World Travelling Guide
World Travelling Guide



Accommodation in Southern Africa and South Africa including accommodation in Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, Gauteng, Limpopo Province, North West Province, Free State, Kwazulu-Natal, Mpumalanga

List of Countries
Map of South America

Brazil Travelling Guide
Brazil Travelling Guide

General background: Following three centuries under the rule of Portugal, Brazil became an independent nation in 1822. By far the largest and most populous country in South America, Brazil has overcome more than half a century of military intervention in the governance of the country to pursue industrial and agricultural growth and development of the interior. Exploiting vast natural resources and a large labor pool, Brazil became South America's leading economic power by the 1970s. Highly unequal income distribution remains a pressing problem.

Area comparative: Slightly smaller than the US.

Climate:
Mostly tropical, but temperate in south.

Terrain: Mostly flat to rolling lowlands in north; some plains, hills, mountains, and narrow coastal belt.

Population: 176,029,560

Ethnic groups: White (includes Portuguese, German, Italian, Spanish, Polish) 55%, mixed White and Black 38%, Black 6%, other (includes Japanese, Arab, Amerindian) 1%.

Religions: Roman Catholic (nominal) 80%

Language: Portuguese (official), Spanish, English, French

Government type: Federative republic

Capital: Brasilia

Legal system: Based on Roman codes; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction.

Economic overview: Possessing large and well-developed agricultural, mining, manufacturing, and service sectors, Brazil's economy outweighs that of all other South American countries and is expanding its presence in world markets. The maintenance of large current account deficits via capital account surpluses became problematic as investors became more risk averse to emerging market exposure as a consequence of the Asian financial crisis in 1997 and the Russian bond default in August 1998. After crafting a fiscal adjustment program and pledging progress on structural reform, Brazil received a $41.5 billion IMF-led international support program in November 1998. In January 1999, the Brazilian Central Bank announced that the real would no longer be pegged to the US dollar. This devaluation helped moderate the downturn in economic growth in 1999 that investors had expressed concerns about over the summer of 1998, and the country posted moderate GDP growth. Economic growth slowed considerably in 2001 - to less than 2% - because of a slowdown in major markets and the hiking of interest rates by the Central Bank to combat inflationary pressures. Investor confidence was strong at yearend 2001, in part because of the strong recovery in the trade balance.

Communication/Telephone system: Good working system, extensive microwave radio relay system and a domestic satellite system with 64 earth stations, 3 coaxial submarine cables; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean), 1 Inmarsat (Atlantic Ocean region east), connected by microwave relay system to Mercosur Brazilsat B3 satellite earth station.

Places of interest: From the mad passion of Carnaval to the immensity of the dark Amazon, Brazil is a country of mythic proportions. All the while, the people of Brazil delight visitors with their energy, fantasy and joy.

Travel Tips: Remember to be inoculated against certain diseases.