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Online Exclusive: Strategic Alliances in Brazil.
Building a Future
As the nascent African continent slowly separated from the Americas more than 150 million years ago, crumbling rocks scattered across the floor of the Atlantic Ocean, setting the stage for one of the most pivotal discoveries in Brazil's history. Drillers found the first traces of oil in what is known as the presalt region--oil deposits that rest beneath a layer of salt under the ocean floor--along Brazil's coast in August 2005. Over the next five years it became clear that the trace of oil wasn't just a fluke; it was the siren call of a vast store of oil with the potential to double Brazil's reserves.
While its economy is flourishing, Brazil's complicated regulatory framework can be tricky for foreign companies to navigate. "It's a very nice jurisdiction to invest in, but it's clearly not for beginners," Barreto says.
Much of the buzz surrounding Rio's Olympic bid focused on the city's criminal activity. Though efforts to clean up some of Rio's more dangerous neighborhoods have found some success in recent years, both crime and corruption are still very real issues throughout Brazil. As the "Lonely Planet" travel guide for Brazil bluntly says, "Accept the fact that you might be mugged, pickpocketed or have your bag snatched while you're in the country."
Though it's an election year in Brazil, analysts expect the positive momentum in its economy to continue uninterrupted. The country will elect its new president Oct. 3, just as this story arrives in mailboxes.