"Brazil's economic future appears to be as impressive as the view from Francisco Itzaina's high-rise office in downtown Rio de Janeiro.

The South American boss of engine-maker Rolls-Royce's windows provide a panoramic vantage point over the city's vast Guanabara Bay.

With cargo ships, ferries and cruise liners plying their trade on the sea, and other skyscrapers rising in the foreground, it is a picturesque sight.

The giant scale of everything is also indicative of Brazil's growing economic might.

"God blessed Brazil with huge amounts of natural resources," says Mr Itzaina.

It is blessed with minerals and fresh water, and now we have just found huge reserves of oil and gas.

"Brazil is very well placed for the future."

Domestic market

Brazil, one of the so-called Bric nations together with Russia, India and China, has seen its economy soar in recent years, with growth far outpacing the US and western Europe.

It is vital for Brazil that economic woes in the European Union do not mean Brazilians that have become middle class falling back down again"

End Quote Ricardo Ismael Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro

In 2010 the Brazilian economy expanded by 7.5%.

While it slowed to expected growth of 3.5% in 2011, the government of President Dilma Rousseff says this was caused by external factors, primarily the financial crisis in the eurozone hitting the wider economy.

Brazil's economic growth last year was enough to see it overtake the UK as the world's sixth-largest economy, according to economic research group the Centre for Economics and Business Research.

What helps Brazil is that its vast domestic market - it has a population of 195 million - helps shield it from any global economic storms.

This population may be dwarfed by China's 1.3 billion, but on average, Brazilians have much higher purchasing power.

Mr Itzaina says: "Brazil's exports account for between 13% and 14% of its economy, China is more like 40%. So while exports are obviously important for Brazil, and it wants to increase them, it is not dependant upon them.

With substantial oil and gas reserves continuing to be discovered off Brazil's coast in recent years, the country is now the world's ninth largest oil producer, and the government wishes to ultimately enter the top five.

Yet while at face value the Brazilian economy seems unstoppable, there are some problems that remain, notably high taxes, protectionism, weak infrastructure, corruption, crime, and poverty."


Read more at BBC news, click here.


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