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Dilma Rousseff


Brazil 2015  I  Politics & Diplomacy  I  Top Story

Interview with Dilma Rousseff President of Brazil

BIOGRAPHY Born in 14 December 1947 is an economist serving as the 36th President of Brazil and the first woman to hold the office. She was previously the Chief of Staff of the President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva from 2005 to 2010.


The first female President

By the sovereign decision of the people, the Presidential sash encircles the shoulders of a woman. I am immensely honored by this choice the Brazilian people have made, and I recognize the historic significance of this decision.

I also recognize that the green and yellow silk of the Presidential sash may appear to be soft, but it carries with it an enormous responsibility for the nation. To take on this responsibility, I have with me the strength and the example of the Brazilian women. I open my heart to receive, at this moment, a spark of their immense energy.

And I know that my presidential term must involve the most generous interpretation of this brave vote that the people have made: after electing a man of the people, of the working class, to the presidency, they have decided to call on a woman to take the helm in the country’s destiny.

I am here to open doors so that in the future many other women can also be President. I prefer not to boast of my own life story, but rather to praise the life of every Brazilian woman. My greatest commitment is to honoring our women, protecting our most vulnerable people, and governing for everyone.


New government

We are living through one of the best periods of our nation’s life: millions of jobs are being created; our growth rate has more than doubled and we have ended a long period of dependence on the International Monetary Fund, at the same time as overcoming our external debt.

Above all, we have cut our historical social debt, rescuing millions of Brazilians from the tragedy of extreme poverty and helping millions of others to join the middle classes. But in a country as complex as ours, we always have to wish for more, discover more, create innovative new directions and always seek new solutions.

It is only thus that we can guarantee that those who have seen improvements in their lives will be able to accomplish still more; and to prove to those who are still struggling to emerge from destitution that they will indeed change their lives and reach a new level, with the help of the government and of all society.

That we can, in fact, be one of the most developed and least unequal nations in the world – a country with a solid and entrepreneurial middle class; a vibrant and modern democracy, full of social commitment, political liberty and creativity.

To make the current cycle of growth last, it is necessary to guarantee stability, especially price stability, and to go on ironing out the wrinkles that still hold back our economy’s dynamism. We need to facilitate production and stimulate our people’s entrepreneurial capacity, from the large corporations down to the small local businesses, from big agribusiness to family-run smallholdings.

We cannot, therefore, put off implementing a set of measures that will modernize the taxation system, led by the principle of simplification and rationality. The intensive use of information technology should be put at the service of an increasingly efficient system that is marked by its respect for the tax-payer.

Valuing our industry and increasing its strength in exportation will be an ongoing target. The competitiveness of our agriculture and our livestock, which makes Brazil a major exporter of quality products to every continent, deserves all our attention. In the most productive sectors the internationalization of our corporations is already well underway.

Support for our big exporters is not incompatible with providing incentives, development and support for smallholders and micro-businesses. Small companies are responsible for the greatest number of permanent jobs in our country. They will merit ongoing tax and credit policies.

Giving value to regional development is also imperative in a country of continental dimensions. We must sustain the vibrant economy of the North-East; preserve, respect and develop the biodiversity of Amazonia in the North; and provide conditions for the extraordinary agricultural production of the Middle-West, the industrial output of the South-East and the vigor and pioneering spirit of the South.


Social development

We will continue working to improve the quality of public spending. Brazil has opted, throughout its history, to build a State that provides basic services and social welfare. This involves high costs for the whole of society, but it also means that everyone is guaranteed a pension and universal health and education services. Therefore, improving public services is also imperative as we improve our government spending.

Another important factor in the quality of spending is an increase in levels of investment in terms of overhead. Public investment is essential in leveraging private investment and as a regional development tool.  By means of the Growth Acceleration Program and the ‘My House, My Life’ Program, we will continue to keep investment under the strict and careful scrutiny of the Presidency of the Republic and the Ministries.

The Growth Acceleration Program will continue to be an instrument that brings together government action and voluntary coordination of structural investments made by the states and municipalities. It will also be the vector that gives an incentive to private investment, valuing all the initiatives to constitute long-term private funds.



The Pre-Salt layer is our passport to the future, but it will only be fully that if it produces a balanced synthesis of technological advances, social progress and environmental concern.

Its very discovery is the result of Brazilian technological progress and of a modern policy of investing in research and innovation. Its development will be a factor in adding value to our national corporations, and their investments will generate thousands of new jobs.

The prime agent of this policy was and is Petrobras, the historical symbol of Brazilian sovereignty in the production of energy and of petroleum. My government will have the responsibility of transforming the enormous wealth from the Pre-Salt layer into a long-term savings account.

This must be capable of providing current and future generations with the best part of this wealth, transformed as time goes on into effective investments in public service quality, in the reduction of poverty and in our precious environment. We will not spend in haste, leaving our future generations with only debts and shattered hopes.


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