Sunny Side Up

Sunny Side Up

In a direct response to those whose pastime is to badmouth Brazil,
the Brazilian government has compiled an extensive list of
Brazilian marvels. We reproduce the list, here, in its entirety.

Guilherme Leite Ribeiro

During the several years that I have spent living overseas, I always have been
surprised with the amount of misinformation about my country. Brazil is still only
considered the country of samba, Carnaval, soccer and mulatas.

The international press, especially American and European, always target this
particular point of view. For example: the homeless, the slums, Amazon fires, Indian
massacres, underage prostitution, minors in the workforce, and urban violence. Until 1983,
Brazil refused to discuss these problems, although continuously fighting with the press.
On the other hand, the press always presented these problems to the public in a very
sensationalist way. Also, with the return of democracy, not only did these problems become
a reason for internal discussions, but also they were a concern for international
organizations. As a result, measures were taken to solve this conflict.

The press became obsessed with spreading a negative image of Brazil and did not take
into consideration other aspects. The only exception was the newspapers specialized in
economics and finance, which could not ignore the big socio-economical revolution in
Brazil after the Real Plan, in July 1994. The press concentrated on and publicized this
one aspect, which got a lot of public attention. And newspaper sales rose, which resulted
in diversion of attention from other problems.

The positive aspects of Brazil were practically unknown. It was not of public knowledge
that solutions were adopted by the Federal, State and local governments.

As a demonstration of complete ignorance, an Italian student at one of the most
prestigious universities in Italy wrote, in one of the exams I corrected while I was the
Consul General of Brazil in Milan, the following: "Brazil is a country bordering the
civilized world".

This example and others examples of ignorance inspired me to gather information in
Portuguese, Italian, Spanish and now in English which I entitled "Did you know
that?" My goal is to inform Brazilians regarding our country and to teach foreigners
properly. There are some dramatic situations, which occur within a country that is
undergoing development.

We have some examples like: the "scugnizzi" in Naples (the street children),
the "homeless" in the streets of New York, Milan, London, Paris and other
important cities, minor prostitution, pedophilia, unemployment (which sometimes goes up to
60 percent among young people between the age of 19 to 25, like in Southern Italy), organized
crime (Italian mafia, Russian mafia, etc), drug distribution and urban deterioration in
the suburbs of the big cities.

In my opinion, the worst is the escalating racism all over Europe regarding Africans,
Turkish, Algerians, Albanians, etc… We Brazilians are also targets. When soccer
player Roberto Carlos—and so many other Brazilian soccer players in Italy who were
African blacks and mulattos—was playing for the Internazionale of Milan, he was cursed
"nero bastardo" (s.o.b.) by the opposite rooters. In Milan I read these pieces
of racism. On July 12, 1998, "La Repubblica", showed the title "Beaten by a
negro. Fighting for his life"; and on July 14, 1998 "Capri, a 15 year-old
American tourist was raped at the garden". Interesting enough, these titles did not
mention that, in this last specific incident, the rapist was a white Italian male.

In Brazil, races and religions coincide living together with mutual respect, harmony.
Racial discrimination is severely punished by the Afonso Arinos law. In downtown Rio de
Janeiro, in a place called SAARA, you will find Arabs and Jews working peacefully in the
same neighborhood.

When I became Head of the Brazilian Financial Office of the Ministry of External
Relations in New York, I decided to update this document as much as I could. I hope that
all Brazilians and foreigners, who love Brazil, will also contribute with any additional
information towards this document.



Santos Dumont, a Brazilian, invented the airplane.
EMBRAER, the Brazilian Aeronautics company, sold 4.959 airplanes in 27 years.
EMBRAER sells jets and turbo propellers to developed countries like USA, (Continental
Express, American Eagle, etc.), France, Italy, Switzerland, Portugal, Spain, Luxembourg,
Holland, Poland, China, and Sweden.


Brazil has the largest cultivable area in the world (22 percent).
Brazil is first in the world in the production of coffee, oranges, and sugar cane; the
second in the production of manioc, beef, and poultry, beans, and soy; the third in the
production of refined sugar and corn; the fourth in grains and cocoa; the seventh in eggs
and pork; the eighth, in cotton and rice. Also, Brazil is ranked the second exporter of
poultry and fourth of pork .


Brazil is the fifth largest country in the world with an area of 8,547,403 square km and
in Brazil’s territory can fit all the countries in Europe and Brazil’s territory
is equal to 28 times the territory of Italy.


Although Brazil is essentially a tropical country, from São Paulo towards the South,
the annual average temperature is 66 F. In some southern states, it can snow.


The number of computers in Brazil increased from 5.1 million in 1997 to 9.2 million in
Brazil is ranked seventh in the world in the number of computers and Brazil is the
largest world market of computer technology.
Brazil is first ranked in occasional and regular usage of Internet banking, surpassing
Canada, USA and Japan.
In 1998, more than 2,500,000 Brazilians have sent their income taxes via Internet.


Brazil is the eighth largest economy in the world with a Gross National Product (GNP) of
US$ 840 billion. In 20 years we will be the fourth largest economy, at least as large, or
larger than, France, Italy and England.
Brazilian GNP grew an average of 4 percent every year from 1994 through 1997. In comparison
with an annual increase of 0,22 percent from 1990 through 1993. In 2000 Brazilian GNP grew 4
Brazilian GNP per capita, which decreased 1,25 percent per year from 1990 to 1993, increased
2,51 percent per year during the period from 1994 to 1997.
According to the World Bank, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia and Russia will have the
highest rate of development in the next 25 years.
During the period from 1947 through 1988, Brazilian GNP increased 12.5 times, second
only to Japan’s increase in GNP of 19 times.
Brazilian GNP constitutes 38 percent of South American GNP.
Among the 500 largest South American companies, 300 are Brazilian, 80 Mexican, 60
Argentinean and 30 Chilean.
MERCOSUR composed of Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay, has a GNP of 1,141 billion
of dollars, occupies 10 percent of the area of the Americas and it has a population of 212
million of inhabitants (26 percent of the continent’s total).
Brazil is responsible for 30 percent of the coffee production in the world, 20
percent of the soy,
8.5 percent of chicken meat, 4.5 percent of manufactured shoes, 3.2
percent of steel and 2.9 percent of automobiles.
Brazilian supermarkets in 1999 had gross receipts of US$ 35 billion with their 55.300
stores, hiring 670 thousand employees directly and 2 million indirectly and being
responsible for the 85 percent of the country’s food supply.
Between 1990 and 1999, 4.9 million companies were created, of which 2.7 million (55.1
are micro or small enterprises, representing a production of about 20
percent of the GNP, 60 percent of
jobs and it is responsible for 30 percent of the gross amount of the industrial production of the


The illiteracy index has been decreasing rapidly, from 17.0
percent in 1990 to 13.0 percent in 1998.
Also in 2000, 91 percent of the children between the ages of 10 and 14 years old were attending
Illiteracy among youngsters in the ages between 10 and 14 in urban regions is less than
5 percent.
In 1992, 18.2  percent of children between the ages of 7 to 14 years old were not in school and
in 1999, only 4 percent were not in school.
The percentage of the population over 10 years of age, who had completed high school,
increased from 25.4 percent in 1992 to 29.8 percent in 1996.
The enrollment in high school increased 57 percent between 1994 and 1999 and the number of
students attending university courses increased 28 percent between 1994 and 1998.
In 1998, there were more than 2,1 million students attending university, an increase of
28 percent from 1994.
The number of students in university graduate courses increased from 43 thousand in 1994
to 53.9 thousand in 1999.
During the period from 1994 to 1999, the number of professors who graduated every year
increased from 2.7 thousand to 4.7 thousand and the number of scholarships granted
increased from 5.867 to 8.009.
The average period of time dedicated to study increased from 5.7 years in 1992 to 6.6
years in 1999.
In the year 2000, the Government distributed 110 million school books helping 32.5
million students of elementary schools, continuing the "National Program of School
The "TV School Program" was created with the objective to help and enable
teachers in underdeveloped rural areas. It was responsible for the distribution of kits
(with TV set, VCRs, tapes and satellite antennas) for all the elementary schools with over
100 students, targeting 1 million teachers and 28 million students.
The Informatic Education Program (PROINFO) has been responsible for the installation of
30 thousand computers and accessories in more than 2. 2276 elementary schools, benefiting
about 200,000 students.


Itaipu is the largest hydroelectric plant in the world.
Brazil is the tenth producer of electric energy in the world.


The Northern countries cannot teach the Southern countries how to take care of their
forests. In Europe, for instance, only 2 percent of native forests are left. In Latin America 59
of native forest remain.
The countries that are mainly responsible for global warming are USA, members of the
European Union, and Russia which since 1950, totaled respectively, 186.1 billion tons,
127.8 billion tons and 68.4 billion tons of carbonic gas emitted. Brazil only had 6.6
billion tons of gas emissions in the same period, representing less than 4
percent of the
North-American total. And these countries are always talking bad regarding Brazil…
More than 1500 different species of fish live in the waters of the Amazon River.
Thirty three percent of the world large-leafed tree forests are in the Amazon, with
3,500,000 hectares of virgin forests and 750 different varieties of trees.
The Amazon retains about 30 percent of the genetic store of the planet and represents the most
diversified and complex ecosystem known to mankind.


Brazil has 143 thousand community health representatives, who visit 82 million
Brazilians every month, as part of the Family Health Program.
The Brazilian program for AIDS with free distribution of the "drugs cocktail",
is considered by the World Health Organization, as one the best in the world.
The Brazilian drug market generates sales equal to US$ 8 billion dollars annually.
Annually, 20 million children are vaccinated free of charge against many diseases, among
them poliomyelitis.
Between 1989 and 1998, the death index among children declined from 50.9 to 36.1 per
thousand of born-alive infants, which corresponds to a decrease of 29.1
percent in nine years.
The average life span of Brazilians increased from 66 years in 1992 to 68 in 1999.


During World War II, Brazil had sent 25,000 soldiers to Italy to fight
Nazi-Fascism and
of those 500 of them died on Italian soil defending democracy. In Pistóia, Italy there is
a cemetery in the memory of these Brazilians.


Despite what has been published by the international press, Brazil does not have 2, 5, 7
or 11 million of homeless children.
According to a research made by IBASE, a non-governmental organization, in 1994 (last
year of the research), there were less than one thousand homeless boys in Rio de Janeiro.
About 2.7 million children in Brazil, between the ages of 7 and
14, are still out of school and the Government created an special
program called "All Children in School", which intends to take them
all to school.


In Brazil, there are 554 Indian territories with a total of 946.452 km2 (11.12
percent of the
country’s area), corresponding to three times the size of Italy. From this total, 220
areas (436.400 km2) were already delimited, corresponding to 47.24
In these areas 325.652 Indians of 227 different ethnic groups live, and they speak 170
different dialects. They live mainly in the Amazon, but are spread all over the country.
In Roraima State in the extreme north of Brazil with an area of 224,000 square km (Italy
has 301,308 square km), there are Indian reservations covering an area of 94.190 square
km. Also in these territories live 9,910 Ianomanis Indians, corresponding to one Indian
for each 10 square km.
The number of indigenous natives increases twice as fast as the regular population (3.2
compared to 1.4 percent).


Brazil has the tenth largest industrial complex in the world.
Brazil is the world’s twelfth automaker and among others, Audi, Chrysler, Fiat,
Ford, General Motors, Honda, Mercedes, Peugeot-Citroen, Renault, Scania, Toyota,
Volkswagen and Volvo manufacture there.
As far as manufactured products are concerned, Brazil is the second largest producer of
ceramic tiles and refrigeration compressors; the fourth of beer; the fifth of gasoline and
radios; the sixth of cigarettes and CDs; the seventh of refrigerators, textiles and
clothing and the eighth in corrugated paper, chemicals and prepared foods.
Seventy percent of Brazil’s exports are manufactured products.
PETROBRAS, a national corporation, with all Brazilian technology, has the world record
in oil extraction in deep water, at 1.700 meters .


According to business specialists, there are series of factors, which explain why Brazil
became one of the stars in the developing world in the recent years. The factors are
economic stability, the size of the consumer market, the existence of a solid financial
system, democracy, the fact that Brazil is one of the countries which is better positioned
as far as the New Economy and it has the most competitive agriculture in the world.
More Japanese capital has been invested in Brazil than in any other South American
The Brazilian Program of Privatization is the largest in the world and its total is US$
130 billion in telecommunications, energy, sanitation, banking, gas distribution, and also
that the steel, petrochemicals and fertilizers industry have already been privatized.
The last decade, the total volume of foreign direct investment in Brazil increased
3,000 percent.
In the year 2000, the total volume of foreign direct investment reached US$ 27 billion
According to research carried out in February 2001 by A.T. Kearney, the North American
consulting firm, which interviewed a thousand business people responsible for 90
percent of the
world’s direct investments, Brazil is in the third place with regard to the
preference for megainvestors, after the United States of America and China.


In six years, 400 thousand families were given pieces of land, with a total area
equivalent to twice the size of Belgium.
To implement land reform 13.2 million hectares were purchased of expropriated. That area
is equal to three and a half times the territory of Switzerland or half Italy’s


After the problem of hyper inflation was solved and the consequent recovery of purchase
power, coupled with a major emphasis of Fernando Henrique Cardoso’s government with
social issues, the average income of employed people increased 27
percent in the urban areas.
During the period from 1998 to 2000, 13 million people went above the poverty line,
reducing the percentage from 43.8 percent to 32.7 percent.
The average poverty percentage decreased from 42 percent in July 1994 to 28
percent in the month of
January 1996, in the six major cities in Brazil.
The average monthly income of the population also changed from 364 Reais in 1992 to 472
Reais in 1999.
Between 1992 to 1997, the number of families receiving tap water increased from 69.5
percent to
81 percent of the population.
Between 1992 through 1997, the number of residences provided with garbage removal
services increased from 64 percent to 74 percent of the population.
From 1992 through 1999, the number of homes served with the sewage system increased from
50.3 percent to 59.4 percent.
From 1994 through 1998, the consumption of construction materials in general grew 24
On June 1994, a minimum wage would buy 12.4 sacks of cement and in May 1998, 20 sacks.
The use of processed foods has also increased in the period of 1994 through 1997. For
chicken, beef and pork meat, the growth was about 39.9 percent, 27.1
percent and 26.1 percent, respectively.
Also the yogurt consumption increased 85.9 percent; cheeses 51.8
percent; beer 56.8 percent; sodas 71.5 percent; and
cookies 42.6 percent.
The cost of the monthly basic food supply per family increased 25
percent, compared to an
increase of 70 percent of the index which regulates the increase of prices from the time the Real
was established until now.
The unemployment rates in Brazil were lower than ones in Europe (Italy: 12
percent) and were
around 4,8 percent in December 2000.


The present number of consumers in Brazil estimated at 43 million, will increase to 65
million in the year 2005, which then will make Brazil the fifth largest consumer market in
the world.
Brazil is third worldwide in the franchising market, only surpassed by USA and Canada.
Also, the total numbers of units grew 96 percent between 1995 and 1999, reaching 46,534 units,
with a total of 226.334 direct jobs.
The Brazilian middle class is composed of 35 million families, according to IBGE: a) 8
larger than the population of Germany and greater than the sum of the population of
Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Hungary, Ireland,. Iceland, Luxembourg, Norway,
Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland and the Czech Republic; b) greater than the sum of the
population of France and Canada; c) equivalent to 1/3 of the population of the United
States of America and 72 percent of the population of Japan.
Brazil is the fifth country in the world in purchasing power with more that US$ 1
trillion in Purchasing Power Parity, after the united States of American, China, Japan and


Brazil is the second largest producer in the world of iron minerals; the fifth of
manganese; the sixth of aluminum; the seventh of gold, and the eighth of pewter.
Brazil has the sixth largest supply of iron in the world.


Brazil is fifth in the world in population, with 165 million inhabitants.
Brazil has 40 percent of the population of Latin America.
The Brazilian population is young, as 63 percent is younger than 29 years of age.
Ethnically, the Brazilian population is 55 percent white, 40
percent mulatto, 5 percent black, 0.5 percent Asian and
0.1 percent native and that our tendency is to become a mulatto country.
Twelve Brazilian cities have more than 1,000,000 inhabitants. They are: São Paulo, Rio
de Janeiro, Salvador, Belo Horizonte, Fortaleza, Brasília, Curitiba, Recife, Belém, Nova
Iguaçu, Porto Alegre and Manaus.
There are 23 million Italians and Italian descendants in Brazil and São Paulo has 5
million of them. Therefore, Sao Paulo has more Italians than Rome.
16 percent of Brazilians live in poverty and it is estimated that by 2005, it will decrease by
10 percent.


According to a research done at the end of last year, 58 percent of Brazilians are confident
about their country’s future, 22 percent are undecided and only 20
percent are pessimistic.


The Mayor of Rio de Janeiro is developing a project called "Project
Slum-Borough", which intends to urbanize all the slums in the city.


In 1994, Brazil had less than one million cellular phones. In 1998, cellular phones in
Brazil totaled 5.6 million, and today Brazil has 23.2 million. This means an increase of
310 percent since 1998. By 2005, Brazil will have 60 million cellular phones.
In 1994, Brazil had 13 million regular telephones and, at the end of 2000, this number
has risen to 38,3 million.
Brazil is ranked ninth among the countries which utilize the Internet the most, with
10,9 million users, after USA, Japan, Germany, United Kingdom, China, Canada, South Korea,
and Italy.
Sixty percent of Latin American Internet sites are Brazilian.
TV Globo is ranked the fourth TV station in the world behind only


Brazil has the eighth largest fleet of vehicles in the world, behind only USA, Japan,
Germany, Italy, France and Great Britain.
Brazil has the seventh largest fleet of helicopters in the world, with 900 helicopters.


First worldwide: Cattle; coffee, sugar cane, fruits and oranges; iron reserves; in Latin
America, Internet user.

Second worldwide: Producer of iron minerals, beans, manioc, soy and beef; ceramic tiles,
refrigeration compressors and jeans; chicken producer and exporter of chicken; largest
market for executive jets, helicopters, fax machines and painkillers;

Third worldwide: Producer of refined sugar and corn; maker of regional flight aircraft;
largest market for franchising, sodas and motorcycles;

Fourth worldwide: Producer of grains, cocoa and beer; producer and exporter of pork
meat; largest market of computer technology, of shopping centers, refrigerators and
freezers and clothes washing machines; television network;

Fifth worldwide: Country in size and population; producer of gasoline, radios and
manganese; major consumer market;

Sixth worldwide: Producer of milk, iron, pig iron, primary aluminum, cement and music
records; largest market of musical CDs; iron mineral reserve.

Seventh worldwide: Producer of gold, cellulose and eggs; of refrigerators, textiles and
clothing; in number of computers and TV sets: largest fleet of helicopters and vehicles;

Eight worldwide: Producer of cotton, rice, steel and tin: of corrugated paper, chemicals
and prepared foods; in number of credit cards; vehicle fleets;

Ninth worldwide: Internet users;

Tenth worldwide: Industry in general; energy producer;

Twelfth worldwide: Automaker; lubricant producer;

Fourteenth worldwide: Nickel producer;

Seventeenth worldwide: Zinc producer;

Eighteenth worldwide: Crude oil and copper producer.


Did you Know?

Agriculture and Livestock

That Brazil is the largest nation in terms of arable land of the world, with 22% of this area, and that it produced 94 million tons of grains in the 2000/2001 harvest?

That we are the top world producer of coffee, oranges and sugarcane; the second largest producer of cassava, beef, beans and soybean; the third of poultry, refined sugar and corn; the fourth of grains and cocoa; the seventh of eggs and pork; the eighth of cotton and rice? And that we are the second largest world exporter of chicken and the fourth of pork?


That Brazil isn’t only a tropical country, like everyone thinks, but that, in the South Region, the average annual temperature is 18o Celsius (64.4o F). And that it snows in some states of this region?


That, by 2005, there will be 60 million cell phones in operation and that, currently, there are already 20 million in use, compared to 5.6 million in July of 1998?

That, in 1994, the country had less than a million cell phones; in 1998, they totaled 5.6 million and that today there are 23.2 million cell phones, or in other words, an expansion of 310% in only 2 years?

That, in 1994, Brazil had 13 million fixed phone lines and, that by the end of 2000, this number reached 38.3 million?

That Brazil is ranked 9th among the nations that most use the Internet, with 10.9 million people online – losing only to USA, Japan, Germany, Great Britain, China, Canada, South Korea and Italy?

That 61% of Latin American websites are Brazilian?

That Brazilian television was the 4th of the world to go on the air daily, after the United States, Great Britain and France?

That TV Globo is the 4th largest television station of the world, surpassed only by the 3 largest American stations (ABC, CBS and NBC)?

That the transmission facilities of the Radio Nacional in Brasilia is the fifth largest in the world, and the largest in Latin America?

Living conditions after the Real Plan

That inflation, for the entire year of 2000, was 4.38% and that just in March of 1983 is reached 83%? That with the end of inflation, with the subsequent increase of the purchasing power of salaries and with the greater concern of the government of Fernando Henrique Cardoso for matters of a social nature, the real average income of those employed increased 27% in the metropolitan regions?

That in the 1998-2000 period, 13 million people climbed over the poverty line, reducing the percentage of the country’s poor population from 43.8% to 32.7%?

That, in the 6 largest cities of Brazil, the percentage of the poor dropped from 42%, in July of 1994, to 28% in January of 1996?

That the average monthly income of the population rose from R$ 364 (US$ 145) in 1992 to R$ 472 (US$ 188) in 1999?

That 5,160,000 families began receiving running water in their homes, which raised the percentage of inhabitants with running water from 69.5% to 81% from 1992 to 1997?

That the number of residences with trash collection services increased to 5,260,000, that is, from 64% to 74% between 1992 and 1997?

That 3,650,000 families began to receive electricity in their homes and that 2,790,000 had phone lines installed, rising from 88% to 93% between 1992 and 1997?

That the sewage system reached 1,640,000 homes, rising from 50.3% to 59.4% between 1992 and 1999?

That the consumption of industrialized food products also grew from 1994 to 1997? That in the case of chicken, the increase was of 39.9%; of beef, 27.1%; and of pork, 26.1%? That the consumption of yogurt rose 85.9%; of cheese, 51.8%; of beer, 56.8%; of soft drinks, 71.5%; and of cookies and crackers, 42.6%?

That our unemployment rates are lower than the Europeans? That in Italy, for example, the jobless rate is 12% and that in Brazil it was 4.8% in December of 2000?


That Brazil has the 8th largest economy of the world and that, in 20 years, will become the 4th largest economic power, competing for this position with France, Italy and Great Britain?

That the GDP grew, on average, 4% a year from 1994 to 1996, in comparison to only 0.22% in the period of 1990 to 1993, and that, in 2000, growth was 4.6%?

That the per capita GDP, which had dropped to 1.25% a year, from 1990 to 1993, increased 2.51% annually from 1994 to 1997?

That, according to the World Bank, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia and Russia will be the nations with the highest development rates in the next 25 years?

That we are responsible for 42% of the GDP of Latin America and that the GDP of Argentina is the same as that of the interior of the state of São Paulo (excluding the metropolitan region); and that the GDP of Chile is equal to that of Greater Campinas metropolitan area (a city in the state of São Paulo)?

That, of the 500 largest corporations of Latin America, 300 are Brazilian; 80 are Mexican; 60 are Argentinean; and 30 are Chilean?

That capital goods (machinery and equipment) for the construction industry, the electric energy sector and for mixed purposes expanded, in the last 4 years, 49%, 17% and 9%, respectively?

That the Mercosur economic bloc – of which Brazil is a member, together with Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay – has a GDP of US$ 1.141 trillion, occupies 10% of the surface of the American continent and possesses a population of 212 million inhabitants (26% of the continent’s total population)?

That Brazil is responsible for 30% of the earnings of the coffee sector in the world, 20% of soybean, 8.5% of chicken, 4.5% of footwear, 3.2% of steel and 2.9% of automobiles?

That supermarkets, in 1999, earned US$ 35 billion, with 55,300 stores, 670,000 direct jobs and 2 million indirect ones, being responsible for 85% of food supply in the country?

That, between 1990 and 1999, 4,900,000 businesses were constituted, of which 2.7 million (55.1%) are considered micro and small-sized?

That their production represent nearly 20% of the GDP, 60% of jobs and 30% of the gross sum of the nation’s industrial production?


That the illiteracy rate has been diminishing rapidly, dropping from 18.3% in 1990 to 13.8% in 1998? And that, in 2001, 94% of children between the ages of 10 and 14 years are in school?

That illiteracy among youths 10 to 14 years of age in urban areas is inferior to 5% today?

That, in 1992, 18.2% of children between 7 and 14 years of age weren’t in school and that, in 1999, only 4% weren’t enrolled?

That, in 2000, the government distributed 110 million school textbooks to 32,500,000 students in elementary schools as part of the National Textbook Program.

That the Informatics in Education Program (PROINFO) has installed 30,000 computers and accessories in over 2,276 elementary schools where 200,000 students are enrolled?


That the world’s biggest hydroelectric powerplant is Itaipu?

That Brazil is the world’s 12th biggest electricity producer ?


That for a number of years city authorities in Rio de Janeiro have been developing the "Neighborhood Slum Program" which will urbanize all city slums?


That during the Second World War Brazil sent 25,000 soldiers to Italy to fight the Nazi-fascists? That 500 of them died fighting in Italy defending democracy? That, in Pistoia, Italy, there is a cemetery for those Brazilian soldiers?


That in Brazil there are 554 Indian reservations covering a total area of 946,452 square kilometers, which is equal to over 11% of the total territory of the country? That 220 of those reservation areas (covering 436,400 square kilometers) have been demarcated?

That there are 325,652 Indians living on those reservations? That the Indians belong to 227 ethnic groups and speak 170 different languages?

That 94,190 square kilometers, out of the total of 224,000 square kilometers which comprise the state of Roraima, are Indian reservation areas? And that only 9,910 Yanomani Indians live in those areas; that is, one Indian for every 10 square kilometers?

That the Indian population of Brazil has been growing at twice the rate of the rest of the population (3.2% compared to 1.4%)?

Aircraft Industry

That a Brazilian, Santos Dumont, invented the airplane?

That Embraer, the Brazilian Aeronautical Corporation, has sold 4,959 aircraft in its 27 years of existence?

That Brazil is the world’s third biggest manufacturer of regional service and training aircraft?

That Embraer sells jets and turbo-propeller aircraft to First World countries such as the United States, France, Italy, Switzerland, Portugal, Spain, Luxembourg, Holland, Poland, China and Sweden?

That Embraer is the world’s fourth biggest manufacturer of commercial aircraft?


That the number of computers in Brazil rose from 5.1 million in 1997 to 9.2 million in 2000?

That Brazil is in seventh place in number of computers and at the moment is the world’s biggest informatics market?


That, according to a survey of 1,000 businessmen responsible for 90% of all direct investments in the world, made in February 2001, by the American consultancy firm, A.T. Kearney, Brazil is in third place in the preference of mega-investors, behind only the United States and China.

That, according to economic analysts, there are a series of factors which explain why Brazil has become one of the stars of the emerging country marketplace over the last few years. That, among these factors, is economic stability, the size of the consumer market, the existence of a solid financial system, a democratic government and the fact that Brazil is one of the best positioned countries among the emerging nations in the New Economy and has the world’s most competitive agricultural sector?

That Brazil is Latin America’s largest recipient of Japanese capital?

That the Brazilian Privatization Program is the biggest in the world, with planned sales worth more than $130 billion in telecommunications, energy, sanitation, banks and gas distributors? That the steel, petrochemical and fertilizer sectors have already been privatized?

That, over the last decade, the total volume of direct foreign investment in Brazil rose by 3,000%?

That, in 2000, the total volume of direct foreign investments in Brazil reached $27 billion?


That countries in the northern hemisphere cannot teach countries in the southern hemisphere how to take care of their forests because, in Europe, for example, only 2% of forest remains, while in Latin America 59% of the forests are still standing?

That the countries mostly responsible for global warming are the United States, with emissions of over 186 billion tons of carbon gases, the European Union countries, over 127 billion tons, and Russia, over 68 billion tons? Brazilian emissions of carbon gases are less than 7 billion tons, which is equivalent to only 4% of American emissions? And that these are the people who complain about Brazil?

That more than 1,500 species of fish can be found in the waters of the rivers of the Amazon region?

That 33% of the large leaf forests of the world are in the Amazon, which contains 3,500,000 hectares of virgin forest and 750 species of trees?

That the Amazon contains some 30% of the planet’s genetic reserves and is the most diversified and complex ecosystem known to exist anywhere on earth?

That around 22% of the world’s fresh water rivers are located in the Amazon region?

Street kids

That, contrary to what is found in the international press, Brazil does not have 11 million, or 7 million, or 5 million, or even 2 million street kids? The reason being that there are no firm statistics on the subject.

That, according to a survey by a non-governmental organization, Ibase, in 1994 (the year of the last survey) there were less than a thousand street kids in Rio de Janeiro?

Market Data

That Brazil presently has 43 million consumers and that in 2005 that number will rise to 65 million? That Brazil is the world’s fifth biggest consumer market?

That Brazil is in fifth place in purchasing power, behind only the United States, China, Japan and Germany?

That Brazil’s middle class consists of 35 million families, according to the IBGE? In other words, Brazil’s middle class is 8% bigger than the population of Germany, and bigger than the sum of the populations of Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Island, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland and the Czech Republic. Brazil’s middle class is bigger than the population of France and Canada added together. It is equal to one-third of the population of the United States or 72% of the population of Japan.

That Brazil is the world’s third biggest franchise market, behind only the United States and Canada? And that the number of franchises in Brazil rose 96% between 1995 and 1999, reaching a total of 46,534 with 226,334 direct employees?


That Brazil is the world’s second biggest producer of iron ore, the fifth biggest producer of manganese, the sixth biggest producer of primary aluminum, the seventh biggest producer of gold and the eighth biggest producer of tin?

That Brazil has the world’s fifth biggest reserves of iron ore and tin?


That Brazil has the fifth largest population in the world, with 170 million inhabitants?

That 40% of the population of Latin America is Brazilian?

That there are 23 million Italians and descendants of Italians in Brazil and that in São Paulo there are 5 million descendants of Italians, which means there are more Italians in São Paulo than in Rome?

That it is estimated that the percentage of the population below the poverty line at the moment is 16%, and that by 2005 that number is expected to fall to 10%?

Industrial Production

That Brazil is the world’s tenth biggest industrial power?

That Brazil is the world’s eleventh biggest manufacturer of vehicles? That Audi, Chrysler, Fiat, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Mercedes Benz, Peugeot, Renault-Citroen, Scania, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo have factories in Brazil?

That Brazil is the world’s second biggest manufacturer of ceramic coating and compressors for refrigeration? The fourth biggest beer brewer? The fifth biggest manufacturer of gasoline and radios? The sixth biggest of cigarettes and CDs? The seventh biggest of refrigerators, textiles and clothing? The eighth biggest of undulated cardboard, chemical products and instant foods?

That 70% of Brazil’s exports are manufactured goods?

That Petrobras, using domestic technology, holds the world record in ultra-deep water drilling, having reached a depth of 1,700 meters?

Land Reform

That, during the last six years, 400,000 landless rural workers have received lots and that they have been settled on an area equal to twice the size of Belgium?

That, in order to implement its land policy, a total of 13.2 million hectares have been expropriated or purchased by the government; an area three and a half times the size of Switzerland, or almost half the size of Italy?


That the Brazilian Family Health Program consists of 143,000 community health agents who visit 82 million families every month?

That the Brazilian program to fight AIDS, which distributes the so-called "cocktail" free of charge, has been called one of the best programs in the world by the World Health Organization?

That the Brazilian pharmaceutical products market has an annual turnover of $8 billion?

That each year Brazil vaccinates 20 million children free of charge against various diseases, among them polio?

That, between 1989 and 1998, the infant mortality rate in Brazil fell from 50.9 per thousand to 36.1 per thousand; that is, a drop of over 29% in nine years?

That life expectancy in Brazil rose from 66 in 1992, to 68 in 1999?


That, with a total area of 8,547,403 square kilometers (3,286,170 square miles), Brazil is the fifth largest country in the world? All of Europe could fit inside Brazil.


That Brazil has the world’s eighth largest fleet of vehicles, behind only the United States, Japan, Germany, Italy, France and Great Britain? And that Brazil has the world’s seventh largest fleet of helicopters, with 900 of them?

Miscellaneous (Science and Quality)

That the growth of scientific productivity in Brazil between 1995 and 1998 was only less than in South Korea? And that between 1981 and 1998, scientific productivity rose 365%, three times the world average, which was 104%?

That Brazil is the only country in the southern hemisphere to participate in the Genome Project?

That Brazil is the developing nation with the most companies that have received ISO 9000 certificates of quality – a total of 6,890? And that Mexico only has 300 ISO certificates? And Argentina only has 265?

World Ranking

Brazil is in first place in number of cattle; coffee, sugarcane, fruit and orange production, as well as iron ore reserves. It is also Latin America’s largest user of the Internet.

Brazil is in second place in iron ore production; bean, manioc, soybean and beef production; ceramic coating, compressors for refrigeration and blue jeans; in production and exports of poultry; it is also the biggest market for executive jets, helicopters, fax machines, biscuits and analgesics.

Brazil is in third place in production of refined sugar and corn; aircraft for training and regional services; soda pop; it is the biggest market for franchises, soda pop and motorcycles.

Brazil is in fourth place in production of grains, cacao and beer; in production and exports of pork; the biggest market for informatics, shopping centers, refrigerators, freezers and washing machines; as well as in number of TV stations.

Brazil is in fifth place in size and population; as a manufacturer of gasoline and radios, manganese; phonograph market; biggest consumer market.

Brazil is in sixth place in production of milk, iron bars, cast iron, aluminum and cement; biggest CD market and iron ore reserves.

Brazil is in seventh place in gold, cellulose and egg production; manufacture of refrigerators, textiles and clothing; number of computers and TV sets; biggest fleet of helicopters and vehicles.

Brazil is in eighth place in cotton, rice, raw steel and tin production; manufacture of cardboard, chemicals and instant food; number of credit cards; number of vehicles.

Brazil is in ninth place in manufacture of vehicles and Internet users.

Brazil is in tenth place in size of industrial base and generation of electricity.

Brazil is in twelfth place in manufacture of lubricants.

Brazil is in fourteenth place in nickel production.

Brazil is in seventeenth place in zinc production.

Brazil is in eighteenth place in production of brute petroleum and copper.


Sources: The major data above was taken out of "Perfil da
Economia Brasileira—2000", edited by CBMM—Companhia Brasileira de
Metalurgia e Mineração, "Brasil—Conjuntura Econômica", from the
Brazilian Ministry of External Affairs, e "Sete Anos de Real", from the Office
of the President of Brazil. Another resources: Anthropos Consulting (Dr. Luis Marins); the
Brazilian magazines Veja and Exame, Brazilian newspapers (Jornal do Brasil
e O Globo),
Secretaria de Estado de Assistência Social do Ministério da Previdência Social
(Brazilian Social Security Agency); Annual Statistics Report from the IBGE
(Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics.).

Ambassador Guilherme Leite Ribeiro, the author, is head
of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Financial Office in New York.
Send your
correspondence to Brazilian Financial Office,  565 Fifth Ave – 17th floor
– New York, N.Y. 10017 – Fax: (646) 487.2531/9636. You can also send
your email to

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