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Recife is the fourth-largest urban area in Brazil with 4,054,866 inhabitants, the largest urban area of the North/Northeast Regions, and the capital and largest city of the state of Pernambuco in the northeast corner of South America. The population of the city proper was 1,625,583 in 2016.The first slave port in the Americas, Recife was founded in 1537, during the early Portuguese colonization of Brazil, as the main harbor of the Captaincy of Pernambuco, known for its large scale production of sugar cane. It was the former capital Mauritsstad of the 17th century colony of New Holland of Dutch Brazil, established by the Dutch West India Company. The city is located at the confluence of the Beberibe and Capibaribe rivers before they flow into the South Atlantic Ocean. The many rivers, small islands and over 50 bridges found in Recife city centre characterise its geography and led to the city being called the «Brazilian Venice». As of 2010, it is the capital city with the highest HDI in Northeast Brazil and second highest HDI in the entire North and Northeast Brazil .The Metropolitan Region of Recife is the main industrial zone of the State of Pernambuco; major products are those derived from cane , motor vehicles, ships, oil platforms, electronics, software, and others. With fiscal incentives by the government, many industrial companies were started in the 1970s and 1980s. Recife has a tradition of being the most important commercial hub of the North/Northeastern region of Brazil, with more than 52,500 business enterprises in Recife plus 32,500 in the Metro Area, totaling more than 85,000.A combination of a large supply of labor and significant private investments turned Recife into Brazil's second largest medical hub ; modern hospitals with state-of-the-art equipment receive patients from several neighbouring States.Recife stands out as a major tourist attraction of the Northeast, both for its beaches and for its historic sites, dating back to both the Portuguese and the Dutch colonization of the region. The city is an education hub, and home to the Federal University of Pernambuco, the largest university in Pernambuco. Several Brazilian historical figures, such as the poet and abolitionist Castro Alves, moved to Recife for their studies. Recife and Natal are the only Brazilian cities with direct flights to the islands of Fernando de Noronha, a World Heritage Site.The city was one of the host cities of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Additionally, Recife hosted the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup and the 1950 FIFA World Cup. The city, despite having a higher crime rate than the southern region of Brazil, is considered the safest state capital in the northeastern region.


Data and Facts

  • In 1988 a Washington research institute rated Recife as the third worst city to live in, on the planet
  • Violent murders have decreased by 15% since 2010
  • It has about 1.4 million inhabitants and an area of 218 km²
  • Recife's weather is stereotypically tropical. Its proximity to the Equator blesses it with a warm, almost unchanging temperature which usually lies somewhere between 28° and 34°C


The form of government is a democratic federative republic, with a presidential system. The president is both head of state and head of government of the Union and is elected for a four-year term, with the possibility of re-election for a second successive term. The current president is Jair Bolsonaro. The previous president, Michel Temer, replaced Dilma Rousseff after her impeachment. The President appoints the Ministers of State, who assist in government. Legislative houses in each political entity are the main source of law in Brazil. Brazil is a democracy, according to the Democracy Index 2010.The political-administrative organization of the Federative Republic of Brazil comprises the Union, the states, the Federal District, and the municipalities. The Union, the states, the Federal District, and the municipalities, are the «spheres of government». The federation is set on five fundamental principles: sovereignty, citizenship, dignity of human beings, the social values of labor and freedom of enterprise, and political pluralism. The classic tripartite branches of government are formally established by the Constitution.The executive and legislative are organized independently in all three spheres of government, while the judiciary is organized only at the federal and state and Federal District spheres.

All members of the executive and legislative branches are directly elected. Judges and other judicial officials are appointed after passing entry exams. For most of its democratic history, Brazil has had a multi-party system, proportional representation. Fifteen political parties are represented in Congress. It is common for politicians to switch parties, and thus the proportion of congressional seats held by particular parties changes regularly. Almost all governmental and administrative functions are exercised by authorities and agencies affiliated to the Executive.

Brazil's international relations are based on Article 4 of the Federal Constitution, which establishes non-intervention, self-determination, international cooperation and the peaceful settlement of conflicts as the guiding principles of Brazil's relationship with other countries and multilateral organizations.According to the Constitution, the President has ultimate authority over foreign policy, while the Congress is tasked with reviewing and considering all diplomatic nominations and international treaties, as well as legislation relating to Brazilian foreign policy.Brazil's foreign policy is a by-product of the country's position as a regional power in Latin America, a leader among developing countries, and an emerging world power. Brazilian foreign policy has generally been based on the principles of multilateralism, peaceful dispute settlement, and non-intervention in the affairs of other countries.Brazil is a founding member state of the Community of Portuguese Language Countries , also known as the Lusophone Commonwealth, an international organization and political association of Lusophone nations across four continents, where Portuguese is an official language.


According to 2013 IBGE statistics, the GDP was at R$46,445,339,000. And the GDP per capita was at R$29,037.Recife is one of Brazil's prime business centers, largely because it has one international airport and two international seaports. One is located in the town itself, and the other, the port of Suape, is located about 40 kilometres away. Just south of Recife is the region's main industrial area, where the following industries can be found: shipbuilding, automotive, petroleum refining, petrochemical, electronics, tube manufacturing, brewing and canning, chocolate manufacturing, textiles, etc.Recife has shared in the prosperity of Northeastern Brazil that resulted from development promoted after 1960 by Sudene , a federal agency / organization. Although its retail and wholesale trade have grown in response to the region's increases in population and wealth, the market area and the walkways of the city's bridges are crowded with informal traders selling small items.

The Logistics and Communications sector employs 4% of the people in Recife, 12.3% in Jaboatão dos Guararapes and over 9% in the Metropolitan Area. These numbers were due to increase with the conclusion of the Transnordestina with a 1,800/1,118 km/mi extension, which will cross 3 and connect 7 States products with Suape port and Pecem Port with costs that are estimated to be around 4.5 R$.Recife has historically benefited from its central location in the Northeast region. In a 200-mile radius from Recife are four state capitals, two international and three regional airports, five international ports, 12 million people, 51% of the research centers of the Northeast and 35% of the region's GDP. Similarly, in a 500-mile radius there are seven state capitals, five international and five regional airports, nine international seaports and two fluvial ports.

The medical pool offers a total of 8,990 beds and, according to the Union of the Hospitals of Pernambuco, recorded in the year 2000 an invoicing of R$220 million . It is thanks to the pool that Pernambuco has access to more computed tomography devices than more developed countries such as Canada or France.A large portion of the modern hospitals included in the pool are located between the neighbourhoods of Derby and of the Ilha do Leite. The Hospital Real Português de Beneficência Portuguesa em Pernambuco, or «Hospital Português» for short, is one of the most renowned hospitals in the country. Many people from neighbouring states go to Recife for treatment, as it has the largest and best medical facilities in the North–Northeast of Brazil.

Business Environment

Brazil is a country of young people, as 62% of Brazilians are aged 29 or under. The median age is 31 years. The country has a population of approximately 215 million people, where 49.2% are men and 50.8% are women. The number of households in Brazil has been increasing. Currently, 12% of households consist of one person, 47% have of two or three people, 32% four or five people, and 9% have six or more inhabitants. Good education is an important requisite for finding a good job in Brazil. However, only 49% of adults aged 25-64 have completed upper secondary education in the country. Of those who have a degree, 46% of them are men, and 52% are women. Brazil is sparsely populated and the majority of the population lives along the coast, particularly around São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. Throughout the country, most people live near or in urban areas. However, some areas of the country are essentially deserted, mainly in the Amazon region. The services sector employs almost 70% of the active workforce. While agriculture employs 10% of the country, industry sector employs 20% of the total active workforce.

Licence applications must be submitted to tax autorities and the type of licence is determined after a review of the financial capacities of the company.

Depending on the product, Brazilian authorities may require more documentation. For instance, the Ministry of Health controls all products that may affect the human body, including pharmaceuticals, vitamins, cosmetics and medical equipment/devices. Such products can only be imported and sold in Brazil if the foreign company establishes a local Brazilian manufacturing unit or local office, or the foreign company appoints a Brazilian distributor who is authorized by the Brazilian authorities to import and distribute medical products. Such products must be registered with the Brazilian Ministry of Health. The registration process is usually cumbersome and/or time consuming.


Import costs include the Import Duty , the Merchandise and Service Circulation tax and the Industrialized Product tax . Import duty is a federal product-specific tax levied on a CIF basis. Rates usually vary between 10% and 35%. The IPI is a federal tax levied on most domestic and imported manufactured products. The IPI is not considered a cost for the importer, since the value is credited back to the importer. IPI rates range between 0% and 15%. The ICMS is a state government value-added tax applicable to both imports and domestic products. MERCOSUR countries are currently in talks with the European Union for a trade agreement.

According to Euromonitor, Brazil is the 7th largest market in the world, with retail sales in the packaged food market representing US$ 82.2 billion in 2016. That represents a growth rate of 42.2% since 2012, despite a huge economic crisis that led to a -6.2% sales in 2016. By the year 2021, it is estimated to reach US$116.6 million. Since June 2016, the retail index has stabilised and sales turned positive. In 2017, retail sales were positive by 1.0% compared to 2016, according to BCB and Santander projections, after suffering turbulence during the economic crisis that occured in 2015/2016. For 2018, LatinFocus Consensus forecasts a 3.0% growth for the retail sector, and 3.7% for 2019.

The retail sector seemed to be less affected by the economic crisis that occured in 2015 and 2016. Brazilian consumers have changed their purchasing habits: more than 1 million consumers migrated from hypermarkets to cash and carry model, as they offer lower prices. Also, according to Nielsen, between January and June 2016, 400,000 Brazilian migrated from supermarkets to hypermarkets. Shifting demand went from premium brands – the majority is imported – to more affordable products. Within the imported categories, retailers kept well-known brands and changed the mix of products, opting for less expensive items. According to Euromonitor, the share of imported products varies on average from 2% in the supermarkets to 25% - 30% in the speciality stores.


Guararapes International Airport, also known as Gilberto Freyre International Airport, is the airport serving Recife. It has been open in its newest structure since July 2004 and is 52,000 square m in area. Suape port, is located in the administrative area of the small town of Ipojuca, inside the metropolitan region. Suape serves ships 365 days a year without any restrictions with regard to tidal schedules. The port moves over 8.4 million tons of cargo a year. More than 95 companies from almost all industries are already installed in Suape which includes a Petrobras Refinery, the largest shipbuilder in South American and a large petrochemical Company as well as many others. Road access to Port of Recife is accomplished, mainly, through the federal highways BR-232 and BR-101 . The main producing and consuming centres of the interior of the state and of the rest of the Northeast, are linked to Port by paved highways.

Recife Metro is one of the largest metro systems in Brazil. It reaches from Recife central station to Jaboatão, Timbi and Cajueiro Seco , being complemented by a light rail, with connections at Curado and Cajueiro Seco stations, which links Recife and Jaboatão to Cabo de Santo Agostinho. This system is also integrated with bus terminals such as at Barro, Joana Bezerra and Tancredo Neves stations. The system now has 29 stations , plus 9 light rail stations, and is 39.5 km long.

According to Detran-PE in 2009, the city of Recife had a total fleet of over 464,000 motor vehicles on its streets. 54,335 cargo vehicles, 318,520 passenger vehicles, 72,719 motorbikes, 14,142 others and 4,855 buses . These buses transport almost two million passengers daily in the metropolitan area, distributed between 17 local bus companies. The average amount of time people spend commuting with public transit in Recife, for example to and from work, on a weekday is 96 min. 34% of public transit riders, ride for more than 2 hours every day. The average amount of time people wait at a stop or station for public transit is 27 min, while 60% of riders wait for over 20 minutes on average every day.


Recife has an area dedicated to information technology called «Porto Digital» with more than 90 companies and 3,000 high tech Jobs. It was founded in July 2000 and has since attracted major investments. Generating some R$10 billion a year, it produces technology that is exported to the United States, India, Japan, and China, among other countries. Software manufacturing is the main activity in the Porto Digital. The Porto Digital cluster comprises small and medium companies, but multinationals from across the world, like Accenture, Motorola, Samsung, Dell and Sun Microsystems also have operations there. IBM and Microsoft transferred their regional headquarters to Recife.Porto Digital's startups can count on a ready pool of talent, courtesy of the Federal University of Pernambuco , which boasts one of the best computer-science departments in all of Latin America. The university began teaching programmers to use Sun Microsystems Inc.'s Java language in 1996, the year it was introduced. Launched with much hype in 2000, Porto Digital made headlines in the likes of Wired and Bloomberg Businessweek, a regional hub making a concerted effort to become a big noise. The big international companies have not flocked to Recife; but the hub’s steady growth, far from the wealth of Brazil’s southern cities, may be a salutary lesson for other tech centres aiming to take on major players. But after 13 years exporting products and services to the world, the hub still has to overcome a barrier no amount of high-speed internet connections can overcome: geography. Those behind the original concept of Porto Digital knew about the challenges ahead, trying to attract new companies to a city few non-Brazilians could place on a map. It took longer than expected; the hub’s direction has changed from the original vision, partly because politicians did not believe Porto Digital would make that much of an impression in the global economy.

Even today, if a foreign company or multinational chooses to open a branch in Brazil, it will first go to southern Brazil, where much of the country’s wealth is concentrated. As the country prepares to host both the World Cup and the Olympics, the north/south divide still remains. The highly skilled workforce is perhaps Porto Digital’s secret weapon. Since the '90s, the city has been regarded as one of the hubs for skilled IT professionals, in great part thanks to its computer science program at the Federal University of Pernambuco . But until Porto Digital came to life, many would leave the campus for Sao Paulo, or leave Brazil altogether.

The highly skilled workforce is perhaps Porto Digital’s secret weapon. Since the '90s, the city has been regarded as one of the hubs for skilled IT professionals, in great part thanks to its computer science program at the Federal University of Pernambuco .

Social Wellness and Human Resources

The Recife metropolitan area is the 5th most populous of Brazil, after São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte and Porto Alegre, and the first in the Northeast region. The most populous neighborhoods of Recife in 2008 were Boa Viagem , Casa Amarela , and Várzea .According to the 2010 IBGE Census, there were 1,472,202 people residing in the city of Recife. The census revealed the following numbers: 754,674 Pardo people , 636,864 White people , 127,789 Black / African-Brazilian people , 14,696 Asian people , 3,665 Amerindian people .In 2010, the center city of Recife was the 9th most populous city in Brazil.n 2010, the city had 268,160 opposite-sex couples and 1,004 same-sex couples. The gender proportion of the population of Recife was 53.8% female and 46.2% male.

Recife's 2020 population is now estimated at 4,127,091. These estimates represent the Urban agglomeration of Recife, which typically includes Recife's population in addition to adjacent suburban areas.

Recife is home to the frevo, a regional dance and music, typical in carnival, and Mangue Beat, a type of Brazilian rock with mixture of Maracatu, Ciranda, Rap and other musical styles. The Festival de São João, held annually in June, celebrates traditional culture and music that originated in the region.During carnival, downtown Recife holds one of the most authentic and democratic celebrations: every year more than one and a half million people open the festivities of the Brazilian Carnival at Galo da Madrugada. Recife and Olinda combined have 25 museums, 38 art galleries, 2 symphony orchestra halls, 15 theatres, 1 opera house and more than 40 movie theatres.

The four-day period before the Christian liturgical preparatory season Lent leading up to Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday is carnival time in Brazil. Rich and poor alike forget their cares as they gaily party in the streets. The cities of Recife and Olinda hold the most authentic and democratic Brazilian Carnival celebrations. The largest carnival in Brazil is Galo da Madrugada, which takes place in Downtown Recife on Carnival Saturday. Another famous event is the «Noite dos Tambores Silenciosos.» Carnival. Recife's Carnival is nationally known, attracting thousands of visitors every year.

The party starts a week before the official date, with electric trios «shaking» the Boa Viagem neighborhood. On Friday, people take to the streets to dance to the sound of frevo and to dance with maracatu, ciranda, caboclinhos, afoxé, reggae and manguebeat groups. There are still many other entertainment centers spread out around the city, featuring local and national artists. One of the highlights is Saturday when more than one and a half million people follow the Galo da Madrugada group.













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Bandeira de Pernambuco.svgPernambuco
March 12, 1537
Incorporated(as village)
Incorporated (as city)
 • Mayor
Geraldo Júlio de Mello Filho (Geraldo Júlio) (PSB)
 • Municipality
218 km2(84.17 sq mi)
 • Metro
2,768 km2(1,068.7 sq mi)
10 m (33 ft)
 • Municipality
1,555,039 (9th)
 • Density
7,133.2/km2(18,537.9/sq mi)
 • Metro
 • Metro density
1,352.5/km2(3,527/sq mi)
Time zone
Postal Code
Area code(s)
+55 81
BR$50.688 billion 2014[1]
GDP per capita
BR$31 513.07
www.recife.pe.gov.br(in Portuguese)
Sourced by wikipedia