Brazil has over the past decades emerged as one of the most important economies in the World. It has therefore become the focus of many Western companies, which are today at a rapid rate establishing themselves in the country.
Brazil is, indeed, the country of opportunities, and there are several reasons for this:
Brazil is huge, the 10th largest economy in the World, with a GDP in 2007 of some USD 1.3 trillion. It has a population of 187 million people, of which more than 40 million has a European purchasing power. Brazil also belongs to the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China), classified as the four most important emerging economies in the World.
Brazil is growing, currently at a rate of 5.4% per year (real GDP growth in 2007). The country has good economic fundamentals, and is expected to continue to grow at a high rate, even if Europe and the United States enters into a recession (real GDP is projected to grow by 3.0% in 2009). Brazil is an industrialized country, and cannot be expected to grow by double-digit rates seen in many less developed countries, such as India and China, which are currently going through the industrialization phase of their development, and which are much less developed.
Brazil is opening up to the rest of the World, with both imports and exports growing at double digit rates. The country has come a long way since the protectionist years of the 1980s, when it, together with the rest of Latin America, was an extremely closed economy, with only limited foreign trade. Today, Brazil has an openness indicator (defined as international trade divided by GDP) of close to 30, which is similar to that of the United States. And the country is continuing to open up.
Brazil is stable, both politically and economically. In the 1980s, the Latin American countries (Brazil no exception) became famous for hyperinflation and corrupt and populist governments. Brazil has since long left this period, and is today one of the most mature democracies in the developing world. The country has seen consecutive governments running responsible fiscal policies for over 15 years. President Lula, who is heading a left-of-centre Labor Party government, has clearly distanced himself from the left-wing rhetoric of some other Latin American leaders. Due to its sound economic policies, Brazil was recently upgraded to investment-grade rating by the main rating agencies .
For decades, Brazil has been a major trading partner of Sweden, and a major production location for Swedish companies. It all began when Ericsson supplied the first telephone to the country in 1891. More than 200 Swedish companies are currently established in Brazil, and these employ over 50,000 people in the country, and their operations turn over an impressive USD 14 billion per year.
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