The service sector represents
62% of the GNP, and employs nearly 50% of the
High tech services are
Telecom Italia for example invested 800 million
dollars in Internet in June 2000. Brazil is one the
most developed countries in the world in on-line
banking, nearly 4.5 million bank accounts are
managed via Internet. Since the middle of 1999 the
number of sites has exploded.
Publicity investment done via Brazilian portals
represent 6% of the advertising market, a total of
280 million dollars for the first 6 months of the
Privatization is the reason
for the investment frenzy.
In the telecommunication sector investments should
reach nearly 42 billion dollars over the next four
This income will finance the installation of 21.8
million fixed connections, 30.5 million mobile
connections and 690,000 telephone
A major problem in the domain
of high tech is smuggling and fraud (concerning
nearly 90% of the mobile phones on the market).
Large scale distribution in
Brazil is making up for lost time and quickly
catching up with European and North American
The centre of wealth and consumption is within the
triangle of Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Belo
Shopping centres have an ever
increasing success : there are about 506 spread
over the country, used by 62 million shoppers each
Brazil is the third biggest
market in the domain of franchising, coming after
the USA and Japan. 200,000 people are employed in
franchising and the turnover is rapidly expanding.
75% of the market is fast food, perfume shops and
Several hundred thousand
people live off recycling, which is a dynamic
sector in Brazil.
Research in this sector is encouraged and numerous
experiments are perpetuated.
There are approximately
165,870,000 inhabitants over a surface of 8,511,965
square kilometers, making a density of 17 persons
per square kilometer.
The working population is
estimated to be 74 million.
Unskilled workers are numerous and it is usually
necessary to train employees. In certain regions
there is a shortage of managerial and technical
0 - 14 years 30.14%
15 - 64 years 65.01%
65 years and over 4.85%
Life expectancy : 67 years
The minimum legal salary is
currently 136 BRL per month.
Only 20% of the population can afford goods and
1% of the population are wealthy, 9% are middle
class, the other 90% of the population earn less
than 1,700 dollars a month per
80% of Brazilians are urban
The working population is mainly concentrated in
the biggest towns, Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo,
and can be divided into the following categories
Mulattos 22% - Portuguese 15% - Italians 11% -
Spanish 10% - Europeans 17% - Halfcastes 12% -
Africans 11% - Japanese 1%.
Level of developement
(latest available statistics)
demographical growth 1997 - 2015 (%)
child mortality (%)
energy consumption per capita TOE
inhabitants without drinkable water (% pop.)
inhabitants without sanitary installations (% pop.)
N° of doctors per 1 000 inhabitants
telephone lines per 1 000 inhabitants
mobile phones per 1 000 inhabitants
private cars per 1 000 inhabitants
N° of computers per 1 000 inhabitants
adult illiteracy rate (%)
secondary schooling /age category (%)
university graduates /age category (%)
There are native reserves in
Brazil. They cover an area of 946,450 sq. kms.
They are mostly to be found in the north, with
others in the north-east, the central west, the
south and the south-east of the country.
Some natives still live in
The official language is
It is the inheritance of the colonial
Brazilians often speak
English, Spanish and French and sometimes Italian
The native population is divided into 215 ethnic
groups speaking some 170 different languages, e.g.
Nambik Wara, Munduruku, Kayapo, Guarini, Guajajara,
Tukano, Satere, Maue.
There are several religious
affiliations, but the main ones are Roman Catholic
and Protestant. 90% of the population are Catholics
and 7% are Protestant.
Weights, measures and voltage
The metric system is
Generally speaking the
electrical current is 110/120 volts - 6 HZ, except
in Brazilia, where it is 220 volts.
Electric plugs are usually
the American type (with flat prongs).
Take an electrical adapter
with you, although most hotels are equipped with
The official currency is the
Real (1 Real/R$, several Reais).
One real is divided into 100 centavos.
The exchange regulations : independent floating
The best thing when visiting
Brazil is to bring US dollars which you change
little by little, with the omni-present inflation
the value changes daily (over 500% inflation per
It is advisable to keep aside an amount in foreign
currency destined for the various airport taxes,
which amount to the equivalent of 50 Francs for
internal flights and 100 Francs for an
There are numerous exchange
bureaus, particularly in the hotels.
Shops seldom accept payment by Master Card, Visa
Card is more often accepted.
The Main Ports
Brazil has 35 well-equipped
ports, amongst which are Santos, Fortaleza, Belem,
Manaus, Salvador, Porto-Alegre and Rio de
Brazil is an immense
country and the climatic variations are such that
it is impossible to be precise on an ideal period
for a visit.
The seasons are inversed with those of the USA and
About 80% of the country is situated in a tropical
Amazonia is a hot, humid and rainy region. In the
centre of the forest it is rare to have a humidity
level under 100%. Rain falls at all times of the
day, storms usually break out in the early
Rain is more frequent as you approach the north
coast (Santarem, Belem).
There are however periods when the rain is less
frequent, June to October is the 'dry season'. In
the north of Amazonia above the equator, the 'dry'
periods are inversed and are from November to
At Salvador de Bahia, during the summer (from
December to March), the temperatures are high, it
is sometimes rather heavy and short rainbursts are
quite frequent. From April to August these rains
are longer and heavier. September to mid-December
is a good period with a lot of sunny days.
The temperature of the sea is approx. 25 - 26°
from July to November and 28° from January to
The climate is less stable in the centre of the
north-east : from May to November the temperatures
go over 38° and there are often catastrophic
floodings after the extremely heavy rains which
take place after long dry periods.
In Rio during the southern winter (from June to
September) the temperatures are pleasant varying
between 23 and 27°.
The temperature of the sea remains cool. From
December to March, the local summer, it is very hot
and heavy and it is also the rainy season.
There are however very nice sunny periods
throughout the day, the rain nearly always falls
towards the end of the afternoon.
The sea is never very warm though.
On the Minas Gerais plateau,
and further north (Brazilia) it is very hot and dry
from May to September.
In winter the temperatures are pleasant but cool
and there can be an icy wind.
Sao Paulo is at an altitude
and far from the coast.
The temperatures are pleasant all the year round
even if it is a bit cooler in winter.
The town is unfortunately considered to be the most
polluted in the world, the sky is often clouded
over. There are heavy rains from the end of
November to mid-March.
In the south of Brazil, Porto
Alegre has nearly a Mediterranean climate with mild
winters (a bit too cold to swim ) and hot summers
with cool evenings.
From July to August it snows
on the mountains of the Rio Grande do
There are snakes and
scorpions in the south-east of the country, with
lots of pernilongos and borachudos. There are a lot
of mosquitoes in the towns, which are especially
active after sundown.
In Amazonia there are flies, spiders and ants ...
as well as :
- over 1,500 species of
- about a hundred species of turtles and
- over 110 species of lizards
- about 220 species of snakes
- and over 1,500 species of fresh water
A few examples of Brazilian
armadillos, pumas, jaguars, crocodiles,
More than 55,000 plants and flowers have been
listed as belonging to Brazilian flora.