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Industry in Brazil: Map


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Industrialization during colonial times

During the colonial period, due to the rules of the economic theory of Mercantilism, no industrial activity could take place in Brazil. On the second half of the XVIII century, in 1785, Portugalmarker actually prohibited factories in the colony, the reason for that was the Portuguese didn't want to create competition with the English products sold in Brazilmarker by the Portuguese. [401913]

The first important efforts in the industrialization direction started during the Empire. During the reign of Dom Pedro II, Brazilian businessmen like Irineu Evangelista de Souza, Visconde de Mauá, and foreign groups invested in railroads, shipyards and banks.

Unfortunately, Brazilian foreign policy favored agriculture, that meant that foreign competition would discourage continued investments in the industrialization process

Brazilian industrial sector

Most large industry is concentrated in the south and south east. The north east is traditionally the poorest part of Brazil, but it is beginning to attract new investment.

Brazil has the third most advanced industrial sector in The Americas. Accounting for 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 U.S. firms.

Brazil has a diverse and sophisticated services industry as well. During the early 1990s, the banking sector accounted for as much as 16% of GDP. Although undergoing a major overhaul, Brazil's 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 Paulomarker and Rio de Janeiromarker stock exchanges are undergoing a consolidation and the reinsurance sector is about to be privatized.

The Brazilian government has undertaken an ambitious program to reduce dependence on imported oil. Imports previously accounted for more than 70% of the country's oil needs but in 2006 Brazil has achieved oil self sufficiency. Brazil is one of the world's leading producers of hydroelectric power, with a current capacity of about 58,000 megawatts. Existing hydroelectric power provides 92% of the nation's electricity. Two large hydroelectric projects, the 12,600 megawatt Itaipu Dammarker on the Paraná Rivermarker--the world's largest dam—and the Tucurui Dammarker in Para in northern Brazil, are in operation. Brazil's first commercial nuclear reactor, Angra Imarker, located near Rio de Janeiro, has been in operation for more than 10 years. Angra II is under construction and, after years of delays, is about to come on line. An Angra III is planned. The three reactors would have combined capacity of 3,000 megawatts when completed.[]

Proven mineral resources are extensive. Large iron and manganese reserves are important sources of industrial raw materials and export earnings. Deposits of nickel, tin, chromite, bauxite, beryllium, copper, lead, tungsten, zinc, gold, and other minerals are exploited. High-quality coking-grade coal required in the steel industry is in short supply.


Electric Generating Capacity '
Year 1910 1920 1930 1940 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2006
Capacity in gigawatts 0.157 0.367 0.779 1.24 1.88 4.80 11.23 33.47 53.05 73.71 96.63


Brazilian automobile production began in 1957, with an initial production of 1,166 units in the first year. Most of the production is concentrated in the states São Paulo, Minas Gerais and Paraná.
Automobile production
Year 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2004 2005 2006 2007
Units (in millions) 0.042 0.306 0.933 0.663 1.36 1.86 2.50 2.61 2.97


Petroleum production
Year 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2006
Thousand barrels per day 83 169 189 653 1,271 1,809


  • production: 380 TWh (2004)
  • consumption:391 TWh (2004)

Electricity - production by source: (2004)
  • other sources: 9%
  • hydroelectric: 83%
  • Conventional thermal: 4%
  • nuclear: 4%

  • production: 2.165 million barrel/day (2006)
  • consumption: 2.216 million barrel/day (2006)
  • imports: 0.051 million barrel/day (2006
  • proven reserves: 11.2 billion barrels (2006)
  • refinery capacity: 1.908 million barrel/day (2006)

Natural gas:
  • production: 9.88 billion cubic kilometers (2006)
  • consumption: 19.34 billion cubic kilometers (2006)
  • imports: 9.45 billion cubic kilometers (2006)
  • proven reserves: 326 billion cubic kilometers (2006)

See also



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