Brazil: Charm offensive

Mar 1, 2013

Despite Brazil's latest infrastructure drive, private investors still need convincing that the country is serious about welcoming them

By Thierry Ogier

It has been a long, hot summer for Guido Mantega. The Brazilian finance minister's vacation was spoiled by a series of disparaging comments from the media, not least the international press, where he was ridiculed in some quarters – and even urged to resign.

The reason for the opprobrium? The erstwhile champion of economic growth had failed to make good on his promises: Brazil's performance last year – both in terms of output and investment – was abysmal. Meanwhile, inflationary pressures have remained stubborn and the consumer price index is still too high for comfort.

Yet by Carnival time, Mantega was not only unrepentant, but positively upbeat, dismissing out of hand any suggestion that his policies have failed.

"We have maintained the economic fundamentals," he tells LatinFinance. "But beyond that, we have a matrix that is going to give a new impulse to the economy – with lower interest rates,...

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