Brazil World Trade Essay

4083 words - 16 pages

Brazil World Trade

From the 1500’s to the 1930’s the Brazilian economy relied on the production of primary products for exports. For three centuries Brazil’s economy was heavily curbed because since Portugal discovered Brazil, they subjected it’s economy to an imperial mercantile policy or a strictly enforced colonial pact. Even though Brazil received its independence in 1822, Portugal’s phase of decisions left a lasting, powerful imprint on Brazil’s economy and society. In the late eighteenth century, when wage labor was adopted and slavery was eliminated considerable changes finally began to occur. Only starting in the 1930’s were the first steps taken to convert key structural changes by changing Brazil into a semi-industrialized, modern economy. The intensity of these transformations caused the growth rates of the economy to remain distinctively high and a diversified manufacturing base was instituted between 1950 and 1981. Substantial difficulties such as slow growth and stagnation have plagued the economy since the early 1980’s, though it’s potential enabled itself to regain it’s large and quite diversified economy in the mid-1990s still with its share of problems. After World War II, Brazil’s inhabitants that resided in towns and cities grew from 31.3 percent to 75.5 percent. The 146.9 million inhabitants living in the cities by 1991 caused Brazil to have two of the world’s largest metropolitan centers in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.

Despite the reduction of the share of the primary sector in the gross national product from 28 percent in 1947 to 11 percent in 1992, the agricultural sector remains important. It’s primitive and intensive, yet also modern and dynamic parts make Brazil of the largest exporters of agricultural products.

The industrial sector offers a variety of products for the domestic market and for export, consisting intermediate goods, capital goods and consumer goods. By the early 1990s, Brazil was producing about 1 million motor vehicles annually and about 32,000 units of motor-driven farming machines. It also was consistently producing 1.8 million tons of fertilizers, 4.7 million tons of cardboard and paper, 20 million tons of steel, 26 million tons of cement, 3.5 million television sets, and 3 million refrigerators. In addition, about 70 million cubic meters of petroleum were being developed yearly into fuels, lubricants, propane gas, and a wide range of petrochemicals. Furthermore, Brazil contains 161,500 kilometers of paved roads and more than 63 million megawatts of installed electric power capacity.

Despite the respectable figures, the economy is not considered developed. Although the economic changes since 1947 increased the countries per capita income above US$2,000 in 1980, per capita income in 1995 was still only US$4,630. Structural change and growth have not distorted drastically Brazil's awfully unequal distribution of opportunity, wealth and income. Even with striking...

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