1. Geography

flag_of_brazilGeneral map
Official name
Brazil, Federative Republic of Brazil
Area
Total: 8.515.767,049 sq km (5th largest territorial area in the world; almost two times the total area of the European Union)
Water: 0,65%
Population
According to the Census of 2010: 190,756 millions
2014 Estimate: 202,769 millions
Official language
Portuguese
Capital
Brasília
Administrative division
Brazil is divided in 27 federative units, 26 States and 1 Federal District: Acre, Alagoas, Amapá, Amazonas, Bahia, Ceará, Espírito Santo, Goiás, Maranhão, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Minas Gerais, Pará, Paraíba, Paraná, Pernambucano, Rio de Janeiro, Rio Grande do Norte, Rio Grande do Sul, Rondônia, Roraima, Santa Catarina, São Paulo, Sergipe, Tocantins. Brasília is located in the Federal District.
This 26 States are further divided in 5.570 Municipalities.
Location

Brazil is located in South America and, due to its enormous territorial area, borders every country in South America, except two: Chile and Ecuador.

Therefore, Brazil is bordered:
– to the North: by Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana;
– to the Northeast: by Colombia;
– to the West: by Bolivia and Peru;
– to the Southeast: by Argentina and Paraguay;
– to the South: by Uruguay.

 

It has 7.367 km of coastline (9.200 km, if we consider all the seaside recesses and prominences) and an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of 3.660.955 square kilometers (more than two times the Portuguese EEZ).

Climate
Due to its massive dimensions, Brazil has, according to the Koppen System, 6 different climate subtypes: equatorial, tropical, semi-arid, highland tropical, temperate and subtropical. However, the majority of Brazil’s territory has a tropical climate, averaging 20ºC (68ºF).
Time zone

There are 4 different time zones throughout the Brazilian territory:

*UTC-2 – for example in São Paulo and in Fernando de Noronha archipelago;
*UTC-3 – Brasília’s time zone and, for example, Goiás’ too;
*UTC-4 – Mato Grosso and Roraima, for instance;
*UTC-5 – in Acre and in 13 municipalities of the Amazonas state.

 

*DST: Only in some regions. Some states don’t have DST. For instance, in the Summer, the Federal District changes from UCT-3 to UCT-2, and in Mato Gross goes from UCT-4 to UCT-3.

Neighbours
Venezuela, Guyana. French Guiana, Suriname, Colombia, Bolivia, Peru, Argentina, Paraguay e Uruguay.
Mountains
All of the 10 highest peaks in Brazil range from 2.600 m (8.530 ft) to 3000 m (9.842 ft). The two highest peaks in the country can be found in Serra do Imeri, in the Amazonas state: Pico da Neblina (2.993 m/9819 ft) and Pico 31 de Março (2.972 m/9750 ft). The third and fourth highest peaks are in Sierra do Caparaó (Minas Gerais/Espírito Santo): Pico da Bandeira (2.891 m/9484 ft) and Pico do Calçado (2.894 m/9494 ft). The 5th highest mountain is Serra da Mantiqueira (Minas Gerais/São Paulo/Rio de Janeiro), where Alto da Mina (2.798 m/9179 ft) lies.
Main/ major rivers
Amazon (6.937 km/4.310 miles), second longest river in the world.Paraná (3.942 km/2.500 miles)
Madeira-Mamoré (3.315 km/2.059 miles)
Largest lakes
Lake Açu, in Maranhão, is the largest natural lake, with 55 square kilometers/21,236 square miles.
Mineral resources/wealth

The main mineral resources of Brazil are: iron, bauxite, copper, chrome, gold, tin, nickel, manganese, zinc and potassium.

Brazil has:
* 8% of the world’s iron reserves;
* the biggest occidental reserves of niobium.

Major cities
São Paulo (São Paulo)
Rio de Janeiro (Rio de Janeiro)
Belo Horizonte (Minas Gerais)
Porto Alegre (Rio Grande do Sul)
Brasília (Federal District)
Demography
Population – 202.768.562 (2014 Estimate)
Urban population – 84% (Census of 2010)
Rural population – 16% (Census of 2010)age piramid
Main religion
Roman Catholic (64,6% of the population, in 2010)
GDP
PPP:
Total: 3,258 trillion USD (2,500 trillion EUR)
Per capita: 15.153 USD (12,334 EUR)
Nominal:
Total: 1,903 trillion USD (1,827 trillion EUR)
Per capita: 11.067 USD (9.013 EUR)
Unemployment rate
4,7% (October 2014)
Currency
Real (BRL,R$)
EUR= 3,182 R$
USD= 2,590 R$
Emergency telephone numbers
Medical Emergency (SAMU – Serviço de Atendimento Móvel de Urgência): 192
Police (Military Police): 190
Fire Department: 193
Civil Defense: 199

2. The political situation

Constitution
Constitution of the Federative Republic of Brazil
The political system
Brazil is a Federal presidential constitutional republic, formed by the unbreakable union of three distinctive political entities: the States, the Municipalities and the Federal District. It has a democratic, representative and multi-party system. The Federative Republic of Brazil is divided in three spheres of power: Executive Power, Legislative Power and Judiciary Power.
President
Dilma Rousseff
Vice- President
Michel Temer
The Legislature
The Legislative Power is exercised through the National Congress, which is organized in two bodies: the Chamber of Deputies (elected as representatives of the people) and the Federal Senate (representing the Units of the Federation).The Chamber of Deputies is composed by 513 members, elected proportionally to each state’s and Federal District’s population, with a four-year mandate. The number of elected deputies can vary from election to election, due to its proportionality to each state and Federal district.The Federal Senate is composed by 81 members. Each Federal State elects 3 members and the Federal District 1. The Federal Senate’s members are elected for a eight-year mandate. However, they are renewed every four years (1/3 and 2/3, alternatively).The Legislative process consists in the drafting of amendments to the Constitution, complementary laws, ordinary laws. provisory measures, legislative decrees and resolutions. All these legal instruments go through the National Congress and their Chambers, according to procedures previously defined in internal regulations.
The Executive
The President exercises the Executive power, assisted by the Vice-President and the Ministers. Both the President and Vice-President are elected through secret and direct suffrage, for a period of four years in office.The President heads the Government; manages common goods and affairs; starts the legislative process; rejects, total or partially, draft laws; declares war; create, fills and terminate federal public offices; edits provisional measures which have the force of law; among other tasks and powers.
The judicial branch

The role of the Judiciary is to enforce the law in concrete cases, in order to ensure the sovereignty of Justice and the fulfillment of the individual rights in social relations. The organization of the Judiciary is substantiated in the competence of the several bodies that form the Judiciary, both at the state and federal level.The common Federal Justice is composed by the federal judges and courts. It’s responsible for the trial of all actions in which the Union, the Local Governments or the federal public companies are involved.The specialized Federal Justice is composed by the Labour, the Electoral and the Military courts.The State Justice is responsible for the trial of all actions not comprehended in the Federal Justice’s competence.Bodies of the Judiciary:*Supreme Federal Court: is the highest body of the Judiciary, its function is to safeguard the Federal Constitution.* Supreme Court of Justice: protects the infraconstitutional national law.

* Regional Courts: judges the actions that take place in the several country’s states, accordingly to the region where they take place.

 

* Courts of State and Federal Districts Justice and of Purview: judge, at the appellate level or in reason of its original competence, the common matters that do not fit in the specialized Federal Justices.

 

*Lower courts: where, most of the times, federal and state legal actions start (both common and specialized.

Foreign Policy
The Federative Republic of Brazil is part of the following international organizations:
*UN (United Nations)
*WCO (World Customs Organization)
*WTO (World Trade Organization)
*ILO (International Labour Organization)
*G15 (Group of 15)
*CPLP (Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries)
*WHO (World Health Organization)
*OAS (Organization of American States)
*IMF (International Monetary Fund)
*ICC (International Chamber of Commerce)
*UPU (Universal Postal Union)
*FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations)
*NSG (Nuclear Suppliers Group)

3. Infrastructure

Mapa Brasil jpg

Road transport
Brazil has the 4th largest road network of the world, with a total of 1,8 million kilometers of roads and highway. Road transport is the main form of goods and people transportation in the country, with 56% of the total goods circulating in Brazilian territory being transported by road vehicles. Around 10.000 kilometers of this road network are highways (5.000 km of which are in the state of São Paulo). Despite these numbers, 30% of this network is damaged, mainly due to lack of maintenance, and, of the total 1.8 million kilometers, only 100.000 are paved.

 

Total extension of the road network: 1.800.000 kilometers
Paved: 96.353 kilometers
Unpaved: 1.655.515 kilometers

 

Detailed Road Map of Brazil
Detailed Road Map of Brazil

 

Rail transport
Brazil has a total of 30.129 kilometers of railways (the 10th largest railroad network in the world), concentrated mainly in the Southern, Southeast and Northeast regions, divided in 4 different gauges:
* Broad gauge: 4.057 km
* Standard gauge: 202.4 km
* Meter gauge: 23.489 km
* Mixed gauge: 396 km
(There are also other types of gauges in some tourist parts)

Ferrovias

(map of Brazilian railroad)

The country is also connected to Argentina, Bolivia and Uruguay by its railroads.

Air transport

 

Aeroportos

Air transport in Brazil has been growing in the last years. The emergence of new airline companies and the modernization of the existing ones, allowed the country to greatly increase its supply in this sector.

Brazil has around 2500 airports, 34 of which are international airports. This puts Brazil in the second place in the ranking of countries with the highest number of airports, surpassed only by the USA. The biggest and busier airport in the country is the International Airport of São Paulo, which offers a connection to almost every big city in the world.

Portos Públicos

Collective transportation (in general):
In most of the country, the collective transportation is done by bus, train or metro. In the State capitals, the collective transportation services supply is wide and manages to provision the population’s needs. However, in the inner regions of the country, the supply is not sufficient and can’t cover the people’s needs. Generally, for shorter commutes, Brazilians use mostly the bus, taxi or metro.

Metro is a growing form of transportation in Brazil and a great part of its population prefers this form of transportation over more traditional ones, like bus or car. As the supply of metro services is not enough to supply the population’s demand, the other means of transportation still have a higher usage than the metro. The Federal Government already acknowledged the need to proceed with plans to increase the supply of this service.

4. Economy

Brazil is the 7th largest economy in the world. IMF predictions indicate, however, that Brazil is expected to drop one place in the ranking of the world’s largest economies in 2018, as India (current 10th place) is expected to surpass Brazil. According to 2008 data, the weight of the economic sectors in the Brazilian GDP is the following:* Primary Sector: 3,5%
* Secondary Sector: 29,7%
* Tertiary Sector: 66,8%Brazilian workforce, estimated in 100 million workers, is divided among the three sectors of economic activity in the following manner: 

* Primary Sector: 10%
* Secondary Sector: 19%
* Tertiary Sector: 71%

 

The country possesses a highly sophisticated technology sector and develops projects that range from submarines to aircrafts, with Embraer being the third world’s largest aircraft manufacturer. Furthermore, Brazil is pioneer in the introduction of ethanol – a biofuel produced using sugarcane – in its industry. The largest company in the Southern hemisphere is the Brazlian Petrobras, with a market value of 130 billion dollars.

 

The World Bank’s outlook on the Brazilian economy:

 

With a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of US$ 2.253 trillion in 2012, Brazil is the world’s seventh wealthiest economy. It is also the largest country in area and population in Latin America and the Caribbean. (…)

 

The Brazilian economy slowed significantly over 2011 and 2012. The GDP growth of 7.5%, decelerated to 2.7% in 2011 and came to 0.9% in 2012. Industrial output and investment demand were affected disproportionately.

 

The slowdown was driven by both domestic and external factors. While the stimulus measures undertaken have so far failed to lift economic activity, signs suggest that the business cycle may finally start to gather forward momentum.

 

Still, Brazil’s strong domestic market is less vulnerable to external crisis, and Brazilians are benefiting from stable economic growth, relatively low inflation rates and improvements in social well-being.

 

The financial sector has weathered the slowdown well so far. The banking system has remained sound and resilient. Despite rapid credit growth, lower interest rates have helped contain delinquencies and allowed asset quality to broadly stabilize. (…)

 

Brazil’s overall macroeconomic framework is solid and sustainable in the medium term. The main risks to the outlook relate to the external environment however mitigated by high foreign reserve levels (about US$380 billion), favorable external debt composition, a current account fully covered by foreign direct investment and an overall low degree of trade openness. (…)

 

Poverty (people living with US$2 per day) has fallen markedly, from 21% of the population in 2003 to 11% in 2009. Extreme poverty (people living with US$1.25 per day) also dropped dramatically, from 10% in 2004 to 2.2% in 2009. (…)

 

Between 2001 and 2009, the income growth rate of the poorest 10% of the population was 7% per year, while that of the richest 10% was 1.7%. This helped decrease income inequality (measured by the Gini index) to reach a 50-year low of 0.519 in 2011. (…)

 

As one of the leading nations on climate negotiations, Brazil has committed voluntarily to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by between 36.1% and 38.9% until 2020.

 

in www.worldbank.org

5. Tourism

Tourism in Brazil is a growing sector and it’s fundamental to the economy of several regions in the country. This country was chosen as a tourist destination by 6 million tourists in 2013, which makes it the main tourist destination in South America. Tourism’s revenues amounted to 6,6 billion dollars in 2012.

 

Brazil offers national and international tourists a wide range of options. The rural areas are its most popular touristic product, a mix of ecotourism with leisure and recreation, mainly sun, beach and adventure tourism. The country is the chosen destination by many tourist for historical and cultural tourism.

 

The most popular destinations are the Amazon forest, the beaches and dunes of the Northeast region, the Pantanal in the Center-West, the beaches of Rio de Janeiro and Santa Catarina, the cultural and historic tourism in Minas Gerais and business trips to the city of São Paulo.Safety has been improving significantly.

 

The country left the 128th position in the ranking of the safest countries, and now settled in the 73rd position in the 2013 ranking,

Accommodation
Hotels: 9.564
Rooms: 449.000
(Data of 2011)
Tourist attractions
Christ the Redeemer/Cristo Redentor(Rio de Janeiro), Sugarloaf Mountain/Pão de Açúcar (Rio de Janeiro), Lacerda Elevator/Elevador Lacerda (Bahia), São Paulo Museum of Art/Museu de Arte de São Paulo (São Paulo), Historical Centre of Porto Alegre/Centro Histórico de Porto Seguro (Bahia), Iguaçu’s National Park/Parque Nacional do Iguaçu (Paraná), Recife’s beaches/Praias de Recife (Pernambuco), Meeting of Waters/Encontro das Águas (Amazónia), Bonito (Mato Grosso do Sul), Copacabana beach/Praia de Copacabana (Rio de Janeiro).
The most visited cities
Rio de Janeiro, Florianópolis, São Paulo, Búzios, Salvador, Manaus.

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