Article by Paulo Sotero published in Financial Times (07/06/2009)

Jul 06, 2009

"History: Stability and democracy are catalysts of success"
Presidente Prudente, a bustling community of 206,000 in the south-western corner of São Paulo state, offers a good view into Brazil's rise.

From its unremarkable beginning as a stop on the Sorocabana railway when coffee was king, it is now one of two dozen prosperous municipalities at the centre of one of Brazil's success stories – agro-industry.

Less than one hour to the west, a high-tech ethanol plant is nearing completion. Conquista do Pontal, is one of three plants being built by ETH, a subsidiary of Grupo Odebrech, with Sojitz, the Japanese trading company.

Agriculture has historically been associated with slavery and, in recent decades, with the abuse of workers rights. But, thanks to the rapid expansion of the sugar ethanol industry alongside flex-fuel cars that were introduced in 2003, it is now being transformed into an industry that is emblematic of the South American country's emergence as a social innovator on the world stage.
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For a PDF version of the entire Financial Times Brazil Survey in which Sotero's article appears, click here

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