Davos 2018: Temer tells investors ‘Brazil is back in business’
Brazilian president Michel Temer has sought to brush off this month’s cut to the country’s credit rating and a struggle for local popularity with a pitch for backing from international investors. In a keynote address on his first visit to the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, the president trumpeted his fiscal consolidation efforts and economic reforms.
“Brazil has come back to the growth track,” he said. “We have passed crucial reforms.” He pointed to “substantial profits” at state-owned enterprises, record-breaking crop yields and a large fall in inflation as signs of progress after “the most severe recession we have ever faced in Brazil”.
Earlier this month, Brazil’s government ramped up pressure on congress to pass urgently needed pension reform on Friday after Standard & Poor’s drove the credit rating of Latin America’s biggest economy deeper into junk territory. S&P pointed to the country’s shaky progress on fiscal reform as it cut the rating from BB- from BB. Mr Temer is speaking hours before a court is expected to rule on whether it will uphold a corruption conviction on former president Luiz Ignacio Lula da Silva.
Like several other global leaders, Mr Temer bemoaned the rise of “isolationist trends” in global trade — a gentle swipe at the protectionist policies and rhetoric from US president Donald Trump. “When we are closed within ourselves, we are closed to new possibilities and effective solutions to our shared problems,” Mr Temer said.
He welcomed the “new trade negotiating fronts” with countries including Canada and Singapore and said there is now, for the fist time in 20 years, a “realistic prospect” of wrapping up a trade agreement between Mercosur, of which it is a member, and the European Union. “Brazil is back in business,” he said. “Do invest in Brazil, and you shall not regret it.”