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General country information
Brazil comprises 8.5m square km, roughly 35 times the area of the
UK. The largest country in South America and the fifth largest country
in the world, it comprises a federation of 26 states, each having
Brazil has borders with Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, French Guiana,
Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, and Venezuela. It also
has a 7,500km Atlantic seaboard.
The massive River Amazon flows through the northern half of the
country (the Amazon basin covers more than half of the country)
and the impressive Paraná through the south.
Rio de Janeiro is on the Atlantic coast to
the south, as is Sao Paulo. Brazilia, the capital, is inland.
The country has a number of climatic zones ranging from the Amazon
region where the temperature averages 27º C, to the dry north
east where temperatures can exceed 40º C, and the south near
Uruguay where average temperatures are 17 to 19º C .
Brazil’s economy, the tenth largest in the world, grew by
3.7 per cent in 2006, up from 2.9 per cent in 2005, and is expected
to grow by 4 per cent in 2007. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office
says the country has a history of economic boom and bust, but that
economic reforms in the 1990s have brought some stability to its
finances. These reforms included the launch of a new currency (the
Real) to tackle inflation, and a programme of privatisation.
‘Brazil is a rapidly emerging global player of great importance
to British interests - economic, political and commercial’,
according to the Foreign Office.
Most large industry is in the south and south east. The north east
is the poorest region but is beginning to attract new investment.
Overall Brazil is one of the most unequal societies in the world
with 5 per cent of the population owning 85 per cent of its wealth.
The threat of terrorism in Brazil is rated as ‘low’
by the Foreign Office. However, ‘there are frequent violent
clashes between the Police and drug gangs in the slum areas of Rio
de Janeiro. ‘You should avoid these areas, remain alert
and aware of local conditions at all times’, says the FO.
Also ‘drug trafficking and use is widespread, with severe
penalties in Brazil’.
Thefts from cars are common, and cases of
car-jacking occur, sometimes with the occupants being taken and
forced to withdraw money at cash machines. ‘Avoid venturing
out after dark in quiet streets except under reliable local advice’,
advises the FO. 'The threat of personal attack is lower outside
the cities. However, incidents can occur anywhere, even in holiday
destinations that appear relatively secure'.
It also says that credit card fraud is common 'and you should
never lose sight of your cards'.
British nationals are normally admitted to Brazil without a visa
as tourists or business visitors for an initial maximum stay of
90 days, although Brazilian immigration officials can exercise their
right to give less than this. The Foreign Office advises visitors
who wish to stay for longer to apply to the Federal Police for an
extension in advance of the 90 day period. Those who overstay their
visa entitlements are likely to be given 8 days notice to leave
the country at their own expense and risk fines or deportation.
UK property investors may buy Brazilian property subject to some
specific restrictions applying, for example, to islands and rural
land. However, a pre-requisite is to obtain a Cadastro de Pessoa
Física – an official tax identification number issued
by the Brazilian federal tax authorities and required for a range
of formal transaction. Obtaining this can be longwinded and involves
obtaining Portuguese translation of the applicant’s birth
certificate authenticated by the Brazilian consulate in the applicant’s
home country. However, some developers will assist buyers
to obtain CPFs.
The property buying process is similar to
others involving verification of documentation by a notary public.
However, the process is assisted by a reliable national land registry
containing details of title and charges. Even so, buyers are advised
to appoint their own solicitors.
Mortgage finance is difficult if not impossible for overseas investor
to obtain in Brazil and is expensive. Payment by instalments for
new properties is also likely to be an expensive form of finance.
If funds are transferred to Brazil to pay for property this should
be done via the Central Bank of Brazil as otherwise there may be
problems later in repatriating amounts.
Country information - Brazil
||Brazilia (capital), Rio de
Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Bahia Salvador,
age of population:
|- 3 hours
||Mostly tropical, temporate in the