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Latin America’s overall performance in the midst of the economic crisis led to a coming of age for many of its regions, almost as much as it did in Asia. For the greater part of the 20th century, Latin America was looked at as an economic backwater but those days are over and now it’s getting the attention it deserves. Interesting facts about Brazil, one of South America’s most popular cities, is seen as an important force of its own.
Although Asians (predominately Chinese, Korean and Japanese) don’t make up a large percentage of South America’s population, countries like Brazil and Peru have prosperous Asian communities, typically concentrated in larger cities like Sao Paulo, Asunción, and Lima, Peru.
As early as the 1830’s there were endeavors to use Chinese laborers in Rio de Janeiro to cultivate tea. High levels of public arguments among Brazilian elitist regarding the advantages of Chinese workers in the slave economy led to widespread racism that the Chinese government was opposed to which is one of the main reasons the government refuse to authorize Chinese citizens to work in Brazil.
Despite the initial lack of Chinese immigration, their numbers in Brazil have grown since 1950, with the majority coming from Taiwan and the main destination city being Sao Paulo. The largest percentage of Chinese immigrants work in the clothing industry as retailers and/or producers.
When it comes to Asians thriving in South America, Peru, while still growing in numbers, isn’t as popular as Brazil due in part to the low wages and a shortage of available land. During the 18th century, this was definitely the case which led to the Peruvian government importing Chinese contract labor. It took decades for most Chinese Peruvians to begin working their way up the economic ladder, and since the mid 20th century most have worked in the retail, wholesale and manufacturing industries.
Even in the late 19th century, Chinese immigrants have played an important part in the region’s development, manufacturing often unavailable consumer items. Fun and interesting facts about Peru include that two thirds of the region is covered by breathtaking, prime Amazon Rain Forest.
Since the1970s, most Koreans immigrating to South America ended up in Paraguay because it was easy for foreigners to obtain border visas. At the time South Korean statistics showed that Paraguay welcomed around 120,000 Koreans between the years of 1975 and 1990 and around 90% lived in Sao Paulo, where they have established around 2,500 small businesses, most producing fabrics and clothing, and worked in the export import trade and electronic engineering.
Although there is a Japanese presence in a number of South American countries, Brazil stands out because it received approximately 260,000 Japanese immigrants between 1908 and 1978, and in 1987 the numbers were at around 1.3 million people with farming being their most productive industry. Most of the frozen orange juice concentrate that is produced in Brazil comes from farms owned by Japanese descendants.
In some respects, it’s the best time ever to launch or grow a business in South America. Included among the many interesting facts about Brazil is that its government credit rating had reached institutional level quality and trade relationships had diversified as well, both factors that make it a great place to thrive in South America.