Venture to Brazil with IE Singapore


Largest Latin American economy

Brazil is the largest economy in Latin America and the 8th largest in the world. Despite experiencing relatively weak economic growth in recent years and a recession in 2015 and 2016, it is still on track to become the 5th largest economy in the world by 20501. With a sizeable population of over 207 million people, Brazil is the 5th most populous nation in the world2. The middle class makes up more than half the population and domestic consumption is strong, contributing some 64% of GDP3.


Oil and gas opportunities

The world’s largest oil discoveries in recent years have come from Brazil’s offshore, pre-salt basins. The country’s vast pre-salt reserves suggest substantial long-term growth potential for exploration and production. Brazil was the world’s top 10th oil producer in 2016 and has the 15th largest oil reserves. It is also 2nd in Latin America for proven natural gas reserves, with 429.9 billion m3.4


Infrastructure investments

In 2017, the government launched an infrastructure concession programme to raise US$14.4 billion in investment in building and operating roads, port terminals, railways and power transmission lines. Under the separate advance initiative, about 7,000 previously-halted construction projects will also be revived, with an estimated total investment of US$40 billion. Brazil’s economy, with its great potential for public-private partnerships (PPPs), holds tremendous appeal for international investors.


Venture to Brazil

Brazil has combined abundant natural resources – extensive arable land, ample fresh water, a favourable climate and substantial mineral deposits – with modern technology to become a major exporter of products ranging from aircraft and automobiles to coffee and soybeans.

Today, about 55 Singapore companies operate in Brazil, in sectors such as education, food products, oil and gas, logistics, commodities trading, infrastructure and environmental services, and info-communications technology.

There are growing opportunities in emerging states such as Minas Gerais and Espírito Santo in the southeast, and Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina in the south, which are close to existing commercial hubs but often have lower investment costs, less competition, and less pressure on infrastructure.


1: PwC report, 2017

2: CIA World Factbook, July 2017

3: CIA World Factbook, 2016

4: CIA World Factbook, 2017




26 States; 1 Federal District

207.4 million (est. July 2017)

Ease of Doing Business Ranking:
125th (June 2017)

Economic Freedom Ranking: 
140th (2017)

Bilateral Trade: S$2.7 billion (2016)

Currency used: Brazilian Real (BRL)

Language: Portuguese

Source: CIA World Factbook

View Enterprise Singapore’s Overseas Centres

Geography: Sao Paulo is the most populous city in Brazil. It is the capital of Sao Paulo state, Brazil’s largest state by GDP. Major industries in the state include automotives, electronics, heavy machinery, pharmaceuticals and aerospace. The state has good transport and infrastructure in place, with ports, major passenger and cargo airports. The city of Sao Paulo is a financial services hub for the country and increasingly, for South America.

Population (National %): 
21.1 million (city)

Source: CIA World Factbook, 2015

Sao Paulo
Geography: Brazil’s second largest city, Rio de Janeiro was the country’s capital until 1960. Major industries include oil and gas, shipping and maritime, media, telecommunications and tourism. Famed for its vibrant culture, it was the host of the 2016 Olympic Games.

Population: 12.9 million (city)

Source: CIA World Factbook, 2015

Rio de Janeiro
Geography: Mining is a major industry in the state of Minas Gerais, which has a high density of iron ore and other minerals. The automotive industry is also significant, with the state being the long-established headquarters for Fiat Automobiles in Brazil. Agricultural products include sugar, coffee and dairy. The state is also keen to diversify into sectors such as ICT, biotechnology, transport and logistics, and aerospace.

Population: 21.1 million

Source: IBGE, est. 2017

Minas Gerais
Geography: The state’s main economic activity is in transport and logistics, with the Vitória port in Espírito Santo being Brazil’s key container port for exporting iron and steel. The state’s long coast also faces the pre-salt basins, making it a suitable spot for new investments in marine-offshore and offshore supply.

Population: 4 million

Source: IBGE, est. 2017

Espirito Santo

Geography: The state is home to heavy vehicle manufacturers such as Guerra, Marcopolo and Randon. Another major industry is steel, with the state hosting the headquarters off Gerdau S.A., the largest producer of long steel in the Americas. Agricultural products include poultry and pork. There is also a large port and marine offshore hub near the city of Rio Grande, which services the south of Brazil.

Population: 11.3 million

Source: IBGE, est. 2017

Rio Grande do Sul

Geography: The state is a major producer of poultry and a significant supplier to Singapore. Another major economic sector is transport and logistics. The ports of Navegantes and Itajai are significant container terminals.

Population: 7 million

Source: IBGE, est. 2017

Santa Catarina