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Brazil Seeks to Break New Ground in Global Marketplace

As Brazil expands its manufacturing and agricultural industries, it has carved a spot as the largest exporter of coffee, beef, poultry and other food products and as the world leader in ethanol production. Simon Marks continues a series of reports from Brazil.

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  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Now, the second in our series about Brazil's booming economy and its rising place on the global stage. NewsHour special correspondent Simon Marks reports.

  • SIMON MARKS, NewsHour Special Correspondent:

    It is a modern Brazilian success story. At the headquarters of Embraer, 50 miles south of Sao Paulo, you can literally see a new Brazil taking wing on the world stage.

    Embraer is now the world's third-largest aviation manufacturer after Boeing and Airbus. You could be flying aboard one of the jets being built at the company's headquarters in as little as three months' time. The factory is working around the clock and already has sufficient back orders to know that it will be in full-tilt production for at least the next six years.

  • LAURO YASUNAGA, Manufacturing Engineer, Embraer:

    In this building, we put together different segments coming from suppliers all around the world.

  • SIMON MARKS:

    Lauro Yasunaga is a manufacturing engineer overseeing Embraer's 12 enormous hangars where the company's jets are bolted and riveted together.

  • LAURO YASUNAGA:

    It's very exciting to know that the aircraft that you produce is flying all around the world with a name that's now known around the world, also. It's a very good thing for us.

  • SIMON MARKS:

    The good times only came to Embraer fairly recently. Opened back in 1969 as a state-run enterprise, by the early '90s the company was on the brink of collapse. Horacio Forjaz, Embraer's executive vice president, is a 30-year veteran here.

  • HORACIO FORJAZ, Executive Vice President, Embraer:

    Embraer faced itself in a very disadvantageous position because we lacked credibility, we lacked financial support, and we didn't have a new product. Those years were quite difficult for Embraer.

  • SIMON MARKS:

    The turnaround began in 1994 with the company's privatization and with the realization that there was a gap in the global market for regional jets seating between 50 and 130 passengers.

    As the price of jet fuel rose, along with passenger demands for more comfort — Embraer jets have no middle seat — order books began to fill. Today, the company's planes are flown by JetBlue, Delta, Virgin Australia, Air Canada, and airlines across Europe and Asia.

    Its executives say Embraer symbolizes a new Brazil that is globally confident and prominent.