RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Compared to the rest of the world struggling in an economic crisis, Brazil seems like a good place to be these days. It is not just a destination for summer sun and samba anymore, our new (unofficial) slogan at The Rio Times is “Brazil for Business”.
The country of tomorrow still has its challenges of course. In the news this month is a discouraging report that only fifteen percent of stolen funds are recovered from political and government-related corruption.
Although just last month we saw Brazil’s global ranking of corruption at 73rd out of the 183 countries they surveyed. The report listed Brazil third in South America, behind Chile and Uruguay.
And a ship doesn’t turn on a dime, the progress Brazil is experiencing is amazing. The economy is now the sixth largest in the world, consumer spending is at record highs and in just eight more years – Brazil hopes to be the third largest oil producer in the world.
In some respects things are actually changing fast. Just a year ago, President Dilma Rousseff (Brazil’s first female president) was taking office. Also in November 2010 the battle for Complexo do Alemão in Rio’s Zona Norte (North Zone) had just been fought, and the favela pacification process in Rio earned serious credibility.
In 2011 Brazilian executives were the highest paid in the world, while unemployment stayed at record lows. The country’s credit and bank card use surged by 23 percent by the third quarter of 2011, and although half of Brazilian families are now in debt, all that spending has fueled growth.
In March 2011 U.S. President Barak Obama made his first visit, and the two largest economies in the Western Hemisphere signed a trade and economic cooperation agreement to boost commerce by expanding trade and remove non-tariff barriers.
At the same time Brazil imported more from China than ever in 2011, with total imports from the country amounting to US$21 billion by October, an increase of 35 percent. Also in October, President Rousseff was in South Africa, on her first visit to the continent to attend the 5th trilateral IBSA (India, Brazil, South Africa) Summit.
In December Brazil has also joined a new political-economic regional bloc that unites 33 countries from across Latin America and the Caribbean, but significantly does not include the United States or Canada. Known by its Spanish or Portuguese initials “CELAC”.
Brazil, the country of tomorrow, seems to be here today, and 2012 looks encouraging. The Rio Times is happy to be here of course, and we are hoping to serve and grow with the foreign community here.
Last year at this time we had about 40,000 Page views per month on our site, now we have 100,000. In January last year we had just launched our monthly Print edition, and in December doubled our circulation to 10,000 copies.
We also redesigned the web site in June of 2011, and started publishing Daily Updates in August. A new Mobile Site was introduced in November also, and we have big pans to continue growing in 2012, so stay tuned, and have a Happy New Year.