FINANCIAL TIMES/BRAZIL CONFIDENTIAL: Maranhao: giant projects may overturn poor reputation

The north-eastern state is among Brazil’s least developed, but investments in new oil and gas finds and a burgeoning agricultural sector could give it a boost in the arm. Maranhão vies with fellow north-eastern states Alagoas and Piauí for the unenviable status of having Brazil’s lowest per capita income. Sparsely populated and distant from the more industrialised east coast, only 35.4% of the population enjoyed food security in 2009, the worst rate in Brazil, and life expectancy is 68.4 years, the second-worst such statistic, according to national data.

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