By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The U.S. dollar closed down on Wednesday by 1.69 percent in relation to the Brazilian real as the country’s stock market registered a record high of 91,012 points. Market are optimistic with as Brazil’s new Economy Minister, Paulo Guedes, revealed that the government’s priorities will be the opening of the economy, privatizations and the reform of the Social Security system.
“After 30 years of left-center political alliance, we now have one in which we are conservative in customs, and liberal in the economy,” said Guedes in his first press conference as minister.
Guedes also promised to announce an economic measure every two days during the first month in office. According to him the measures will aim to reduce bureaucracy and increase productivity.
He said his team will focus on measures that do not require the approval of the National Congress.
The official also revealed that the first measures to be announced will be ones to combat fraud and privileges in social security benefits and which may generate savings of R$17 billion to R$30 billion per year.
He noted that the current regime is a factory of inequalities, with the highest pensions concentrated in specific sectors of society. “Those who legislate have the biggest pensions. Those who judge have the biggest pensions. The (common) people have the smallest ones,” said the minister.
The remarks were applauded by an audience of bankers, businessmen and market analysts.
In October, Guedes was one of the first cabinet members to be announced by then-presidential candidate, Jair Bolsonaro. At the time Bolsonaro announced that if elected he would merge the ministries of finance and planning into a single, ‘super’ ministry.