Dilma Rousseff was elected the country’s first female President on 1 November as Brazilians voted strongly in favour of continuing the economic and social policies of the popular outgoing President Lula da Silva. Ms Rousseff, who will be sworn in on 1 January, is expected to continue the policies of President Lula, with emphasis on government efficiency, expanding the role of the state in some sectors such as mining, and upgrading the country’s infrastructure. She will also oversee a huge expansion of Brazil’s oil industry, following the discovery of major offshore oil fields that should make Brazil one of the world’s top 10 oil exporters.
The Brazil economy continues to grow from strength to strength and is now larger than both Russia and India while China has become its largest trading partner. With the International Monetary Fund predicting that Brazilian GDP will grow to US$2.2 trillion next year and Brazil playing host to the World Cup in 2014 and the Olympic Games in 2016, these are exciting times for the country.