Is the general scepticism about Brazil’s inclusion amongst the BRIC countries justified? The country is politically stable, it has a rising economy, a well-educated workforce and a burgeoning financial market of its own. Perhaps it seems too similar to India
in the early part of the decade? Certainly concerns about the sluggish approach to fiscal reform and worries about inflation contribute to a sense of unease.
And yet, in February, according to Morgan Stanley Capital International Brazil became “the world’s largest emerging market”, as a rally for Brazil stocks combined with a falls in China left Brazil with a slightly larger market value: “now accounting for
14.95% of the MSCI emerging markets, it is also bigger than Korea, Russia or India”. And in the last few weeks, Standard & Poor gave Brazil its first credit rating, a step on the ladder reflecting the country’s booming economy and steadily rising GDP. At 5.4%
a year it is less than the growth in other BRIC countries, India and China report 8.9% and 11.5% respectively, but it does represent firm progress.
The emerging financial centre, Sầo Paulo, has over 20m people, the city’s university is the largest in Brazil and the third largest in Latin America. A sustainable supply of well-educated people, a developing economy and convenient geographic location; Brazil
doesn’t have the ‘wild east’ reputation of Russia, the introspection of China, or the prospect of price/wage inflation that has bedevilled India. Perhaps it is this that is luring foreign investment?
It would be missing the point therefore, to see Brazil as the new India for outsourced projects. We’ve all known for years that scouring the world for the cheapest day rate doesn’t usually get the best results for the project. What’s important today is the
level of service and commitment, within a stable country, of course, but increasingly significant is an emerging market. Brazil’s new economy is not only well-placed but offers a rapidly growing banking sector of its own. For technology companies, particularly
ones serving the banking sector, the country must now represent a logical investment prospect?
As Sầo Paulo becomes South America’s financial hub, surely Brazil will emerge from the shadows of its BRIC cousins?
Graham Underwood, GFT