Map of Libreville, Capital of Gabon on This status was nonetheless lost in the second half of the 17th century, when the Dutch colonies in the Caribbean began to produce sugar more efficiently and of better quality than Brazil’s. The downturn in the profitability of sugar production characterizes a long period of economic stagnation in Brazil. The country’s economy reinvigorated only by the end of the 17th century, with the emergence of the so-called gold cycle, which took place mainly in the southeastern state of Minas Gerais. The extraction of gold, especially during the peak years, was by all criteria very substantial as a proportion of Brazil’s economy, as a support of Portugal’s declining economy, and even as a significant contributor to Europe’s inflation. Moreover, and in spite of the deep decline in gold production from the mid-18th century on, the gold cycle had important structural consequences for Brazil. By fostering the development of urban agglomerations in the southeastern part of the country, it induced demand for goods and services that were supplied mainly by northeastern and southern producers, thus promoting the country’s economic integration. The extraction of gold also stimulated the first significant flow of European immigration to Brazil. Map of Libreville, Capital of Gabon 2016.