Monday, October 16, 2006

The importance of my country to the world - Brazil

1 - The Biodiesel Program

Brazil's National Biodiesel Program authorized, by President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva through a Provisional Measure, introduced a new fuel in Brazil. The market should receive a product obtained from raw materials such as castor beans, soybeans, and dendé palm nuts.

With the Biodiesel Program, Brazil is initiating a new cycle in the energy sector and reinforcing incentives for the use of renewable energy sources and the diversification of the country's energy matrix.

Renewable sources currently represent 43.8% of the Brazilian matrix, compared with the global average of 13.6% and the developed countries' average of only 6%.

Biodiesel is a biodegradable fuel obtained from renewable sources such as vegetable oils and animal fats which, in the presence of a catalyst, react chemically with alcohol or methanol.

No country on the planet has been more successful at displacing fossil fuels with green energy than Brazil. Hammered by the oil shocks of the 1970s, the nation committed itself to developing a domestic ethanol industry to reduce its dependence on imported petroleum.

Today, 40 percent of the fuel that powers passenger cars here is made from homegrown sugar cane. That's been a boon for Brazilian agriculture. But the economic fruits have been reaped by a small number of large farmers growing a single crop.

With biodiesel, officials see a chance to spread the wealth from a fast growing fuel whose demand in Brazil could top that of ethanol.

At present, petroleum diesel accounts for more than half of all the vehicle fuel consumed in Brazil, about 42 billion liters a year, thanks to its heavy dependence on truck and bus transport.

By promoting a cleaner-burning alternative made from Brazilian-grown castor beans, soybeans, palm oil and other crops, the government is looking to slash diesel imports and improve air quality in its cities, as well as to generate rural income and employment.

2 - General (Wiki)

Possessing large and well-developed agricultural, mining, manufacturing, and service sectors, as well as a large labor pool, Brazil's GDP (PPP) outweighs that of any other Latin American country, being the core economy of Mercosur. The country has been expanding its presence in world markets. Major export products include aircraft, coffee, vehicles, soybean, iron ore, orange juice, steel, textiles, footwear and electrical equipment.

According to the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, Brazil has the ninth largest economy in the world at Purchasing Power Parity and eleventh largest at market exchange rates. Brazil has a diversified middle income economy with wide variations in development levels. Most large industry is agglomerated in the South and South-East. The North-East is the poorest region of Brazil, but it is beginning to attract new investment. Brazil has the most advanced industrial sector in Latin America. Amounting to one-third of GDP, Brazil's diverse industries range from automobiles, steel and petrochemicals to computers, aircraft, and consumer durables. With the increased economic stability provided by the Plano Real, Brazilian and multinational businesses have invested heavily in new equipment and technology, a large proportion of which has been purchased from North American enterprises. Brazil has a diverse and sophisticated services industry as well. During the early 1990s, the banking sector amounted to as much as 16% of GDP. Although undergoing a major overhaul, Brazilian financial services industry provides local businesses with a wide range of products and is attracting numerous new entrants, including U.S. financial firms. The São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro stock exchanges are undergoing a consolidation.

Although Brazil's economy is progressive and regionally important, the problems of widespread corruption, poverty and illiteracy are still major barriers to development.


Blogger Desiree said...

Jock, it is very positive to read that your country has done so much to displace fossil fuels! That is great!

Brazillian coffe is rather well known, it has a very positive reception here, in my country.

6:20 AM  

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