Travel Guides: History Of Brazil
On April 22, 1500, the Portuguese navigator Pedro Alvarez Cabral discovered a new territory that was to be baptized with the name “The True Cross”.
It was gaining a new name in time, Brazil, reproducing the impact of cartography and geography which an exotic product can have: Pau-Brasil, the cinder-colored wood, was to baptize a country, leaving into oblivion its first Christian name.
The 5th world power as surface, and 8th economic power in the world, Brazil is not a country of the future, but it is a country of the present, a great window of opportunities open to those wishing to work with one of the protagonists of globalization, not only for those who love the Latin culture and civilization of an area, but for those with business sense.
With its 8.512 million km², Brazil is the largest country in Latin America, covering 47.3% of the surface of this continent, and the fifth largest country in the world in terms of area, surpassed only by Russian Federation, Canada, China and USA. The maximum size from north to south is 4395 km and from east to west 4319 km. The Atlantic coast of Brazil has a length of 7367 km. The country is crossed by the equator near Macapa and by the Tropic of Capricorn near São Paulo.
Ecuador and Chile are the only countries in South America that Brazil does not have common borders with, having 10 neighbors: French Guiana, Suriname, Guyana, Venezuela, Colombia, Bolivia, Peru, Uruguay, Paraguay and Argentina. Brazil has reached approximately 164 million inhabitants at the end of 1999, ranking fifth in the world, after China, India, USA and Indonesia.
Population density is 19.2 inhabitants per km2 and life expectancy increased from 41.5 years in 1950 to 67.7 years in 1999. Urban population is about 79.63. Rural population was still overwhelmed by the urban from the 60s. From the administrative point of view, Brazil is a federal state comprising 26 states and Federal District, where there is the capital, Brasilia.
The huge territory of Brazil is divided into five regions: north, northeast, southeast, south and center-west.
Northern Region (States of Amazonas, Pará, Acre, Rondônia, Roraima, Amapá and Tocantins) mainly covers the Amazon Basin. In the Northern region of Brazil are concentrated 20% of the world’s fresh water. The main cities are Manaus (capital of Amazonas State) and Belém (capital of Pará State).
North-east Region (Maranhão, Piauí, Ceará, Rio Grande do Norte, Paraíba, Pernambuco, Bahia, Alagoas and Sergipe), which amounts to about 30% of Brazil’s population has certain possibilities in the economic field, especially in terms of oilfields. The main cities are Recife and Salvador. This is the region where for the first time the Portuguese arrived in 1500 (in Bahia State).
South-east Region (States of Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Minas Gerais and Espírito Santo) is the most heavily industrialized area of Brazil. It has the majority of the population (43.8%). The area is rich in natural resources and also represents the country’s agricultural center and the most important region of the food industries.
South Region (Parana, Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul) is the second level of development in Brazil, with a right balance between agriculture and the manufacturing sector. In the western region, bordering with Argentina, Iguaçu Falls are found, one of nature’s most beautiful corners of the world. Less than 20 km away from it, on the Paraná River, which separates Brazil from Paraguay, is built the world’s largest hydroelectric, Itaipu. The largest town in Porto Alegre, the capital of Rio Grande do Sul, the southernmost Brazilian state.
Center-west Region (States of Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul and Goiás plus the Federal District), covered the vast savannahs and tropical grasses, is still pretty sparsely populated. Once one of the most isolated regions of the country, this area has seen a rapid expansion of agriculture and has created new industries. Capital, Brasilia, was founded in 1960, is in this region. Also, there were also the most extensive reserves of Indian tribes in Brazil, as well as wildlife Brzilian paradise, Pantanal Mato-Großen.
Brazil is one of the countries with the most developed economy in Latin America, social differences and contrasts with the large regional cities and impoverished north-east south-east very dynamic (1960-1970 – has been a rapid industrialization, coupled with huge debts, that led to the “Brazilian miracle”).
Brazil has great natural and human resources, it was among the first few global manufacturers of the products: wood, sugar cane, coffee, and mining (iron, bauxite, manganese, nickel, tin, diamonds, oil, gold, natural phosphates, zirconium, beryllium, titanium, magnesite, silver, salt).
Manufacturing has developed by mechanical engineering (automotive, agricultural machinery, machine tools), the steel industry, chemical, textile, garments, food. Industrial area is the triangle formed by the Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte and Sao Paulo.
Brazil benefits from a huge hydropower potential, hydropower plant on the Parana Itaipu (Praguay co-participants) have the largest installed power in the world (12,600 MW).
Agriculture is diversified: sugar cane and coffee, holding the top two places in the world, cocoa, maize, rice, cassava, soya beans, cotton, grape-vine, peanut, castor oil, pineapple, banana, tung (oilseeds) and tobacco.
Livestock is also very diverse: cattle, swine, sheep, goats, horses, donkeys. Exports: coffee, sugar, cotton, iron ore, cocoa, timber, manganese, tobacco, rubber, meat, leather, and more. Imports: vehicles, oil. Brazil is very rich in ore deposits. Brazil has iron ore reserves estimated at 48 billion tones (ranked 6th in the world), of which 18 are located in the mountains Carajas, situated in the eastern part of Amazonia, in Para State. Carajas mining began in 1985.
The deposits identified are sufficient for the next 100 years, estimates made under the current applications. Besides iron ore, Brazil has reserves of 208 million tones of manganese, 2 billion tones of bauxite, 52 million tons of nickel, which, according to recent estimates, one can add another 400 million tons. It was calculated that Brazilian iron reserves could supply the world for the next 20 years.
In the states Minas Gerais and Goias there is uranium. Brazil is one of the largest manufacturers of semi-precious stones in the world. Brazil has also sixth World manganese ore reserves (53.8 billion tones), Third World bauxite reserves (3.9 billion tons) and 8.9 million tones of nickel (5.2% of the world). Recently was discovered a major deposit of uranium ore very rich in useful substances (1.3%). Brazil has also large reserves of potassium, phosphate, tungsten, tin, lead, graphite, chrome, gold, zirconium, thorium (a radioactive metal), and 90% of world production of gemstones (diamonds, topaz, sapphire, amethysts, emeralds).
Brazil’s economic history was marked by several successive cycles of development, based on various products. During the First World War is encouraged industrialization. After the great crisis of 1929, Brazil started to make its way to a modern economy, under the influence of a Romanian economic, economist Mihai Manoilescu. Between 1945 and 1974 the Brazilian economy grew on average by 7.4% per year and between 1970 and 1980, despite the oil crisis, this growth will be even higher at 8% per year, GDP per capita increased 4 times, amounting to 2,200 USD in 1980. Currently, GDP per capita is 5,000 USD.
In 90 years of Brazil’s economic policy based on economic stabilization and opening the economy to international trade and investment. Tariffs were reduced and were eliminated quantitative import restrictions, and in 1995 Brazil became one of the founding members of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
June 1994 marks a turning point in the economic stabilization of Brazil – Real Plan launched. It had three main objectives: (1) controlling inflation, (2) reduction of social disparities, (3) obtaining a sustained growth in the long run, GDP, investment, employment levels and productivity. In 1998 inflation reached only 1.71%, from over 2000% in 1993, before launching the Real Plan. Gross domestic product grew between 1995 and 1997, with 17% and per capita income in the same period increased on average by 2.6% per year.
From the Real Plan foreign investments have increased about 15 fold, from $ 2.2 billion in 1994 to 29 billion USD in 1999. With a GDP of 805 billion dollars in 1997 and a similar amount in subsequent years, Brazilian economy, the eighth of the world economy is dynamic and diversified. In 1998 the industry was responsible for 34% of GDP, agriculture for 8.4% and services 57.6%. Exports increased from U.S. $ 35.8 billion in 1992 to 48,100,000,000 dollars in 1999, over 70% of exported products being manufactured.
The main EU trading partners call (29% of total trade), USA (23%), Mercos (Southern Common Market) (14%), Asia (12%), Latin America no Mercos (8%). On March 26, 1991 Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay signed the agreement establishing the Southern Common Market (Mercos). Asuncion Agreement enters into force on 1 January 1995. Mercos customs union will become a perfect (zero duty among members and the common customs tariff to third parties) in 2004. Since the creation of Mercos member countries trade with Brazil has almost four times from 3.6 billion in 1990 to 13,500,000,000 dollars in 1999.
Brazil‘s economy is highly diversified; basically there are no areas that are not covered.
Automotive industry – the spectacular leap of Brazilian economy after the introduction of Real Plan in 1994, was reflected in the production of automobiles. In recent years they have produced over 2 million vehicles annually in export revenues in this area consistently exceeded 5 billion dollars. In 2000, Brazil is among the top five global producers of automobiles. Basically there is no multinational field that is not present in Brazil.
Aviation industry – although Brazil was one of the pioneers of world aviation, the real development of this industry began 30 years ago. Today Brazil produces aircraft fully designed and manufactured here and exported to all continents. Over 500 Brazilian aircraft manufacturers are currently operating in the U.S. alone, and the like number in Europe.
Aerospace – this industry has recorded a spectacular growth. Through the Brazilian Space Agency and National Institute for Space Research, was launched Brazilian Space Program, which provides construction and launch of satellites and spacecraft. Brazil also participates in building the International Space Station. Brazilian satellites already evolve different on orbit around the Earth.
Infrastructure projects – multi-Annual Plan (PPA), also called Advance Brazil (Forward Brazil) is a development program that provides for expenditure of 1.1 trillion real until 2003, including personnel costs for the construction of 358 programs that will revitalize and enhance network services infrastructure of the country, especially in the transport, telecommunications and electricity.
With these investments and to forecast a GDP growth of 4% in 2000 and up to 5% in 2002 and 2003, the Government hopes to create 8.5 million jobs over the next four years. Estimates IAER (Institute of Applied Economic Research), in 2000 the unemployment rate will fall to 5.66%.
In terms of infrastructure works, PPA provides investment of $ 212.02 billion in the next four years, as follows: the energy sector – $ 165.32 billion, transport – $ 38.85 billion, 6.31 billion telecommunications; river infrastructure $ 3.53 billion. For the next eight years are provided for public and private investments amounting to R $ 317 billion, especially in telecommunications, transport and electricity.
It should be noted that Brazil has a 1.6 million km of roads over 30,000 km of railways, 46 ports, well organized (24 oceanic) and 62 civil airports (including 22 international). There are currently ongoing a lot of projects on multimodal transport.11