Brazil: Charm offensive
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
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