Brazil: What's behind its economic success?

Brazil: What's behind its economic success?
Text size Aa Aa

Brazil has become an economic powerhouse turning into one of the world’s hottest emerging markets. At a ceremony at Sao Paulo stock exchange, outgoing president Lula da Silva presided over the capitalisation of Brazil’s national oil company Petrobras. A massive 52 billion euros in shares were sold, a measure of investor confidence in the country.

Brazilian president Lula da Silva said:“It wasn’t in Frankfurt, it wasn’t in London, it wasn’t in New York: it was in Sao Paulo, in our stockmarket that we carried out the largest capitalisation process in the history of capitalism.’‘

Extracting the huge deep water oil reserves recently found in the Atlantic will be both difficult and expensive. But such a technical feat appears to be outweighed by the South American giant’s belief it will have greater global clout in the future.

The world’s eighth biggest economy, Brazil has become the number one exporter of products such as coffee, sugar, poultry, beef, orange juice, ethanol and tobacco.

Unscathed by the global financial crisis, Brazil remarkably finds itself on a better economic footing than before the international economic meltdown.
This year the government predicts growth will hit 6.5 percent with unemployment at 6.7 percent, while inflation is expected to hover around 5.5 percent.

The transformation of Brazil’s economic fortunes have been put down to a combination of a market friendly approach and president’s Lula’s policies aimed at improving living standards. That has considerably boosted Brazil’s consumer base.

Since 2003, almost 30 million Brazilians have joined the middle class with more than 20 million being lifted out of poverty. Despite that, Brazil and its near 200 million inhabitants have a long way to go before the nation can call itself developed. Real improvements in education, productivity and infrastructure – notably roads, ports and airports are still needed in a country which has such major ambitions for the future.