President Jair Bolsonaro, in making his international debut next week at the World Economic Forum, will defend the swift approval of Social Security reform, the adjustment of public accounts, the autonomy of the Central Bank and the opening of the Brazilian economy.
The draft of the speech, which should be half an hour in duration, is ready, but the final version of the text will be discussed this Friday, Jan. 18 and during the weekend, with the help of Economy Minister Paulo Guedes. The president will detail the economic issues to the international investors and will limit to being more generic and political.
To the world financial elite, Bolsonaro will affirm that Brazil wants to do business with all countries, but will again defend that the partners will be treated without “ideological bias.” It will also say that there are no taboos for bilateral agreements, as long as they bring concrete results for the country.
It will be up to Paulo Guedes to make a global presentation of the Social Security reform and defend it as essential for the “oxygenation” of the Brazilian economy in the coming years. He will say that the proposal will be aimed not only at addressing the demographic problem of aging of Brazilians and the balancing of public accounts but also in modernizing the social security system and combating privileges.
Guedes was going to have a meeting with US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, but yesterday, because of the US government’s standstill, President Donald Trump canceled the participation of the U.S. delegation.
After giving a history of the reasons that led Brazil to fall into the “trap of low growth,” Guedes will focus his speech on what he calls “earthmoving” – a corrective agenda to put the economy on the road to faster expansion and solid. This agenda, the minister says, is based on three pillars: pension reform, privatizations and concessions, and the reduction and greater efficiency of the public machine.
It will also present goals for the coming years, such as increasing the current trade from 22% of GDP to 30% of GDP by 2020 and doubling the percentage that the country invests in science and technology in four years, today about 1% of GDP. Tax reduction is also among the goals.
Part of Guedes’ message is to explain how the Brazilian economy is and to reinforce that the government wants to do homework and “match the game”. “Davos will be very important for updating the image of Brazil. Let’s leave the view that we are not only willing to do the homework, but also to build a modern economy,” said a source from the economic team who will also participate in the event in Davos. “Investors will hear the message that the government wants to get the state out of the Brazilian’s neck.”