Today, Brazil is considered a developing economic force with political power and influence in South America and the world. Brazil has one of the largest economies in the world. According to the World Bank, Brazil is ranked seventh in the world and is considered to be a booming country due to its prosperous economy. Brazil’s GDP (Gross Domestic Income) is about $3.59 trillion, making it the largest economy in South America and second largest in the western hemisphere (The U.S. is first with a GDP of roughly 17 trillion USD). However, it was not until 2005 when Brazil’s economy and politics stabilized that the world began to see Brazil begin to flex its muscles as the dominant force in South America. For the past hundred years, Brazil has been riddled with government inefficiency, military coups, economic downturns and questionable decision making. The turnaround truly began with the election of President Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva in 2003.
When President Da Silva came into office he came into lead a country that had an economic collapse as recent as 1998 and showed little signs in a revival. He took it upon himself and alongside his cabinet, announced “The Growth Acceleration program,” an investment program to solve the problems that have prevented Brazil in the past from expanding more rapidly. It included investment in roads and railways and their repair. As well as opening up the economy by reducing taxes and simplifying them. It proved to be a smart move as it increased investment in the area and became an attractive destination for corporations. The program had its desired results and brought prosperity to the country and made Da Silva one of the most popular politicians in Brazilian history. By 2010, GDP increased 7.5% making it “the highest growth rate in twenty-five years.”
It is also important to note that Brazil’s economy has slowed down more than ever since Da Silva left office in 2011 due to health issues as well as other cultivating factors such as the world stock market crash of 2008. Today, Brazil’s has more than 203 million people but roughly 110.9 million are part of the labor force. While some of its population work in the agricultural and industrial sectors, a whopping 71% of the population make up Brazil’s services. While Brazil has ranked as one of the most thriving and powerful economies throughout the world, it is still considered to be a developing country. This is largely due to the income inequality gap between the rich and poor. Although unemployment remains low (6.6%), the population living under the poverty line accounts to 21.4%.