Diversity of exports may be Brazil’s savior

by Dave


Brazil, Latin America’s largest economy, appears the best equipped to withstand the current crisis thanks to the diversity of its exports of everything from airplanes to shoes.

The country has ridden record commodity prices and tapped a voracious appetite in China and India for grains such as soybeans. Only about 20 percent of Brazil’s exports go to the U.S.

Still, even Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has dialed back his initial confidence as the crisis causes growth projections to fall from 5 percent to about 3 percent.

Paulo Sotero, a Brazil expert at the Wilson Center, said Brazil’s potential remains formidable, especially with recent oil discoveries.

Sotero sees political will for tax reform and other ambitious goals as Brazil’s global rise continues, exemplified by its bid for the 2016 Olympics.

“I think even 3.5 percent [growth] is pretty miraculous,” he said. “When we all come out of this crisis, the relative position of Brazil might be even stronger.”

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