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Steve Chiotakis: You've probably heard about Chicago's bid for the 2016 Olympics. What you may not know is that Brazil's Rio de Janeiro is also bidding for the games. And the International Olympic Committee traveled there this week to take a look at the country's assets. Besides the sun and samba, Brazilian officials tout the economy, which has fared relatively well in this global economic fallout. So what makes Brazil so special?
From the Americas Desk at WLRN, here's Marketplace's Dan Grech.

Dan Grech: Brazil once was the world's most indebted country. But last year, fat with profits from biofuels, iron ore and oranges, Brazil paid off that debt.

Brazil once had one of the world's biggest gaps between rich and poor. But it plowed money into poor areas, raising 30 million people out of poverty since 1995.

Paulo Sotero directs the Brazil Institute at Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars:

Paulo Sotero: There is an important phenomenon of an explosion of consumption in poor areas of Brazil.

That new consumer class has kept the economy afloat, even as exports take a nose dive.

Sotero: The country seems to have recovered a sense of optimism, a sense of hope that was not present a few years back.

Sotero says this confidence, while intangible, is one of Brazil's greatest assets. It has helped sustain Brazil through these tough times.

I'm Dan Grech for Marketplace.