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UF Center for Latin American Studies’ 62nd annual conference focused on Brazil


Brazil’s emergence on the world’s economic stage is drawing enough attention to make the country the focal point of the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies‘ 62nd annual conference.

The conference, titled “Emergent Brazil,” is Thursday and Friday and focuses on Brazil’s recent economic achievements, its culture and its role in the world.

Keynote speaker and Vanderbilt University history professor Marshall Eakin said Brazil’s economy has changed dramatically over the last decade, especially the expansion of its middle class.

“You have millions of people coming out of poverty and entering into a consumer society. Where much of the rest of the world after, say, 2008, was in economic crisis, Brazil was still growing,” Eakin said. “It really is emerging as one of the world’s bigger economies.”

Brazil has the sixth largest economy in the world, he said, and that is why everyone is taking notice.

Business links between Florida and Brazil are enormous, Eakin said. Florida is the country’s top trade partner with $13.6 billion in trade within the first 10 months of 2012, according to the Sun-Sentinel. Eakin said Brazilians are investing heavily in tourism and real estate in Florida.

Eakin added that world sporting events like the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics, which will be held in Brazil, will put the country in the international spotlight.

Rebekah Geier wrote this story online.

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