Boeing courts Brazil


Brazil's next fighter jet? Boeing's F-18 Super Hornet


Pierre Verdy

Most of the world’s economies may be in freefall, but Brazil’s still going strong.

Any doubts about this regional giant’s economic clout should be put to rest after this report about its bid to buy military aircraft.

Brazil has been shopping around for fighter planes to bolster its military prowess. Its budget? $5 billion. 

That got some attention from Sweden, France and U.S.’s Boeing Co., which expects Latin American air traffic to grow at accelerated rates over the next 20 years. And Brazil, as the regional powerhouse and by far the largest economy, will want increasingly to assert its dominance.

The bid is so important to the U.S. that President Barack Obama has even stepped in, personally lobbying his counterpart in Brazil, President Dilma Rousseff, to help sway the deal. 

It’s just another sign of Brazil’s rising global influence. The country grew at about 7.5 percent last year, though that growth has slowed to around 4.5 percent in 2011, according to the International Monetary Fund. The picture isn’t all rosy, of course: Brazil’s inflation continues to rise and there are some fears of a credit bubble.

That hasn’t stopped business in Brazil. Unemployment is at an all-time low. Rio de Janiero, the bustling costal city, is booming amid plans to host the World Cup in 2014, and the Olympic Games in 2016, a first for the developing nation. Retail giant Walmart has expressed interest in expanding its stores in Brazil. Resource-hungry China is still gobbling up its commodities.

And many foreigners, including Americans, have flocked there for high-level jobs, according to the New York Times. Or maybe they’re just heading there for the $35 martinis? 

Either way, it seems like Brazil is here to stay.

More from GlobalPost: BRICs demand more say in world affairs