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Brazil is back

  • Published at 07:02 pm January 29th, 2018
  • Last updated at 07:19 pm January 29th, 2018
Brazil is back
We turned the page of the economic crisis because we knew how to say “no” to populism and act responsibly. Moved by a long-term vision, our administration is in permanent dialogue with the National Congress and society to build the foundations of an efficient state, one that provides citizens with quality services within a balanced public budget. These are also the bases of sustained growth, essential for advancing the country›s development and effectively lifting millions of Brazilians out of poverty. In just over a year and a half of my administration, we have reaffirmed, in practice, our commitment to fiscal balance. The results are there. Inflation has fallen and is again subdued. The exchange rate has stabilized. Interest rates are now back to their lowest historical level. It was with these accomplishments that we restored confidence in the Brazilian economy -- which is already leading to results in increased industry output, renewed vitality in foreign trade, and the resumption of job creation. Investors who have been paying attention to Brazil today perceive a government that works with accurate diagnoses and applies solutions that work. They see an administration engaged in making the business environment more dynamic. We have eliminated bureaucratic obstacles everywhere that obstructed the paths of entrepreneurs -- it is now easier to open a business, import, export. Labour modernization, which has already entered into force, is a particularly relevant milestone in our efforts to attune Brazil to the realities of the modern economy without affecting workers’ rights. Also, on our horizon is a tax simplification bill that makes the payment of taxes agile and rational. In all this, the trend that reveals itself is of a Brazil with more and more economic freedom. Public accounts in order and a competitive private sector are essential for sustained growth, just as quality infrastructure, compatible with the vast potential of our country, is equally crucial. Therefore, I will also present in Davos the multiple opportunities of the Federal Government’s concessions and privatization program. The model we have introduced offers well-defined and stable rules, enhancing legal certainty. Not by chance, it has attracted strong interest worldwide. So far, we have completed more than 70 infrastructure projects, including roads, ports, airports, power transmission lines, and oil and gas fields.
The changes that Brazil is going through, and that are already preparing it to better meet the challenges of the 21st century, did not stop at the domestic level
Total investments in the projects are estimated at 142 billion Brazilian Real (R$). In 2018, another 75 projects will be offered, which also include railways and should attract more than R$130 billion in investments. The changes that Brazil is going through, and that are already preparing it to better meet the challenges of the 21st century, did not stop at the domestic level. We have also been pursuing openness in our foreign policy, because it is misleading to think that, in our current world, development can happen in an economically closed environment. Our commitment to more and better integration begins in our own region, in Mercosur: Together with our other partners, Brazil has developed an agenda that has set the promotion of the free market as one of its core pillars. In addition to eliminating barriers to intrabloc trade, we have moved closer to the Pacific Alliance countries. For the first time in 20 years, we have a realistic perspective of the conclusion of an agreement between Mercosur and the European Union -- an agreement that we want to be comprehensive and balanced, and that truly serves the interests of Brazilian society. We have opened new fronts of negotiation with partners from in the most diverse corners of the planet. It is an undeniable fact, for those who retain the sense of objectivity, that Brazil has already gone a long way in this administration, and is moving ahead in stride. We have achieved a lot, always based on dialogue, the raw material of democracy, and the sincere disposition to reconcile positions and coordinate effective responses to the needs of the country. The challenge that we now face, and to which we are fully dedicated, is to reform the pension system. In Davos, I will ratify my commitment to a fair and sustainable pension system that corresponds to the demographic evolution of our population. This is a commitment that I renew, first and foremost, before Brazilians, especially the poorest -- after all, the system, as it is, transfers income from those who have less to those who least need it. The reform will end privileges and guarantee the payment of today’s and tomorrow’s pensions. It will strengthen the credibility of the Brazilian economy, ensuring it can enter a long-lasting growth cycle. We are facing, with renewed courage and animus, the questions that this historical moment represents to the whole nation. I have no doubt that, once again, the challenges will be overcome and common good will prevail. Brazil is a great country, which brings together assets of all kinds. It is a consumer market with more than 200 million people, with abundant natural resources. Our people are creative and hardworking. We have a diversified industry, and highly productive agriculture. Our energy grid is among the cleanest in the world. We are a continent-sized country, far from the outbreaks of geopolitical tension. These are reasons that have always made Brazil an attractive destination for investors. In recent times, the problem was that the country had lost its way. Thus, what our government did again was to get Brazil back on the way. From the beginning, we have been clear on the path we should take: The path of responsibility, openness, freedoms. And from that path we do not -- and will not -- go astray. This is the message I have sent to the Brazilian people, and that I will take to Davos. Michel Temer is the president of Brazil.