Imperatriz, Maranhão, Northeast Region, Brazil

🇧🇷 Imperatriz is the second most populated city in the north-eastern Brazilian state of Maranhão. The city extends along the right bank of the Tocantins River and is crossed by the Belém-Brasília Highway, standing on the border with the state of Tocantins. Imperatriz is the largest commercial crossing point, energy and economic centre of Maranhão and the second largest populational, economical, political and cultural centre in the state and has a strategic position not only useful to the state but also for the whole north of Brazil. Imperatriz is a cross between the production of soy of Balsas, in southern Maranhão, timber extraction on the border with Pará state, with steel produced and processed in Açailândia in and family farming in the rest of the state, with emphasis on rice production as well as future potential of power generation and pulp with the implementation of hydroelectric of Estreito, hydroelectric of Serra Quebrada and the Suzano Pulp and Paper factory. Besides these capabilities, the city is a centre for mining, mainly in the reserve of Ciriaco, a neighboring region. To provide logistical support to all these activities, Imperatriz is a local wholesale and retail centre for goods from the south of Maranhao, north of Tocantins, and east of Pará. For transportation, Imperatriz has the Belém-Brasília highway, the Tocantins River and the North-South and the Carajás Railroads. In addition, the main lines of electricity transmission for Maranhao and other states pass near the city. Today, by virtue of its performance in the sectors of trade and services, Imperatriz holds the position of second largest economic, political, cultural and population centre of the state and the main region that binds the south-west of Maranhão, northern of Tocantins and the southern of Pará. The history and development of Imperatriz gave it several titles including the "Gateway of the Amazon" and "Capital of Energy".

Economy Most of the city's active labor is absorbed by the commerce and services. In spite of that, the primary and secondary sectors, especially agribusiness, still play an important role in the local economy. The farming of bovine livestock supplies local slaughterhouses, which in turn allows Imperatriz to export meat to other states in Brazil and abroad. In addition to food processing and agribusiness, construction and non-metallic mineral processing are important. The area's most important crops are soy, rice and manioc. Recently, sugar cane is becoming important as well. According to IBGE, Imperatriz has a total of 5,657 commercial and 730 industrial enterprises. The city is served by Prefeito Renato Moreira Airport.

Image: Etore.Santos

Imperatriz has a population of over 259,300 people.

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