RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The term ‘latest’ seems better fitting than ‘new’ as the latter implies it will exist for some duration, as opposed to the latest of continuous changes. Reflecting on what is brewing this month, it seems Brazil, Rio and The Rio Times are all working out their latest plans of the day.
Brazil has had major remarkable progress in developing as ‘the country of tomorrow’ has in many ways arrived. It did slip from the 6th largest economy in the world back to the 7th largest after a disappointing 2012 GPD growth, falling back behind the UK.
The latest plans by the government involve a complex jiggling of interest rates and inflation, currency fluctuations and tax breaks – that quite frankly bore me in detail. The result though, will hopefully be a reduction in what economists refer to as the ‘Brazil Cost” – the added bureaucracy and taxes that make it an expensive place to function… not to mention the corruption.
Our front page article in our Print edition this month is about how the increased focus on transparency in government is exposing some brazen breaches of the salary limits. In the end it is positive news that Brazilian society is forcing this into light, and plans to continue doing so.
For the state and city of Rio de Janeiro, the latest scheme by the national congress to redistribute state and municipal oil royalties has made for some quick budget-cutting plans. The quick version is that congress overrode President Rousseff’s veto of an article in the law that made the re-distribution of royalties only effect for future, not existing contracts.
That nuance is estimated to cost the state of Rio a potential R$38.5 billion by 2020 and R$3.1 billion this year alone. So major contingency planning has resulted in a long list of public works projects halted – all on the eve of the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games.
The latest status at the time of writing was the STF (Brazil’s Supreme Court) had blocked the act by congress, claiming it unconstitutional, and now congress is posturing to change the constitution. It is an unprecedented situation in Brazil and stakes could not be higher for Rio.
The Rio Times has some plans of our own. These are just the latest re-prioritizing of a long list of ideas, but on top of the list is to start co-promoting events again. We did it last year for awhile with some other groups like The American Society, the InC, and Rio Rugby Club – and it was fun.
Other plans include increasing our Print edition to 24 pages again soon, and some re-tweaking of our layout design with more photos and shorter articles. For our Online edition we are working on more Daily Update articles as always, and improving the Nightlife Guide.
We have not given up on our other ideas, but we are growing just as fast as our Advertising revenue allows. At least that’s our latest plan.