By Arnout Nuijt
Belo Horizonte, in short “Belô”, “Beagá”, or “BH” is the capital and main urban center of Brazil’s Minas Gerais State. The city has a population of around 2,5 million inhabitants, but there are approximately 5,5 million people in the Metropolitan Region. That makes BH the third most populous urban region of Brazil after São Paulo and Rio. Yet Minas Gerais State and its capital Belo Horizonte are often overlooked by foreign visitors and business missions – unless they are in the mining sectors. In fact the city and state have a lot to offer and presently the city feels like bursting out of its seems.
Minas Gerais State churns out almost half of Brazil’s mineral production, especially iron ore but also gold and diamonds. From the air or along the highways, huge open air mining operations can be seen around the city. Both city and state are widely regarded as Brazil’s third most important in economic and business terms. Politically speaking the mineiros, as the locals are called, have always been a force to be reckoned with, often providing presidents of the republic or acting as political powerbrokers. It is high time for Belo Horizonte to enter the world stage! Continue reading