What is the location and importance of Rio de Janeiro?
Explore the location of Rio and the reasons why it is such an important city
Rio de Janeiro (Rio) is the second most populated city in Brazil after Sao Paulo. It has a population of 6.5 million with a further 12.5 million in the urban area. Rio is located in the southeast of Brazil on the Atlantic coast.
Rio was the capital of Brazil under Portuguese colonial rule. It was established as a trading port. Brasilia became the capital city of Brazil in 1960 in order to encourage economic development further inland. However, Rio remains one of Brazil’s most important cities.
Rio is important at a range of levels. At the regional level, it provides schools, hospitals and universities as well as opportunities for employment, leisure and recreation. Rio is important for its art and culture scene. It is also important as a transport hub, with its international airport and docks which enable trade.
At the national (countrywide) level Rio is important because many of Brazil’s largest companies have their headquarters located there. These include mining, oil and telecommunications companies. Rio is a major centre specialising in clothing, processed food, chemicals and pharmaceuticals.
It is an important centre for research due to universities and research labs locating in the city. The port is very important for the export of iron ore, sugar and coffee. The city is the second most important area for industry in the country. Some 5% of the country’s GDP is produced here. Finally, Brazil’s major entertainment and media organisations are located in the city.
Rio is also important at an international level. The city hosted the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic games and in 2014 was a host city for the World Cup. Tourists from all over the world flock to Rio to see one of the most iconic landmarks in the world, the Statue of Christ the Redeemer. They are also attracted by its beautiful beaches, landmarks such as Sugarloaf Mountain, festivals and architecture.
It is also an international centre for finance and industry. It is a major international transport hub with three airports and five ports.
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