Brazil (GPS: 10 00 S, 55 00 W) located in Eastern South America, bordering the Atlantic Ocean. The country’s area measurements are total: 8,515,770 sq km; land: 8,358,140 sq km, water: 157,630 sq km. This sovereign state is slightly smaller than the US. The total irrigated land is 54,000 sq km (2012).
One of the crucial features of Brazil: the largest country in South America and the Southern Hemisphere. Shares common boundaries with every South American country except Chile and Ecuador. Most of the Pantanal, the world’s largest tropical wetland, extends through its west-central part. Shares Iguazu Falls, the world’s most extensive waterfalls system, with Argentina.
It’s significant, and at the same time, the principal city, Brasilia’s GPS coordinates are 15 47 S 47 55 W. Brasilia’s local time is 2 hours ahead of Washington DC during Standard Time. The capital’s time difference: UTC-3, note; Daylight saving time: +1hr begins third Sunday in October; ends third Sunday in February. Note: Brazil has three time zones, including one for the Fernando de Noronha Islands.
Following more than three centuries under Portuguese rule, Brazil gained its independence in 1822, maintaining a monarchical government system until the abolition of slavery in 1888 and the subsequent proclamation of a republic by the military in 1889. Brazilian coffee exporters politically dominated the country until populist leader Getulio VARGAS rose to power in 1930. By far, the largest and most populous country in South America, Brazil, underwent more than a half-century of populist and military government until 1985, when the military regime peacefully ceded power to civilian rulers. Brazil continues to pursue industrial and agricultural growth and development of its interior. Having successfully weathered a period of global financial difficulty in the late 20th century, Brazil is seen as one of the world’s strongest emerging markets and a contributor to global growth. The awarding of the 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympic Games, the first-ever to be held in South America, was symbolic of its rise. However, from about 2013 to 2016, Brazil was plagued by a sagging economy, high unemployment, and high inflation, only emerging from recession in 2017. Former President Dilma ROUSSEFF (2011-2016) was removed from office in 2016 by Congress for having committed impeachable acts against Brazil’s budgetary laws. Her vice president, Michel TEMER, served the remainder of her second term. In October 2018, Jair BOLSONARO won the presidency with 55 percent of the vote and assumed office on 1 January 2019.
Brazil’s names conventional long form: the Federative Republic of Brazil, conventional short form: Brazil, local long form: Republica Federativa do Brasil, local short form: Brasil, etymology: the country name derives from the brazilwood tree that used to grow plentifully along the coast of Brazil and that used to produce a deep red dye. The country name derives from the brazilwood tree that used to grow plentifully along the coast of Brazil and produce a deep red dye.
Brazil’s terrain is typically flat to rolling lowlands in the north; some plains, hills, mountains, and narrow coastal belts. The country’s mean elevation: 320 m, elevation extremes; lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m, highest point: Pico da Neblina 2,994 m.
The general climate in the country; mostly tropical but temperate in the south.
The total number of border countries is 10, Argentina 1,263 km, Bolivia 3,403 km, Colombia 1,790 km, French Guiana 649 km, Guyana 1,308 km, Paraguay 1,371 km, Peru 2,659 km, Suriname 515 km, Uruguay 1,050 km, Venezuela 2,137 km are the neighboring nations with the indicated border lengths. Brazil’s coastline is 7,491 km. Its marital claims are territorial sea: 12 nautical miles, contiguous zone: 24 nautical miles, exclusive economic zone: 200 nautical miles, continental shelf: 200 nautical miles or to edge of the continental margin. Waterways: 50,000 km (most in areas remote from industry and population) (2012). Land use: agricultural land: 32.9%; arable land 8.6%; permanent crops 0.8%; permanent pasture 23.5%; forest: 61.9%; other: 5.2% (2011 estimate).
The population in Brazil 208,846,892 (July 2018 estimate), urban population: 85.7% of total population (2015), major urban area’s population: Sao Paulo 21.066 million; Rio de Janeiro 12.902 million; Belo Horizonte 5.716 million; BRASILIA (capital) 4.155 million; Fortaleza 3.88 million; Recife 3.739 million (2015), while Brazil has the vast majority of people live along, or relatively near, the Atlantic coast in the east; the population core is in the southeast, anchored by the cities of Sao Paolo, Brazilia, and Rio de Janeiro. Their spoken languages are Portuguese (official language and most widely spoken language). Note: less common languages include Spanish (border areas and schools), German, Italian, Japanese, English, and many minor Amerindian languages. Main religions in Brazil are Roman Catholic 64.6%, other Catholic 0.4%, Protestant 22.2% (includes Adventist 6.5%, Assembly of God 2.0%, Christian Congregation of Brazil 1.2%, Universal Kingdom of God 1.0%, other Protestant 11.5%), other Christian 0.7%, Spiritist 2.2%, other 1.4%, none 8%, unspecified 0.4% (2010 estimate). The nation uses civil law; note – a new civil law code was enacted in 2002 replacing the 1916 code. It is a(n) federal presidential republic, National holiday(s) Independence Day, 7 September (1822).
Economic overview for the country: Brazil is the eighth-largest economy globally but is recovering from a recession in 2015 and 2016 that ranks as the worst in its history. In 2017, Brazil`s GDP grew 1%, inflation fell to historic lows of 2.9%, and the Central Bank lowered benchmark interest rates from 13.75% in 2016 to 7%. The economy has been negatively affected by multiple corruption scandals involving private companies and government officials, including the impeachment and conviction of Former President Dilma ROUSSEFF in August 2016. Sanctions against the firms applied some of the largest in Brazil have limited their business opportunities, producing a ripple effect on associated businesses and contractors but creating opportunities for foreign companies to step into what had been a closed market.
The successive TEMER administration has implemented a series of fiscal and structural reforms to restore government finances’ credibility. Congress approved legislation in December 2016 to cap public spending. Government spending growth had pushed public debt to 73.7% of GDP at the end of 2017, up from over 50% in 2012. The government also boosted infrastructure projects, such as oil and natural gas auctions, to raise revenues. Other economic reforms, proposed in 2016, aim to reduce barriers to foreign investment and improve labor conditions. Policies to strengthen Brazil’s workforce and industrial sector, such as local content requirements, have boosted employment, but at the expense of investment. Brazil is a member of the Common Market of the South (Mercosur), a trade bloc that includes Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay – Venezuela’s membership in the organization suspended In August 2017. After the Asian and Russian financial crises, Mercosur adopted a protectionist stance to guard against exposure to volatile foreign markets. It is currently negotiating Free Trade Agreements with the European Union and Canada.
Natural resources of Brazil: bauxite, gold, iron ore, manganese, nickel, phosphates, platinum, tin, rare earth elements, uranium, petroleum, hydropower, timber.
Main export partners for Brazil, South America are China 18.6%, US 12.7%, Argentina 6.7%, Netherlands 5.3% (2015) for transport equipment, iron ore, soybeans, footwear, coffee, automobiles, while the main import partners for the country are: China 17.9%, US 15.6%, Germany 6.1%, Argentina 6% (2015) for machinery, electrical and transport equipment, chemical products, oil, automotive parts, electronics.
When you visit this country in South America, consider the natural hazards in Brazil: Recurring droughts in the northeast, floods and occasional frost in the south, while infectious diseases are the degree of risk: very high food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea and hepatitis A vectorborne diseases: dengue fever and malaria water contact disease: schistosomiasis. Note: active local transmission of Zika virus by Aedes species mosquitoes has been identified in this country (as of August 2016); it poses a significant risk (a large number of cases possible) among US citizens if bitten by an infective mosquito; other less common ways to get Zika are through sex, via blood transfusion, or during pregnancy, in which the pregnant woman passes Zika virus to her fetus (2016). Also, note that Brazil faces the following environmental issues: Deforestation in the Amazon Basin destroys the habitat and endangers a multitude of plant and animal species indigenous to the area, Illegal wildlife trade, Illegal poaching, Air and water pollution in Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, and several other large cities, Land degradation and water pollution caused by improper mining activities, wetland degradation, Severe oil spills.