Brazil at a Glance
Moving to BraziliStockphoto
Brazil's overwhelming natural beauty is an incentive for expats to move there.
Over recent decades, Brazil has emerged as a significant global player, both economically and politically. The country’s continuing economic growth, combined with its laidback lifestyle and favorable climate, causes rising numbers of expats from various fields to consider a move to Brazil. Its leading role in energy production, pushed by the 2006 discovery of the Tupi oil field, is particularly attractive to specialists.
Settling down in Brazil and finding a job there requires a considerable amount of dedication and perseverance, not to mention a bit of good luck. Nevertheless, many who now enjoy their lives in a bustling metropolis or scenic coastal city say their move to Brazil was well worth the effort.
The Economic Situation
Brazil boasts the dynamic business climate of one of the world’s fastest growing economies. As of early 2012, it now ranks as the 7th largest economy on the globe. Moving to Brazil means benefitting from solid GDP growth rates, although they have slowed down a little since the spectacular growth of 2010. The FIFA World Cup in 2014 and the Olympic Games in 2016 are expected to provide further stimulus to the already booming economy. On the downside, the high inflation rate worries some of those considering a move to Brazil.
The country’s strong growth continues to be a magnet for both foreign investment and skilled workers from abroad temporarily moving to Brazil. For foreign experts, the country’s pioneering fields of ethanol production – recently flagging, but still firmly supported by the government – and deep water oil research offer attractive career opportunities.
The Political Situation
One of the other reasons why moving to Brazil is popular among expats is its reliable political situation. After the abolishment of military rule in 1985, the country has gradually established a stable democratic system. As those moving to Brazil may know, the Brazilians elected their first ever female president in January 2011: Dilma Rousseff, former chief of staff of retiring ex-president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
You will soon notice the highly unequal distribution of income. Although there is a tendency to upwards social mobility, poverty remains one of the country’s major socio-political problems. The crime rate, feared by many who consider a move to Brazil, is relatively high, especially in urban centers. Some expats moving to Brazil, however, report that it is less noticeable in their daily life, provided they adhere to some basic safety rules, e.g. be vigilant at night, rent accommodation in safe compounds, and never try to resist any thief, mugger, or robber. Furthermore, corruption, despite efforts of the government to tackle it, is still considered one of the country’s biggest issues, both by locals and expats moving to Brazil.
Brazil’s Main Cities
São Paulo, Brazil’s largest city, is by far the most popular expat destination in the country. Apart from its sheer size – São Paulo’s metropolitan area is home to nearly 20 million people – the city also is Brazil’s economic and financial center, housing the São Paulo Stock Exchange. In 2011, it was estimated to generate over 17% of the country’s GDP. Plenty of multinational headquarters are located in São Paulo. The city has more to offer in terms of expat jobs than any other place in Brazil.
The country’s most famous and notorious metropolis of Rio de Janeiro is lagging slightly behind São Paulo in terms of expat popularity. However, this is definitely not due to a lack of attractiveness – Rio holds the title for the most visited city in the Southern Hemisphere – but rather the lower number of employment opportunities for foreigners. Expats living in Rio are often employed as specialists in Brazil’s petrochemical sector and other important industries, or they scrape a living by teaching English.