Time for America to Wake Up to Brazil

[Editor's Note: Originally published Dec. 16, 2010] – When it comes to the BRICs, Brazil is sometimes an afterthought. China and India are burgeoning global powerhouses with more than 1 billion people each. Russia is a former military superpower looking to transition into an economic one.

Somewhere in the middle lies Brazil. It’s the largest country in South America, both in terms of size and population, with just over 200 million people. The country is poised to overtake France and Britain as the world’s fifth-largest economy and will play host to both the 2014 soccer World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics.

If you’ve been around a while, you probably know Brazil’s been here before. Perhaps no other country has held so much potential without either rising to the top or falling flat on its face.

But this time it may be different.

As you can see from this great profile that 60 Minutes did this past weekend, Brazil not only has the right natural resources to make it a key player in a globalized world, it also has the right leaders in place to create government policies beneficial to economic growth.

Key stats on Brazil from 60 Minutes:

– Brazil is the largest iron ore producer in the world.
– Brazil’s economy is growing three times faster than the U.S.
– Eighty percent of the country’s electricity comes from hydropower.
– Brazil is the world’s leading exporter of beef, chicken, orange juice, sugar, coffee and tobacco.
– Brazilian-based Embraer is the world’s third-largest aircraft manufacturer.

None of U.S. Global Investors family of funds held any of the securities mentioned in this video as of September 30, 2010.

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