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Brazil’s recession recovery continues, reports Country Profile


Brazil flag

Flag Facts

The motto “Ordem e Progresso,” or “Order and Progress,” is prominent on the flag. The green represents the forests of the country and the yellow its mineral wealth; the blue circle and stars depict the sky over Rio de Janeiro. The number of stars has changed with the creation of new states and has risen from to the current 27, one for each state and the Federal District

Location: In eastern South America and bordering the Atlantic Ocean, Brazil is just slightly smaller than the U.S.

Language: Portuguese

Total Population: 208.8 million

Capital: Brasilia

Government: Federal presidential republic

Religion: Roman Catholic and Protestant religions account for the largest population percentages.

Economy: Brazil is recovering from a recession (2015-2016) that according to the CIA’s World Factbook ranks as the worst in the country’s history. Multiple corruption scandals involving private companies and government officials negatively impacted the economy, including the impeachment and conviction of former President Dilma Rousseff in August 2016. Still, there’s market opportunity and Brazil has the second largest economy in the Western Hemisphere after the U.S. In 2018, Brazil was the United States’ ninth largest export market and its second-largest trading partner as the U.S. exported $66.2 billion in goods and services—up 4.2 percent from 2017. President Jair Bolsonaro has declared that Brazil wanted the U.S. to be its number one trading partner, opening the potential for a stronger trade relationship.

News note: The deforestation of the Amazon rainforest in Brazil continues to receive international scrutiny, particularly as President Bolsonaro’s government has scaled back its efforts to fight illegal logging, mining and ranching. Figures from Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research show the 3,769 square miles of forest cover lost between August 2018 and July 19 is a 30 percent increase from the previous year. Environmental experts say this damage is causing irreparable harm to the rainforest; Bolsonaro has been dismissive of the criticism.

GDP (official exchange rate): $2.05 trillion

Currency: Brazilian real (conversion rate at press time: 1 BRL equals $0.24 USD).

Franchising in Brazil: The country’s franchise sector grew by 7.1 percent in 2018 and it has nearly 2,900 franchise brands, making Brazil the fourth largest market in the world by that measure. It’s also the sixth largest in terms of franchise units, with 153,704. Areas outside of Brazil’s major cities—such as Campinas and Guarulhos in the state of Sao Paulo, and Niteroi in the state of Rio De Janeiro—are ripe for development.

Ease of doing business rank by World Bank: 124 for 2019, down from 109 in 2018. 

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