Published in 1999. The liberalization process in Latin America during the 1990s resulted in the increase and diversification of trade in the region. Brazil, as a major player, strengthened its insertion into the world economy through the adoption of strategies for opening up markets and of new production technologies; complemented more recently by the creation of a broadly based stabilization plan. In this context, issues related to structural changes in the economy, such as those involving the complexity of new international trading agreements and their impact on the Brazilian economy, warrant special attention. The results of this study suggest that the interplay of market forces in the Brazilian economy favour the more developed region of the country.