The Brazilian Minister of Finance, Henrique Meirelles, was at FGV’s main office last Friday, July 14, to talk about economic prospects and public policies in Brazil. Held by FGV’s Department of Public Policy Analysis (DAPP) and by EPGE Brazilian School of Economics and Finance (EPGE), the event was opened by the president of FGV, Professor Carlos Ivan Simonsen Leal. The panel also included the participation of Professor Marco Aurelio Ruediger, director of DAPP, and Professor Rubens Penha Cysne, dean of EPGE.
Regarded as one of the main persons responsible for the recovery, albeit still very shy, of Brazil’s economy, Henrique Meirelles talked about what has been done by the economic team to overcome the biggest recession in the history of Brazil.
“The economy is starting its recovery process and we are monitoring this very rigorously”, said the Minister as he began his presentation.
Meirelles’ lecture focused on the steps that are being taken for this recovery as well as the economic reforms that are being proposed. The Minister presented indexes showing that economic activity has grown in the last three months, indicating that Brazil has left the recessive period and that it is time to start thinking about how much the country will grow.
The economist also pointed out the falling inflation, especially of food, and stressed that the country’s inflationary dynamics should be close to the target of 4%, which is very important for the Central Bank to provide some relief in monetary conditions.
Next, Meirelles spoke about the economic reform agenda. His main point was the importance of approving the spending ceiling to establish the required parameter over which all other structural reforms can be discussed, such as the labor reform – which has already passed – and those that are still in progress, such as the social security and tax reforms, as well as the microeconomic reforms (sector regulation, fiscal control, and reduction of the banking spread).
Then, Meirelles talked about GDP forecasts. He presented data indicating that the Brazilian Gross Domestic Product grew at an average of 3.3% per year between 1994 and 2013, and that the proposed reforms will allow Brazil to grow between 3.5 and 4% per annum over the next decade.
“We are taking the necessary measures to ensure economic stability. First we have falling inflation, fiscal adjustment, and stringent goals. As a result, the economic fundamentals have improved in recent months, and we are committed to reducing the role of the State and creating an environment favorable to production. Structural reforms will leverage productivity in the country, and the idea is to build a new growth cycle that can offer investment opportunities in the future,” he said.
The full presentation of Minister Henrique Meirelles is available, in Portuguese, in the following video:
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