Brazil

BRA orthographic

Brazil is the ninth largest economy in the world by nominal GDP and the largest in Latin America. It is a member of the G20 and Mercosur. The country is rich in natural resources including gold, uranium, iron ore, and timber. Services is the largest sector (62 percent of GDP in 2018) followed by manufacturing (9.7 percent) and agriculture (4.4 percent). In 2017, its largest export sectors were agriculture (36 percent of total exports), minerals (18 percent), ICT services (13 percent), and vehicles (7.8 percent). The largest individual exports were soya beans (9.7 percent), ICT services (8.2 percent), iron ore (7.5 percent), and oil (6.9 percent). Its largest export partners were China (21.8 percent), Argentina (7.7 percent), and the USA (3.5 percent percent). Its largest goods imports are oil (7 percent) and car parts (4.3 percent).By the 1900s Brazil produced up to 75 percent of the world's coffee beans but when the price of coffee halved in 1929-30 and the great depression hit, the economy fell into recession. After World War Two, the country turned towards protection and import substitution. This led to industrialisation and high growth but by the 1980s industry had become uncompetitive and the economy suffered stagflation as its terms of trade decreased in response to the 1970s oil shocks. The government also borrowed heavily during this period and by the 1990s, the economy was experiencing hyperinflation. Comprehensive reforms in the 1990s, including increased fiscal discipline, liberalisation, and a new currency regime saw the country return to growth. From 2000 to 2012 as the resource boom hit, Brazil became one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, with an average annual GDP growth rate of over 5 percent. This pulled 29 million people out of poverty and led to a decline in inequality. When the global financial crisis hit, Brazil was in a good position to counteract its effects. In 2015, the country experienced one of its worst recessions as resource prices fell and confidence collapsed. The economy has since recovered and with much needed pension reforms passing, conditions are in place for renewed growth.

Its population in 2018 was 210,867,954 [1]

In 2015, 43.79% of its total energy
consumption was renewable [2]

In 2021, its GDP grew by 4.62% [2]

In 2021 it had a negative Current
Account Balance of US$bn 27.93 [3]

Its unemployment rate in 2021 was 14.20% [3]

Its Expenditure on R&D (as a percentage of
GDP) in 2019 was 1.21% [2]

A Big Mac will set you back the
local equivalent of US$4.55 [4]



What free trade areas or economic unions is it a member of?

Member of the Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR) since 26/03/1991

Other members:

Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay


What trade deals are there between Southern Common Market and other countries and economic unions?

MERCOSUR - Egypt free trade agreement (from 13/07/2024)

MERCOSUR - Israel free trade agreement (from 13/07/2024)

MERCOSUR - Lebanon free trade agreement (from 13/07/2024)

MERCOSUR - State of Palestine free trade agreement (from 13/07/2024)

MERCOSUR - CAN free trade area (from 31/12/2003)

MERCOSUR - India partial scope agreement (from 01/06/2009)

MERCOSUR - SACU partial scope agreement (from 01/04/2016)

MERCOSUR - Mexico partial scope agreement (from 28/12/2016)

MERCOSUR - Chile partial scope agreement (from 10/03/2017)


What trade deals are there with other countries and economic unions?

Protocol on Trade Negotiations (from 11/02/1973)

Brazil - Mexico partial scope agreement (from 02/05/2003)

The Two Sides of Capital Flows into Brazil

There was a significant inflow of funds in Brazil’s external financial account in October and November

World Bank’s Vice President for Infrastructure: Now is the Time to Rethink Transport and Logistics

Covid-19 has had a huge impact on transport. The response to the pandemic, from social distancing
Read more

Don’t Expect Miracles from the Multilaterals

by Otaviano Canuto Latin American and Caribbean economies need help, but organisations such as the IDB

When It Pours, Rainy Day Funds Help – A Little

Both the United States and the United Kingdom have joined the increasingly crowded ranks of countries
Read more

Cristina Junqueira, Nubank Co-Founder: Brazil’s Wonder Woman of Fintech

When the first Nubank card transaction was made in Brazil on April 1, 2014, you wouldn’t

Uruguay: A Near-Perfect Country to Live, Work, and Play Post-Covid-19

The best countries to build a prosperous post-corona life include obvious choices such as Australia (#1),
Read more

Otaviano Canuto: Brazil, South Korea – Two Tales of Climbing an Income Ladder

The “middle-income trap” has captured many developing countries: they succeeded in evolving from low per capita

Sweden – A Controversial Approach Belatedly Vindicated

The Swedes are a trusting lot. Asked if they usually confide in ‘other people’, almost two-thirds
Read more

Lord Waverley: Making the Case for Emerging Markets

The world awaits what emerges from post-Covid traumas. States will be required to consider how to

Otaviano Canuto: Economic Recovery From the Pandemic May Come to Resemble a Square Root

Signs of recovery in various parts of the global economy started in May, after the depressive
Read more

Trade with the United Kingdom

Source: UK Office for National Statistics, October 2022.

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.