Brazil is one of the fastest-growing major economies in the world with an average annual GDP growth rate of over 5 percent. In Brazilian reais, its GDP was estimated at R$ 3.143 trillion in 2009. The Brazilian economy has been predicted to become one of the five largest economies in the world in the decades to come.
Brazil is a member of diverse economic organizations, such as Mercosul, Unasul, G8+5, G20, WTO, and the Cairns Group. Its trade partners number in the hundreds, with 60 percent of exports mostly of manufactured or semimanufactured goods. Brazil's main trade partners in 2008 were: Mercosul and Latin America (25.9 percent of trade), EU (23.4 percent), Asia (18.9 percent), the United States (14.0 percent), and others (17.8 percent).
According to the World Economic Forum, Brazil was the top country in upward evolution of competitiveness in 2009, gaining eight positions among other countries, overcoming Russia for the first time, and partially closing the competitiveness gap with India and China among the BRIC economies. Important steps taken since the 1990s toward fiscal sustainability, as well as measures taken to liberalize and open the economy, have significantly boosted the country’s competitiveness fundamentals, providing a better environment for private-sector development.
The owner of a sophisticated technological sector, Brazil develops projects that range from submarines to aircraft and is involved in space research: the country possesses a satellite launching center and was the only country in the Southern Hemisphere to integrate the team responsible for the construction of the International Space Station (ISS). It is also a pioneer in many fields, including ethanol production.
Brazil, together with Mexico, has been at the forefront of the Latin American multinationals phenomenon by which, thanks to superior technology and organization, local companies have successfully turned global. These multinationals have made this transition notably by investing massively abroad, in the region and beyond, and thus realizing an increasing portion of their revenues internationally.
Brazil is also a pioneer in the fields of deep water oil research from where 73 percent of its reserves are extracted. According to government statistics, Brazil was the first capitalist country to bring together the ten largest car assembly companies inside its national territory.
The annual Brasil Investment Summit takes place in São Paulo and is the largest gathering in Brazil of international investment experts covering opportunities in alternative vehicles, infrastructure, and advanced trading strategies.
With still high levels of inequality, though it has diminished in the last years, the Brazilian economy has become one of the major economies of the world. According to Forbes 2011, Brazil has the 8th largest number of billionaires in the world, a number much larger than what is found in other Latin American countries, and ahead of even Japan.