Fernando Pimentel

MINISTER OF DEVELOPMENT, INDUSTRY AND FOREIGN TRADE

Brazil 2015  I  Economy  I  Leader

BIOGRAPHY Born in Belo Horizonte on march 31, 1951, he is a Brazilian politician and economist and a member of the Workers' Party, a party he helped to create. He studied Economy at the Federal University of Minas Gerais . He was Mayor of Belo Horizonte from 2001 to 2009.

THERE ARE COUNTLESS ATTRACTIVE AREAS FOR FOREIGN INVESTMENTS, MAINLY IN THE OIL AND NATURAL GAS, ENERGY AND LOGISTICS SECTORS.

Brazil has been growing more than in any other time in its history. What is your forecast for 2015?

With the right planning and policies, we are able to protect our economy, our productive sectors and, especially, the employment of Brazilians. We are transforming a moment of crisis in a moment of opportunity and entering a new era, an era of prosperity. In 2013, the year in which almost every country in the world have lost jobs, Brazil has created more than 2 million jobs, in addition to registering growth with low inflation and descendant interest rates, income distribution and reduction of social inequalities.

Brazil is to invest $1.5 trillion, about 23% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) over the next four years.

 

This is an adequate figure to sustain long-term economic growth without inflationary pressure. This includes investments that are spread out, such as those made by small companies, in construction, industrial and infrastructure projects. Brazil is going through a strong and virtuous circle of growth, creating jobs and distributing income, making it a country that could generate countless business opportunities with a low-risk, guaranteed return. There are countless attractive areas for foreign investment, mainly in the oil and natural gas, energy and logistics sectors and there are great opportunities in infrastructure – mainly in ports and railroads.

 

There are ongoing discussions regarding opening up trade in Brazil. What is the position of the Government on this subject?

Opening up Brazil to more foreign trade would be a disaster for Brazilian industry. Fewer trade barriers would lead to the "Mexicanization" of Brazilian industry, turning the country's factories into little more than an assembly line for foreign firms and weakening Brazil's manufacturing supply chain. Mexico's light assembly factories, or "maquiladoras," are often used by U.S. firms to take advantage of cheap labor, with goods usually exported back to the U.S. market.

 

In contrast, Brazilian industry is mostly focused on the domestic market, with local manufacturers protected by high import tariffs, local content rules for government procurement contracts, subsidized credit and a wave of stimulus measures to boost output and protect jobs.

 

According to some analysts’, Brazil’s risks overheating its economy. What are the steps that the Government is taken to make sure this won’t happen?

In 2014, the inflow of dollars was higher than the outflow for last year, registering a positive balance of $65.28 billion, up from $24.35 billion in 2013. The finance sector - which includes investments in bonds, stocks, remittance of profits and dividends abroad, among other operations - recorded a positive balance of $21.33 billion over the year. The trade balance, related to foreign trade operations, remained positive, at $43.95 billion for the same period.

 

As positive aspects, we can shed light on our low unemployment rates, inflation under control, consumer and businesses confidence, and a strong portfolio of public and private investment for the years to come. In resume, the Brazilian economy should perform growth increase in 2015, compared to last year, diverging from the global slowdown. Brazil took the fourth position in the global flow of foreign investments, reaching a historic record of $66.7 billion.

 

Brazil has become the 6th largest economy in the world. It is a place of opportunities for its people, for entrepreneurs and investors seeking economic stability, consumer market in expansion and support policies for investments and for innovation. Brazil entered 2012 with a more competitive exchange rate, lower interest rates and fiscal strength of Government, of companies and financial institutions.