President Rousseff of Brazil Issues Warm Welcome to Foreign Investment
Rouseff cites investment opportunities and growth of middle class; Promises continued macroeconomic stability
Davos-Klosters, Switzerland Dilma Rousseff, the President of Brazil, told participants at the 44th World Economic Forum Annual Meeting that Brazil is eager and ready to welcome investment from all over the world, as the country continues to bring millions out of poverty and into the middle class.
“Brazil needs and wants a partnership with private investment,” Rousseff told a global audience of government and business leaders. “We have always welcomed foreign investment and taken measures to further improve the environment for it.” She urged investors to look beyond short-term economic performance and to focus instead on long-term developments and trends.
Since 2003, Brazil has brought 42 million people into the middle class and grown per capita income 78% while paying down the national debt and keeping inflation under control, she said. The growth of a new consumer class, combined with macroeconomic stability, provides rich opportunities for investment.
Rousseff promised a continued commitment to fight inflation and to keep the currency stable, and said Brazil would use its rich natural resources to improve living standards sustainably. A majority of profits from petroleum exports would go to education, she said. “We will transform a finite resource, petroleum, into a lasting one: an educated population.”
The development of petroleum deposits, as well as needs for improved motorways, ports, railways, urban transport, and urban sanitation, creates enormous opportunities for foreign investment, Rousseff added. She cited recent auctions to the private sector of motorway and airport concessions as examples of how the country welcomes private investment, and of how the public and private sectors work well together in Brazil.
Tighter monetary policy in the developed world may cause some short-term volatility for Brazil and other emerging markets, she said. However, she added that Brazil is well-prepared, with over US$ 370 billion in foreign reserves, and in the long run an economic recovery in the developed world will only help emerging markets.
Rousseff urged trade liberalization and said that Brazil supports both the Doha round of negotiations and the bilateral negotiations between the European Union and the South American economic bloc Mercosur. “It is time to overcome defensive postures and recognize the role of international trade in the global recovery,” she said.
Rousseff concluded her speech by inviting visitors from all over the world to come to this year’s World Cup in Brazil, saying Brazilians would welcome them with open arms and “football is an important affirmation of peace.”