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Country profile: Brazil.

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Introduction

Country profile: Brazil Brazil is South America's biggest and most influential country and takes up almost half the continent. It is one of the world's economic giants and is revered for its football prowess, coffee production and lively music such as samba and bossa nova. It includes much of the world's biggest rain forest around the Amazon, whose exploitation has become a major environmental worry. On the economic front, Brazil has a history of boom and bust, with its attempts at development hampered in the past by high inflation and one of the biggest foreign debts. It has had to be bailed out in times of crisis, but economic reforms in the 1990s brought some stability to the country's finances. Reforms included privatisation and the opening up of its markets. ...read more.

Middle

It is a controversial programme, however, since it involves bypassing the big drugs firms to produce generic copycat Aids medicines FACTS OVERVIEW | FACTS | LEADERS | MEDIA BRAZIL FACTS Population: 178.4 million (UN, 2003) Capital: Brasilia Major language: Portuguese Major religion: Christianity Life expectancy: 64 years (men), 73 years (women) (UN) Monetary unit: 1 real = 100 centavos Main exports: Manufactured goods, iron ore, coffee, oranges, other agricultural produce Average annual income: US$3,070 (World Bank, 2001) Internet domain: .br International dialling code: +55 President: Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, a former shoeshine boy and metal worker, became Brazil's first left-wing president in four decades when he beat his government-backed rival by a wide margin in the October 2002 elections. ...read more.

Conclusion

Lula was born in 1945 in the impoverished northeast of Brazil. His family moved to Sao Paolo when he was seven and he left school at 14 to become a metal worker. In the 1970s, Lula honed his political skills as a fiery union leader in the industrial suburbs of Sao Paolo. He went on to help found the left-wing Workers' Party. South America's biggest media market is home to thousands of radio stations and hundreds of TV channels. Media ownership is highly concentrated. Home-grown conglomerates such as Globo, Brazil's most-successful broadcaster, dominate the market and run TV and radio networks, newspapers and pay-TV operations. Brazilian-made dramas and soaps are exported to TV markets around the world. Game shows and reality TV also garner huge audiences. Brazil's constitution guarantees a free press and vigorous media debate about controversial political and social matters is common. ...read more.

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