Economic Powerhouses: Go bonkers for Brazil’s booming economy


In this first article in our series on Powerhouse Economies we look at Brazil. In 3 years’ time the 2016 Rio Olympics is going to be one carnival-clad party with feathers galore and the world’s eyes firmly locked on everything Brazil has to offer.

Highly populated, historically rich and boasting an annual economic growth rate of 4.5% for the last 50 years, Brazil is a global player. From Agriculture to Construction, Brazilian manufacturers and foreign investors alike are in party mode and UK businesses are invited to join. So, here’s your ticket for everything you need to know to discover whether your business will strike Gold by expanding services or products into Brazil.

Land of the big spenders

  • Brazil is now the seventh largest economy on the planet in terms of GDP, having surpassed the UK’s in early 2012.
  • The economy is now worth over £1.6 trillion says Finance minister, Guido Mantega.
  • Declining poverty and rising inflation rates have influenced a wave of mass consumerism. Simply put, Brazilians are now spending more on products they previously couldn’t afford.
  • Brazilians now spend approximately £6.5 billion a year on online services alone!

Agriculture and automotive industries bring in billions

  • Now one of the world’s largest car manufacturers, the automotive industry provides around 1.5 million jobs and was worth over £60 billion by the end of 2010 (20% of the country’s economic output and approx. 5% share Brazil’s GDP). Oddly enough, whilst Brazil makes up a huge share of the global exports of vehicles, there are currently no big Brazilian based car manufacturers.
  • Brazil is a world leader in the agricultural industry, with exports totalling over £45 billion in 2010. This represented 36% of total exports in 2012. In fact, it is the world’s largest exporter of naturally occurring products such as sugar and coffee and the dominant provider of the world’s supply of beef and chicken.

Emerging sectors promise a flourishing future

  • The Agriculture Sector in Brazil is one of the world leaders with promising new fields emerging. Brazil is at the forefront of the organic produce movement with production increasing by 30-50% annually. Organisers even hope to sell only organic foods at the 2016 Olympics!
  • Other emerging sectors of interest include natural gas, tourism, software development and the financial and banking industry.
  • The Construction sector is set to see huge growth over the next 5 years as Brazil becomes the first country to host the FIFA World Cup and the Olympics within 2 years of one another. There are massive urban development projects currently underway, creating a huge demand for cement.
  • The consumer electronics sector saw 20% growth between 2010 and 2011, notably for white goods such as washing machines and refrigerators, yet there is still a lot of room for growth in terms of penetration for domestic appliances.

Dominant Brazilian cities

  • Rio de Janeiro is another major business city. The discovery of oil nearby has renewed industrial interest, whilst the forthcoming Olympic Games have led to an incredible 700% rise in direct foreign investment in the city.
  • Smaller cities, including Campinas, Uberlandia and Joinville, may offer a challenge to the big two in the future.
  • Sao Paulo is the city for industry, finance and business with over 10 million people and almost every type of industry there. Many businesses have located, or even re-located, their headquarters here.

UK exporters to Brazil can get research funding to meet potential customers

There is some great support available for UK exporters keen to do business with Brazil, including research funding from UK Investment and Trade (

Things to consider when communicating with potential customers in Brazil:

  • Web users are 4x more likely to purchase from a website that communicates in their language
  • Customers who buy online will pay more for a product if they can buy it in their own language
  • Over 56% of consumers say that the ability to obtain information in their own language is more important than price

Expansion plans are often exciting but can also be daunting, especially as effective communication plays a major role in the success of market penetration. You may need to think about translating your website and print material, marketing materials and also technical and product-related content such as manuals.

You may find our guides helpful when thinking about translation requirements. Click here to download one of our guides.

If you have any questions about how to approach communication requirements for new markets or would like information on our Brazilian Portuguese translation services, please contact a member of our team on + 44 (0) 1926 335 681 or email

Pin It on Pinterest