First published: Prospect magazine.co.uk, 7/03/2016
The country is stuck in the “middle-income trap”
In November 2007, Petrobras, Brazil’s state-run energy company, announced it had made the largest ever deep-water oil and gas discovery off the country’s southern coast. By 2009, with the economy growing at 6 per cent, Brazil was being hailed as the “next oil giant.” Later that year, the 2016 Olympic Games was awarded to Rio de Janeiro.
Today, Brazil is facing a political and economic crisis. Petrobras, South America’s largest company, is the centre of a huge corruption scandal in which officials are accused of taking kickbacks from the construction industry. Meanwhile, the economy is enduring a sustained contraction that is unparalleled since records began in 1901. Brazil, the B in BRICS, has gone from boom to basket-case in less than a decade….Read more: