Sunday, October 3, 2010

5 reasons why Brazil matters

Five reasons why Brazil matters

1. Economy: It is set for some 7.5% growth this year. The number of Brazilians regarded as middle class is rising fast, and with it their desire and ability to buy consumer goods.

2. Resources: It is a top exporter of key foodstuffs including sugar, poultry and beef, and a major producer of iron ore and other commodities much in demand by countries such as China. The recent discovery of offshore oil fields could propel Brazil into the top league of oil producers.

3. Environment: The size of the Amazon rainforest makes Brazil an essential presence in climate talks. Deforestation has slowed. Brazil makes much use of renewable energy - for example, hydroelectricity. Development of its oilfields and use of land for agriculture could undermine its green credentials.

4. International voice: Brazil is now more visible in international diplomacy, with strengthened ties with Africa and the Middle East. Brazil is among those pushing the importance of the G20.

5. Sport: Expect plenty of stories in the next few years about Brazil's 2014 World Cup preparations and Rio's 2016 Olympic plans. They will be two huge events in a country that knows how to party.

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