For many years, São Paulo has been the place for multinationals to open a Brazil office. It may be less glamorous than Rio, as the two cities’ nicknames suggest: Rio is Cidade Maravilhosa (the Marvellous City); São Paulo is Cidade da Garoa (the City of Drizzle). But as a business man would sadly conclude: “São Paulo is the financial centre, and that’s where the money is.”

São Paulo’s economy has done very well in Brazil’s recent boom years and it is still much bigger, but Rio’s is growing faster, boosted by oil discoveries and winning its bid to host the 2016 Olympics (see table). Last year Rio received $7.3 billion in foreign direct investment—seven times more than the year before, and more than twice as much as São Paulo. Prime office rents in Rio are now higher than anywhere else in the Americas. 
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Source: The Economist

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