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Information about Brazil

Official name

Brazil, Federative Republic of Brazil


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%


According to the Census of 2010: 190,756 millions
2014 Estimate: 202,769 millions

Official language




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.



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).


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.


Venezuela, Guyana. French Guiana, Suriname, Colombia, Bolivia, Peru, Argentina, Paraguay e Uruguay.


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)


Population – 202.768.562 (2014 Estimate)
Urban population – 84% (Census of 2010)
Rural population – 16% (Census of 2010)

Main religion

Roman Catholic (64,6% of the population, in 2010)


Total: 3,258 trillion USD (2,500 trillion EUR)
Per capita: 15.153 USD (12,334 EUR)
Total: 1,903 trillion USD (1,827 trillion EUR)
Per capita: 11.067 USD (9.013 EUR)

Unemployment rate

4,7% (October 2014)


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


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.


Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva

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)

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   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) (map of Brazilian railroad) The country is also connected to Argentina, Bolivia and Uruguay by its railroads. Air transport   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. 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.

Brazil it is one of what is called emerging powers, belonging to BRICS, that is a group of emerging market related with their economic development, and it is composed also by Russia, China, India and South Africa (Anon., s.d). It also belongs to different types of economic organizations, like Mercosur, UNASUL, G8+5, G20,  Cairns Group (Anon., s.d), OAS and UN (Matias, s.d). Brazil have a lot of different commercial partners, that includes Mercosur, Latin American, European Union, Asia and United States of America. 60% of Brazilian exportations are by manufactured and semi manufactured products (Anon., s.d). It is expected by the Goldman Sachs, that Brazil turns to be in 2050, the fourth bigger economy in the world, due to the GDP (Anon., s.d). The economy of Brazil is concentrated in the State, with its participation in more than 650 companies and in one third of the national GDP, it adopts a state capitalism (Anon., s.d).

The economy of Brazil between 1945-1980, presented a good dynamism, that permitted a highlighting of Brazil in the group of developing country (Dedecca, Trovão, de Souza, 2014). In the 20st century, in the period of 1980 and 1990 (Dedecca, Trovão, de Souza, 2014), Brazil started to have problems in the economy, due to political uncertainties and with the inflation, financial and unemployment (Anon., s.d). In 2004, the things change, due to the increase of the economy activity, creation of work, the recomposition of the public and private investment, that allowed the falling of inequality of the current rent and fall of the monetary poverty (Dedecca, Trovão, de Souza, 2014).

Brazil was consider the 7th bigger economy in the world in terms of GDP (FMI, 2015) and the 9th in 2019 (Balassiano & Considera, 2020), and the second bigger in the American continent behind of the United States of America (Anon., s.d), this is due to the fact that Brazil is a fast growing and huge domestic market, with a stable GDP growth, with an entrance into the Latin America and with a highest participation in the Latin America economy, and also is an important FDI recipient (Berbet, s.d.).

Brazil, as all of the countries in the world was exposed to the Covid-19 pandemic, that lead to economic and health challenges (Bank, 2020), that declined the external and domestic demand, contracted the Brazilian economy to 9.7%, with the GDP projected to decline in 2020 (Bank, 2020). This projection was also made by the Brazilian Ministry of Economy, of 4.7% (McGeever, 2020), that is still not confirmed, however in December 2020, there was last dated on GDP was 3.9%, that was less that the Brazilian Ministry of Economy said before (Investing.com, 2020).

The challenges that Brazil has ahead, are challenges from the past, that become worse due to the Covid-19 pandemic, because it  “aggravated the challenges to stabilize public debt, that is likely to surpass 90 percent of GDP in 2020” (Bank, 2020), with expectations the deepest recession of Brazil economy, due to the crisis on employment, labor income, the increase of falling into poverty, the low salary of the workers and informal workers, with the unemployment rate at 13.3% in June 2020, that was the highest in three years (Bank 2020).

But there are positive things. It is expected a rebound of the GDP in 2021 and 2022 (Bank 2020), by 3.4% GDP in 2021 and with 2.5% in GDP on 2022 (FocusEconomics, 2020) with the sectors like industry and commerce also to rebound, due to “the social response from government to support private consumption (Bank, 2020), and also with the recovery of foreign and domestic demand (FocusEconomics, 2020).

Doing Business with Brazil

Although Brazil is passing by an economic crisis, led by the Covid-19 pandemic, it is important to mention that there are still reasons to invest in Brazil.

First, the strategic location and market, due to Brazil borders, that almost cover the entire South American countries, except Chile and Ecuador, which means that can attract different market consumers, “the consumption market covers more than 900 million of potential consumers, considering Brazil, Latin America and North America” (Anon., s.d.).

Second, the sustainable growth, due to its position in the world’s biggest economies, with the United Kingdom, France, Italy (Anon., s.d.), which means that the foreign investors can also growth because the economy is sustainable.

Third, the innovation and technology, because Brazil in Latin America is one of the biggest and diversified in innovation system, technology and diversified science, which means that foreign investor could diversified and increase in terms of technology, innovation and science (Anon., s.d.),

Forth, the production flow, being as a global giant in grain and animal protein, where foreign investor can enter in the sector of port terminals and administration of the ports, to be privatized (Siscaro, 2019).

Fifth, the legal certainty, because the government privatization assets and economic reforms consolidate the view that the government would not interfere in the economic sectors, which means that the foreign investors will have “more certainty in compliance with contractual rules with private enterprise” (Siscaro, 2019).

Sixth, besides being one of the biggest economies in the world, is also the leader in the Mercosur (South American Market), which means for the foreign investors, it would be the best option to invest (Anon., 2020).

Seventh, it concluded a free-trade agreement between the European Union and Mercosur, which is favorable for the increase of the bilateral trade and investment flows, including foreign investments (Anon., 2020).

Eight, it is a diversified economy, with a different type of economic sectors, which means that are a lot of variety where a foreign investor can invest and that it would be profitable (Anon., 2020).

Besides these eight reasons of why foreign investors should invest in Brazil, it is also important to take into account which sectors would be profitable for that investment. The foreign investors should invest on, the agriculture, due to the fact that Brazil is one of the largest exporters in the agricultural sector in terms of products, and because agriculture represents 5% of Brazil’s economy (Bajpai, 2019); in industry, because Brazil is diversified and developed in this sector (Bajpai, 2019); the service sector, because is the largest sector in Brazil, contributing to GDP with 65% (Bajpai, 2019); the automobile, because many of the world’s largest automobile manufactures have set up production in Brazil (Anon., 2021); and the tourism, due to is rise during the recent years (Anon., 2021).

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,


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 cieties

Rio de Janeiro, Florianópolis, São Paulo, Búzios, Salvador, Manaus.