There is a Brazilian saying, "Brazil is the land of the future, and always will be." The country has striven to not only meet the market, but to be proactive and produce its own success. Brazil has become South America's most expensive country. Its currency, the Real (or reais in Brazilian Portuguese), has held steady and the economy continues to blossom. The country holds the world's 11th largest economy with agriculture and agribusiness being key elements to Brazil's success. There are moderately free markets and an inward-oriented economy. Its gross domestic product surpasses $1.6 trillion dollars making it the eighth in the world and the second in the Americas in the World Bank ranking.
On a country wide level, there continue to be issues with vastly unequal income distribution. While some Brazilians earn large fortunes because of the multitude of natural resources and large labor pool, many more Brazilians do not experience much economic success.
The Programa de Aceleracao do Crescimento (PAC) is a major investment plan of the Government of Brazil. The purpose of the organization is to promote investments of 503.9 billion reais in construction, sanitation, energy, transport and logistics in the 2007-2010 quadriennium. Accusations from opposition parties have called the PAC as a publicity stunt.
Along with being the political and cultural center, Rio was the richest State of Brazil until the end of the 19th century. This position has now been taken up by São Paulo. The city is the nation's top tourist attraction for both Brazilians and foreigners. However, Rio's thriving tourism sector has been in decline since the end of the 20th century. The sea, mountains, and events like Carnaval and New Year´s eve still attract visitors, but issues with crime and over-development have taken a toll.
The city retains its attraction for companies. State-owned companies such as Petrobras, Eletrobrás, Caixa Econômica Federal, BNDES, Intelig, Oi and Embratel all have headquarters within Rio. Big multi-national companies such as Coca-Cola, IBM and El Paso also have offices in the city. Many Brazilian entertainment organizations are based in Rio de Janeiro like TV Globo (Globosat, Globo News, SportTv, Telecine, Tv Brazil), NET, Sky and WayBrazil and also some of Brazil's major newspapers: Journal do Brasil, O Globo, O Dia, and Business Rio.
The per capita income for the city was R20,851 in 2006. Many Brazilians survive on much less, some as little as less than one dollar a day. President Lula has worked to increase the minimum wage from R$200 to R$350. He has also instituted helpful social programs to support the economically disadvantaged.
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