenda)
- Statistical Office
Brazilian statistics institute
- Central Bank
- Stock Exchange
Rio de Janeiro Stock Exchange
São Paulo Stock Exchange
- Search Engines
- Economic Portals
- Executive Power
- The president is both Head of State and Head of the Government; he holds executive power. He (and the vice-president) is elected by universal suffrage for a four year term. He appoints the Council of Ministers.
- Legislative Power
- The legislative power is bicameral. The parliament, called National Congress, is made up of two houses: the Senate (upper house), which has 81 members (3 members for each of the 26 provinces and for the federal district, elected according to the majority principle, for an 8 year term) ; and the Chamber of Deputies (lower house), which has 513 seats (and whose members are elected by proportional representation for a four year term). Each of the 26 States, and the federal district of Brazilia, has a separate legislature and administration. Brazilians enjoy considerable political rights.
- Main Political Parties
- Fifteen political parties are represented in the National Congress. As it frequently happens that a politician changes parties, the proportion of seats of a given party in Congress changes regularly. The main political parties are as follows:
- The PT (Workers' Party, center-left)
- The PFL (Liberal Front Party, right-wing)
- The PMDB(Brazilian Democratic Movement Party, center)
- The PSDB (Brazilian Social Democratic Party, center-left)
- The PCdoB ( Brazilian Communist Party, left-wing)
- Current Political Leaders
- President: Dilma ROUSSEFF (since 1 January 2011) – PT
Vice President: Michel Temer (since 1 January 2011) - PT
- Next Election Dates
- Presidential: October 2014
Legislative: October 2014
Senate : October 2014 (for 1/3 of the members)
Indicator of Freedom of the Press
- World Rank:
- 11 places up compared to 2008
Indicator of Political Freedom
- Political Freedom:
- Civil Liberties:
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