In recent decades, Brazil’s economy has been rebalancing, with a growth in the proportion of industry as opposed to the other sectors. Nowadays, it accounts for about a third of the country’s GDP and has the leading industrial sector among Latin American countries.
Most of the nation’s manufacturing is to be found in the south or south-east. However the north eastern part is starting to attract significant investment nowadays, especially in the coastal or near-coastal areas. Throughout the country as a whole Brazil has a wide range of different industries. These include oil and petrochemicals of all kinds, motor vehicles, steel and iron, aircraft and a whole spread of diverse consumer durables.
During the last twenty years the Brazilian Economy has become much more stable than before, allowing for a much better level of control on inflation, balance of payments and interest rates. This overall improvement is a result of (among other things) the so-called ‘Plano Real’ economic strategy which was introduced in 1994. The increased stability has led to a considerable boost in investment by Brazilian and overseas companies. Much of the new hardware and equipment has come from US providers.
A major goal of recent governments has been to aim for self-sufficiency in oil and derived products. In previous times more than two thirds of the Country’s needs had to be imported but nowadays virtual independence of supply has been achieved. Much of this is based on land but the burgeoning ‘pre-salt’ maritime sources are of increasing importance.
As regards other energy sources, hydroelectric plants provide 90% of Brazil’s electricity. Most of this comes from two major complexes based round the Tucuri Dam in Para and the Itaipu Dam on the Parana River which has the distinction of being the world’s largest dam of any kind.
Atomic power plants are either in existence or being planned and when the whole system is in place will provide about five per cent of the nation’s electricity.
Bearing in mind the vast scope of Brazil as the world’s sixth biggest GDP economy and the sixth largest in land area, it’s no surprise that natural resources are so abundant. As well as agricultural land there is of course the vast Amazon Forest and River itself plus of course the agricultural areas further south.
Primary minerals are quite plentiful and are only partly exploited so far. These include large reserves of iron plus gold, copper, nickel and tin. All of these are vital for domestic use and of course a source of earnings from overseas.
Overseas investment is of course actively encouraged and cultivated by the Brazilian Government.
- Brazil’s Economy shows Promise (tgsouthamerica.wordpress.com)