The Globalist: Brazil’s Potential in the Rousseff Era
In 2003, President Lula inherited a poor, resigned nation on the verge of an economic implosion. Eight years later, Brazil’s new president, Dilma Rousseff, leads an emerging, optimistic nation. Dan Steinbock explores how Brazil can realize its full growth potential in the post-crisis landscape.
One interesting note is the continued decoupling of the rest of the world from the American economy.
When Lula won the presidency in 2002, Brazil’s main trading partners were the United States (25.5%), the Netherlands (5.3%), Germany (4.2%) and China (4.2%).
Over the eight years, the U.S. share collapsed, while the Chinese share more than tripled. By 2009, Brazil’s main trading partners were China (13.2%), the United States (9.6%), Argentina (7.8%) and the Netherlands (5.0%).
Steinbock's presription for Brazil's economic health?
In order to realize its full BRIC potential, Brazil has to undertake seven critical steps. First, reduce the importance of the informal sector. Second, correct macroeconomic deficiencies (including the high interest rate and a relatively high government-debt-to-GDP ratio).
Third, reduce the notorious red tape. Fourth, streamline the labor code. Fifth, contain political corruption. Sixth, improve the quality of public services (e.g., education, justice and security). And seventh, develop new infrastructure.
In order to engage in the Asian trajectory of growth, however, even more reforms are needed, including far greater trade openness, significantly higher investment and savings and substantially lower public and foreign debt.