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The Rise of Brazil

- Abstract

We Brazilians possess all the conditions to aspire for a place among the world’s great powers. In geographical terms, we have a territory of continental dimensions with a coastline of 4,600 miles leaning out into the South Atlantic, and a greater land frontier, of nearly 10,000 miles, bordering on 10 South American countries. Our coastline, the longest in the South Atlantic, fronts on West Africa. And our territory, the fifth largest national land mass on earth, does not lack natural resources such as fertile soil, hydroelectric potential, and mineral wealth. We are still far from an intensive exploitation of our resources, many of them still undiscovered. Our freedom of maneuver is being proven, day by day, by our mastery of technology and science, applied to the strategy of national development.

-General Carlos de Meira Mattos, Brasil: Geopolitica e Destino, 1975

IN A relatively short period of time, Brazil has become a new political force in the Western Hemisphere. The world’s largest and most important tropical nation, and roughly equal in size, population, and gross product to all the rest of South America, Brazil has developed into the world’s tenth largest economy, a major trading partner of the industrial powers, and one of the most rewarding fields of investment for their surplus capital. Since the military seized power in April 1964, the assets in Brazil of U.S. multinational corporations have multiplied sixfold, rising to nearly $4 billion today, as an economic “miracle” unfolded with growth rates averaging 10 per cent annually in the 1968-74 period.

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