BRAZIL: a country profile
This report sought to make clear that Brazil, despite its enormous territory, population and GNP is characterised by great social inequality in matters as income distribution, gender and ethnicity. Any development project must deal with this fact; indeed, both the government and the multilateral development banks have established poverty reduction as one of its top objectives, and the Northeast region as their main concentration area.
With the process of globalisation which affects Brazil and also the Northeast, the region faces a paradox of, on the one hand, having to confront its still strong economic, political and cultural colonial heritage and, on the other hand, having to face up to the benefits and disadvantages of high-tech industries developing in the area. How to combine these two fronts in a virtuous circle of sustainable development? The region faces both the need to eradicate illiteracy (one third of its population) and also of offering economic opportunities and adequate training for its work force, especially the youth. Many think that one alternative is the development of social solidarity networks and potentially sustainable income-generating activities, which is being called “economia popular solidária”. Two questions must be answered with regard to this strategy: (1) How to develop viable economic opportunities for those already excluded from the high-tech sector? (2) How to create conditions for the development of these grassroots enterprises into a new dynamic economic sector, based on micro-enterprises, micro-credit schemes and self-employment?
Armani, Domingos. BRAZIL: a country profile. Documento subsídio ao processo de avaliação do programa de co-financiamento da União Européia no Brasil, agosto 2000, mimeo.