Science, Tech & Environment

Big business in the Amazon

You might think operating business in the rainforest necessitates cutting down trees. Consider the actions of Ford in the 1920s, when they needed a reliable supply of rubber. The clearing ended up a total flop and Ford couldn't keep the rubber trees alive. Today keeping trees alive in the Amazon goes hand in hand with international business. This Brazilian state is a home away from home for Harley Davidson. This governor says the presence of big companies such as Harley generates money and protects the rainforest. If a worker has a job in the city, that worker doesn't need a job in the forest. The governor says his state's difference is also the possession of a free trade zone. This director says there's a side effect in one particular place: it concentrates economic activity in a small area of the Amazon. That benefit is that trees stay standing and business booms for Brazilian companies and international ones. The Chinese are also moving into the area. Free trade zones are moving beyond the cities too. If demand grows too large, however, the tax breaks may not be enough to prevent some companies from cutting down the trees and the leaders of the Amazon will have to look for another big idea.

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