Emmanuel Hembert, principal at global strategy consultancy, claims Brazil is emerging as the leading economy in the world today.
“It appears that Brazil now holds the power,” Hembert said. “Here at AT Kearney, we recently released our 2011 Global Retail Development Index of the top emerging countries for global retail expansion, in which Brazil jumped to first place from 5th in last year’s study.
“Our 2011 GRDI ranking mirrors the dramatic changes that have taken place in global markets, and the impacts those changes have had on different emerging economies. Brazil has fared well during the recession posting an impressive 7.5% percent growth in 2010.
“The GDP per capita has increased by 30% over the past eight years. Brazil is a particularly attractive target expansion market given expected GDP growth of 5% per year over the next five years, a large and highly urban population, and surging retail sales. The coming organisation of 2014 Football World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games is further boosting the economy.
“In addition to the substantial investment in infrastructure the Brazilian government is planning, inflows of foreign capital are rising dramatically as well.
“Among the top global food retailers, Wal-Mart and Carrefour have been developing a strong presence in Brazil for years. Carrefour is in a hot battle with its French rival Casino for the control of the largest Brazilian retail group Pao de Açúcar. It illustrates the increasing strategic importance of this market in the retail world.
“For us, it is a concern major UK retailers have not jumped at the opportunity. Tesco, Marks & Spencer and Sainsbury’s are present or planning developments in Eastern Europe and Asia, which are emerging markets, but have not shown plans to open stores in South America.”