Aware of Rio de Janeiro's growing importance on the global market, I LOVE RIO provides a wide range of information about the city's economy, suitable for business people, entrepreneurs and economists.

Useful ideas on how to conduct business and engage with local market culture are provided, to both increase understanding and awareness. Expanding industries and local enterprises are positioned centre stage, along with techniques and useful contacts for engaging local entrepreneurs and develop successful ventures. By connecting readers directly with institutions and businesses, the Website also promotes commerce and local development.

business in Rio de Janeiro


The economies of Brazil and of Rio de Janeiro have gotten stronger over the past decade: innovative macroeconomic policies, the discovery of additional natural resources, and meaningful social reforms have helped increase exports and present Brazil as an attractive investment destination.

Strategies for the betterment of underdeveloped areas, strong backing of private enterprises, and multi-billion initiatives to improve general infrastructure such as communication and transportation are top on the agenda of federal, state and municipal governments - resulting in a dynamic economic climate attracting international investors and commercial enterprises.

Government agencies have allocated funds on an unprecedented scale to improve infrastructure and facilities throughout the country, setting the stage for a bigger workforce, and more opportunity for investments in the future.

The Brazilian government has positioned Brazil as a global leader, by offering aid to neighboring countries, heading United Nations missions, and partnering with African and South American countries to develop infrastructure and joint ventures.

Rio de Janeiro is the cultural capital of Brazil and a major financial, commercial, and transportation center. After São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro is the Brazilian city with the second major gross domestic product in the nation, Estimated at about 150 billion reals per year. The metropolitan region constitutes the second largest national hub of wealth, and 70% of Rio de Janeiro State's economic strength.

Benefiting from being the federal capital of Brazil until 1960, for nearly two hundred years, Rio evolved into a vibrant administrative, financial, commercial and cultural center.

The city is home to a solid infrastructure with an important seaport, an international airport, a domestic airport, two subway lines, several inter-municipal railway lines, and a public transportation network of hundreds of bus lines and thousands of buses.

Rio is the headquarter of major private and state financial, telecommunication, and entertainment companies. The recent discovery of oil in the Campos basin resulted in Rio being the main base of several Brazilian and foreign energy, oil, and gas companies. In fact, Brazil's subsalt region, a huge deep-sea area of oil reserves under a thick layer of salt, could hold up to 100 billion barrels - providing a huge demand for rio-based services.

The city is a leading financial and banking center, and Rio's investment activities include real estate development, funds management, and the second largest stock market in Brazil. Created in 1845, the Rio de Janeiro stock exchange, was the first stock market to be established in Brazil, trading today exclusively government securities.

Shipbuilding, metallurgical, refineries, gas and petrochemical, pharmaceutical, textile, food processing, and furniture industries are based in the city. Furthermore, major Brazilian entertainment, television, printing, and publishing organizations have operations in the metropolitan region.

The presence of a major seaport resulted in Rio de Janeiro being a vital hub of international import and export activities, along with coastal trade with other areas of Brazil and South America.

Tourism and entertainment are major aspects of Rio's economic life, as the city is a major destination for both Brazilian and foreign visitors alike, with the potential for international tourism continuously evolving. The city is expected to grow significantly in this area, in part as a result of the hosting of major international events such as the soccer world cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016, that brought an influx of funds, dozens of new hotels, and potential to an already booming market.

Coastal Rio de Janeiro State, has one of the strongest tourism and economic markets in the world - it is also the most popular destination for the majority of the 50 million Brazilian tourists who vacation nationally each year.

Historically, the service industry has been the most important part of Rio de Janeiro's economy, and along with small trade keeps the city thriving all year round. Thousands of large and small enterprises manufacture and trade food, clothing, appliances, furniture, cigarettes, leather goods, jewelry, arts, and crafts. Recently, the manufacturing of electronics and computers has begun to play a stronger role in the economy.

There are over 200,000 registered businesses in Rio, offering a host of different products and services. A vast majority of these companies are micro and small, with less than 100 employees. The service and public administration sectors make up over 70% of total jobs in the city, commerce accounts for around 16%, industry 10% and civil construction 5%.

Rio de Janeiro is also home to nearly 24,000 industrial companies that provide jobs for over 800,000 people. A much larger middle-class and an expanding economy have driven the demand for young professionals with higher education, making of the city a new land of opportunity. Brazilian brands populate South American households, and are actively expanding into global markets, with Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo being at the heart of this expansion.

Favorable factors for current investment in Rio include expansion of the internal market and demand for commodities, investment in public security, high quality marketing and events platforms and the availability of talent.

Rio de Janeiro's population is about 6.4 million people, reaching nearly 12 million people when including the greater metropolitan area – an even larger consumer market appears when taking into account the over 1.6 million visitors that visit Rio yearly.

Specialists predicted that there will be R$ 488 billion invested in the Brazilian Oil and Gas sector between 2014 and 2017, and most of this will be concentrated in Rio de Janeiro, where a vast 80% of the country's resources reside.

Rio offers room for growth and significant business opportunities in the shipbuilding industry, road infrastructure, ports, airports, telecommunication and tourism. The city holds the third largest port and shipping district in the country, and huge investments are underway for its renewal and expansion.

The growing population and improved infrastructure of favelas, jointly with increasing income of residents, have attracted more and more commerce and trade to Rio's less developed areas. This new business strengthens local community economies, and tangibly increases the income and quality of life of residents. Studies and data show that growing demand generates ample opportunity to expand trade and commerce to meet local needs.

Exponentially increasing interest and commitment to business enterprise has been met with concerted efforts by governments and non-government organizations to nurture and support the development of local favela economies, seeing in their growth the potential for a stronger and more united Rio. Seminars, workshops and talks are regularly hosted to promote entrepreneurship and support existing businesses.

The Serviço Brasileiro de Apoio às Micro e Pequenas Empresas (Brazilian Service to Support Small Businesses), or Sebrae, has promoted the development of local businesses in pacified communities since 1996. In 2011 it developed a project supporting over 60,000 entrepreneurs through meetings, as well as the provision of targeted advice and training.

Rio's commercial reputation and potential has been enjoying a condition of continual growth and as such, the scenic setting of the city acts as fertile breeding ground for consumers, producers, and specialists to shape the international landscape in their fields.

In light of increased investment interest, Rio de Janeiro plays host to a number of prestigious fairs and conventions where consumers and producers share ideas, network and innovate. The city holds a biennial Oil and Gas fair and conference with over 1,500 participants, hosted by the Institute of Oil, Gas and Biofuels, as well as the annual, international Navalshore fair.

An important fair for vitamin and protein products, and another for sports attire and equipment attest to the strong market for products related to fitness and health. Concurrently, the fashion industry in Rio has been growing in breadth and reputation over the past years, and the city now hosts a variety of fashion fairs and events.