The Federative Republic of Brazil is a South American country that shares borders with all other countries in the continent except Ecuador and Chile. Covering an area of about 8.5 million square kilometers, the country is the largest in both Latin and Latin South America. It stretches about 4,395 kilometers from north to south, making it the longest country in the world. The only country that lies within the equator and the Tropic of Capricorn, Brazil comprises a vast extent of tropical and subtropical terrains as well as wetlands, plateaus, low mountains, and savannas.
Brazil’s agricultural, services, manufacturing, and mining sectors are highly-developed and have emerged in the global markets. The country has consistently enhanced its macroeconomic stability and established foreign reserves. It became a net external creditor in 2008. Because of its strong growth and high-interest rates, international investors are drawn to the country.
In 2008, Brazil was hurt by the global recession which affected its commodity-based exports and external credit. However, it was one of the economies to first recover.
Brazil’s official currency is the Brazilian real which was introduced in the 16th century when the first Portuguese navigators came to South America. The monetary unit is divided into 100 cents. When Brazil went through hardship, the real was replaced by the Cruzeiro in 1940. The real was reintroduced in the 1990s when the Cruzeiro was devalued.
In 1994, the Central Bank of Brazil issued Brazilian real banknotes in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 50, and 100 reais. These notes feature the country’s personification Republica and the coat of arms on the obverse while the reverse depicts animals. Recent Brazilian banknotes are vibrant in color and with a size that increases with the denomination. Similar to previous issues, these notes depict the effigy of Republica on the obverse. On the reverse is an animal in its habitat.