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By Jaylan Boyle, Senior Reporter

Brazilian Finance Minister Guido Mantega. Photo: Antonio Cruz/Agencia Brazil
Brazilian Finance Minister Guido Mantega, photo by Antonio Cruz/Agencia Brazil.

RIO DE JANEIRO – Brazil has often been accused of being a country eternally on the rise, without ever reaching the level of economic and political performance that it is capable of. Recent events for the country, such as the football World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics of 2016 have many wondering speculating if Brazil’s time has finally arrived.

Underlining the national atmosphere of confidence in Brazil’s future, the government has recently announced the completion of a study which representatives say conservatively project the Brazilian economy into fifth place worldwide by the year 2026. In the intervening 17 years Brazil is expected to eclipse such traditionally strong economies as France, Britain and Italy. Brazil’s fifth ranking has been extrapolated as translating to a gross domestic product of US$5.721 trillion.

Finance Minister Guido Mantega, speaking to an assembled media audience in London, revealed that the expected growth in Brazil’s economy is based on what he considers a worst case scenario.

“If we took the World Bank figures, we would already be in fifth place in 2014,” he said. “We were more modest and took statistics that put us there in 2026, when China will already be the number one world economy.”

The figures were produced by the Economist Intelligence Unit, a department of The Economist magazine, who according to their own website are the ‘world’s foremost provider of country, industry and management analysis’. The department was founded in 1946 when a director of intelligence was appointed to the magazine, and now has offices in 40 countries worldwide.

Brazil has certainly been turning heads in the investment community in recent times, with the success of government interest and debt policies as well as the country’s strong performance in emerging from the recent global financial crisis earlier than most. The fact that capital is returning to Brazil stands as a marked contrast to sentiment expressed by international commentators when President Lula’s Worker’s Party first took office; investment dollars poured out of the country as speculators feared yet another socialist government was taking hold in the South American continent.

President Luis Inacio 'Lula' da Silva. Photo: Roosewelt Pinheiro/Agencia Brazil
President Luis Inacio 'Lula' da Silva, photo by Roosewelt Pinheiro/Agencia Brazil.

President Lula sees this as vindication of the policies he and his colleagues have pursued since coming to power, at what would seem to be the twilight of his career in Brazil’s top job. After two terms in power, by constitutional law he cannot seek a consecutive third, however after the 2010 election he is free to stand for the job again.

“From the first moment of my government, we worked to prove that it was possible to combine economic growth with redistribution of wealth”, he said at the Invest In Brazil seminar hosted by the Financial Times in London recently, citing the success of his Bolsa Familia programme, a welfare initiative that is credited with helping more than 11 million families beat poverty.

“Some people said in Brazil, ‘Why are you investing in the poor? You could build bridges, roads or viaducts,'” he said, adding; “I’d like to build bridges, viaducts and roads. But the bridge can wait a month, the road can wait two months. Any investment can wait. People who are hungry can’t wait.”

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5 COMMENTS

  1. President Lula deserves a Nobel Prize in economy for his extraordinary economic vision of making his country grow into a potential economic superpower by means of lifting millions of Brazil’s citizens out of poverty. There have never been in human history a leader who’s heart, mind and action have dedicated exclusively on changing the fortunes of the empoverished while at the same time striving to repair the damage and undo the injustice done to those subservient to the parasitical elite that has dulled his country for decades. In fact, as we speak, millions of people outside Brazil are starting to the benefit from Lula’s vision of prosperity and equal justice for all. Sure there are many who can’t agree with his course of action and find it reprehensible that he’d sit and sip coffee with the likes of an Iranian leader, for instance, or such other undesirables to the US-Europen establishe order. Nonetheless, his approach, despite the skeptics, is likely to wield far greater and faster results than what US-EU established have tried to achieve in almost a century. Suffice to say that, even now the United States is ever so quietly studying ways to how it can efectively undermine Brazil’s as a power onto the world stage so it can protect ‘it’s own interest in the Latin American region. As one the most effective ways, as we shall soon see, it’s the destabilize the entire by staging some military intervention via Haiti, Panama or Colombia against Venezuela or Bolivia or even Brazil under pseudo pretext of defending democracy. When it happen, most European countries (with possible execption of France) will fall in line single file behind the United States and either hold America’s coat while it does it’s dirty work and will take an active beneath America’s shadow and revert Brazil and the South region back into the third world status. What’s the fun if everyone at the party is a star? Thus, when Lula steps down and leave office after the upcoming elections in Brazil, many of entrenched members of the parasitical elite worldwide will breath a sigh of relief. They will a new opening to grab the power and wealth that Lula has taken from and transferred to the poor in his country. It remains to be seen if these assumptions are wrong. But that is precisely why it’s been written so you wake up to the possibility of a return to the past of business as usual and that you remain awake and alert to unsure that these assumptions are wronng. If you do, why no reccomend that presidente receives the Nobel Peace Prize as well?

    SP

  2. Brazil has some inherent problems. These problems won’t go away no matter how much its economy improves. Compare Brazil with Australia (both have GDP as of 2010 that are just a few billion of each
    other). Both are large countries and exporters of raw materials (Iron ore, etc). However, the GDP per
    capita tell the real story. Australia is nearly 38,000USD per capita while Brazil is nowhere near that.
    Brazilians are very good marketers selling their country’s potential while hiding its inherent evil ways
    of denying millions the opportunity to make money and improve their lot in life. It is a country that is
    highly stratified with a small elite (public sector and private sector (families) hoarding the majority of the wealth. It has been going on for decades regardless of who is in power. Both groups have the means to
    iron out the obvious wrinkles that most wide eyed naive tourist overlook due to “Brazilian hospitality.”

    If Brazil is becoming a major power, why then:
    (1) There is no mass migration problems as experienced by the U.S.?
    (2) What everyday branded products made in Brazil are sold in U.S., Canada, and Latin America?
    Can you name even one like say Jumex, Corona beer, and Goya which are ubiquitous here in
    the U.S.?
    (3) Why the favelas even exist? Why 1 in 5 people in Rio (as reported by Veja in april 2010 live
    in a favela? Are they lazy or there isn’t jobs for them.
    (4) Lula’s social programs are a Greece waiting to happen. If China hits a bump, Brazil may be
    without a benefactor and face a Greece styled crisis. Can Brazil grow without China???

  3. this seems like an odd comparison – the population of Australia is no more than 25million – the population of Brazil? plus Its not Brazilians ‘selling’ their potential, its the likes of Goldman Sachs.
    by the way, millions of brazilians (and non-brazilians) live in favelas and have jobs, to think otherwise is utterly absurd.

  4. Jonathan. You don´t know any brazilian brands being sold in the US or any other part of the World, right!? Did you drink any Bud, ate a Whopper or drive a car latelly? If you did, then I will give you an advise, buy a good “american” book (printed in Brazil, with brazilian paper) and get more informed than that, because the 2 first are already brazilian companies, and the gas you have to use everyday, has 10% ethanol made in Brazil.

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