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Excellent Economic Prospects

Bahia’s economy is diverse and prosperous; it is considered the most vital state economically in the northeast.  It is the sixth richest state in Brazil, with GDP 40% higher than in other northeast states, such as Rio Grande do Norte. The northeast is currently amongst the quickest growing areas economically in Brazil and performed particularly well during the economic downturn, with Bahia the engine of this growth.

Currently, the investor sentiment about Bahia is very strong.  Many people believe that this is one of the best moments in Bahia’s history because of the large investments that are coming in. The State of Bahia already has a portfolio of investments of over $35 billion, primarily composed of private investments mainly in paper and pulp, wind power, and mining. These investments are scheduled to continue through to the year 2015.

Excellent Economic Prospects Continued...

The Brazilian government has added $10 billion to the existing $35 billion in Bahia, taking the total investment for the state to $45 billion.  Whilst there was a decline in the country’s economic growth in 2012 and the flexible exchange rate hurt domestic companies, these factors are not keeping foreign investors away.

Close to Salvador, Camacari attracts many of the world’s leading manufacturers – due to its strategic location in the northeast of Brazil, excellent infrastructure and cheap labour.

Major names include Ford (who have their largest plant globally there), Dow Chemicals; Petrobras (plants and production facilities all over Bahia); Dupont; Ambev (world’s largest brewer); Firestone Tyres; Continental Tyres; Bridgestone Tyres; Pirelli Tyres; HP; Xerox; Toshiba; Magnetti Marelli; Monsanto and Bosch to name just a few.

Recent Economic Statistics:
Bahia is the 6th largest regional economy in Brazil and is currently amongst
the fastest growing areas of Brazil.
Bahia has a GDP of $90bn; this represents 4.3% of Brazil and 36% of GDP for the
Northeast as a whole.
Bahia has a larger GDP than Bolivia, Uruguay and Paraguay put together.

Growth Areas:
Alcohol and sugar.
Fish farms.
Fruit production.
Floral production.
Construction and property, notably in Salvador and the Litoral Norte.
Bio-diesel and next generation fuels.
Automobiles and manufacturing.
Precious stones, titanium, iron and zinc.
Minerals, large inwards investments continue, including a USD$4bn investment in bauxite announced
by mining giant Rio Tinto.
Oil exploration off the coast, with significant finds predicted.

According to Antonio Carlos Magalhães Neto, mayor-elect of Salvador, Bahia, northeastern capitals now have more diversified economies and development has spread to the countryside. Many northeastern migrants who moved to São Paulo and other areas in the south are now returning to the northeast, he explained. Still, the gap between Brazil’s south and northeast remains. yet government investment can help decrease disparities between the regions by improving infrastructure, especially ports and highways (there is a major new port being constructed in Ilheus).  As Salvador prepares to host several games of the 2014 World Cup, Magalhães Neto mentioned the creation of Salvador Negocios, a government agency to attract foreign investment to the city, would likely add further to inwards investment.
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