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The Seattle Times was yesterday full of praises for Brazil’s leading position as a major economy. Tyler Bridges talks about Saturday’s G-20 summit in Washington and how President Lula is trying to convince G7 countries leaders to give a bigger say to developing countries.  The idea is to create a permanent G14, including Brazil, Russia, China, Mexico and India. It goes on to justify Brazil’s larger ambitions:

With the world’s 10th-biggest economy, Brazil has surpassed the United States as the biggest producer of iron ore and coffee. It’s become the world’s biggest exporter of beef, poultry, biofuels and orange-juice concentrate, and is rapidly gaining in soybeans, corn and pork.

Brazil also has accumulated $200 billion in foreign reserves, almost as much as the rest of Latin America combined. That money will help cushion the global meltdown. Now, Brazil wants to be recognized for its fiscal track record and to avoid the risks that come with a global economic crisis.

“Brazil has new standing in the world,” said Rubens Barbosa, a private consultant in Brazil who’s served as the ambassador to the United States. “We think we can contribute more.” Quietly, Brazil already has become the most powerful country in Latin America.

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Asked about the current global financial meltdown, Brazil President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, answered: “What crisis?”. This was not a dismissive response. It was a fact. Brazil rock-solid stability protected the country against the turmoil. As a Reuters news report has rightly remarked, commodity-rich and with $ 200 billion in foreign reserves Brazil has proved it has done its homework.

Brazil is the world’s largest exporter of biofuels, including ethanol. But it is not only the high price of commodities which is sustaining the Brazilian economy. The country’s financial system has lower debt, a respectable fiscal policy and a central bank with more autonomy than many others in West Europe. If this wasn’t enough, Brazil became a net creditor this year a direct consequence from amassing more reserves than foreign debt.

Another proof of Brazil’s economical strength came today with a record jobless rates, published by Bloomberg News:

Unemployment in Brazil’s six largest metropolitan areas fell to 7.6 percent last month, down from down from 8.1 percent in July, the national statistics agency said today. The jobless rate was lower than the median forecast of 8 percent in a Bloomberg survey of 19 economists. Brazil’s companies have been adding jobs at a record pace, fueling a surge in income that contributed to second-quarter economic growth of 6.1 percent.

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