Brazil's major economic sectors are all well developed. The agricultural sector of Brazil represented a larger percentage of the gross domestic product than industry until 1945. At that time, the government supported industrialization and direct investment in industry, with subsidies and trade protection for Brazilian industrial products. Industry was almost 3 times more valuable than agriculture as a percentage of gross domestic product by 1999. In the agriculture sector, Brazil is one of the world's largest producers of soybeans and coffee. International competitors watch Brazil's weather to determine the success of the soybean and coffee season, setting international prices based on Brazil's harvest. The agriculture sector represented 8.4 percent of the gross domestic product in 1999 and employed 31 percent of the workforce.
The government uses import taxes to protect many Brazilian industries against international competition. These industries include textiles, shoes, chemicals, cement, lumber, iron ore, tin, steel, aircraft, motor vehicles and parts, and other machinery and equipment. The footwear industry is the most important finished good exported from Brazil. Government-owned Petrobras and Brazilian Aeronautics Enterprise are important companies headquartered in Brazil that produce oil and aircraft, respectively. The industrial sector represented 31.7 percent of the gross domestic product in 1999. Twenty-seven percent of the employed workforce was in the industrial sector.
The third most important developed sector of the Brazilian economy is the services sector. It represented 59.9 percent of the gross domestic product in 1999. Tourism has increased rapidly with an estimated 4.82 million foreign tourist arrivals and receipts of US$3.68 billion from foreign tourists in 1998. This represented an increase from 2.67 million foreign tourist arrivals and receipts of US$2.47 billion in 1996. Forty-two percent of the employed working force was in the service sector.