Bolsonaro seen as the candidate to make Brazil great again
With the likely election of candidate Jair Bolsonaro as president of Brazil in Sunday’s run-off election – the final balloting phase in this nation’s two-segment electoral system — we believe it is worth looking at what will change and the opportunities this change will bring to American investors and exporters.
Bolsonaro, a congressman from Rio de Janeiro, finished in the Number 1 spot in the first round of the presidential determination on Oct. 7. Now, he and former São Paulo mayor Fernando Haddad will go head-to-head for the key to the executive office in Sunday’s election.
The Rio de Janeiro rep has been leading in the polls. The first major topic to ponder about Bolsonaro’s probable win is the fact that after 32 years of leftist government – social democratic leftist establishments and Marxist governing methods – Brazil badly needs a conservative leader in the ruling seat. This is the only way to solidify the government from both a political and economic point of view.
Solidarity is badly needed as Brazil emerges from one of its darkest periods in history. It is starting to recover from its worst-ever recession. A broad investigation of government has turned up wanton corruption. A popular former president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, is in prison on fraud accusations. His successor, Dilma Rousseff, was impeached.
Rousseff’s successor, Michel Temer, succeeded Rousseff as the 37th president of Brazil. His government implemented policies that contradicted the platform on which Rousseff’s Workers Party had been elected, in one of the most controversial and politically-heated periods of modern Brazilian history. Now, Temer remains under investigation.
To say a change in Brazilian government is an absolute necessity probably doesn’t emphasize it enough. Paulo Guedes, Brazil’s future Minister of Finance, is bringing to his job a strong privatization effort. In fact, he’s looking either to privatize or close up to 100 companies.
His decision, besides contributing to the elimination of about 20% of the current public debt and bringing with it a significant improvement in the cost of financing public debt, should eliminate future deficit increases and keep public companies working efficiently.
On the other hand, with privatization, great investment opportunities will open up in the areas of infrastructure and many other ventures.
A second important point will be the reduction of crime and lawlessness, and the enhancement of public safety and security with the adoption of legal and operational measures to combat narcotics trafficking. A more serene atmosphere should also stem the entry of arms across borders, which supply the organized crime element in Brazil, a brutal cabal responsible for some 60,000 deaths a year.
This tranquility must also be used to advantage to revive the flow of tourism, a business that has been paralyzed by travelers’ fears to take in the natural beauty of Brazil. Also in this item is the valuation of real estate, now buried in the collective insecurity of the residents of Brazil.
Thirdly, under Bolsonaro, greater institutional security is expected, since the rules should be clearer and with the harmony of powers established in the second phase of the new president’s regime.
This legal and institutional security must make the resources, investors, and intelligence return to and advance in Brazil, reducing the desperate evasion that damages the nation so harshly. Surely, the search for internationalization of business in companies must follow.
Bilateral agreements with the U.S. will no longer be hindered by simple ideological influence but sought in the interests of both countries. North-South businesses that have been paralyzed for at least the last 16 years should gain new momentum this year and in the future.
Great encouragement is expected for healthy cooperation between the two governments, and particularly in the private sector. Surely, Brazil will again occupy a vast amount of the attention of investors seeking to put their resources and opportunities where their mouths are — in developing companies and countries.
In an Oct. 21, 2018 editorial, the New York Times calls Bolsonaro “the latest in a long line of populists who have ridden a wave of discontent, frustration, and desperation to the highest office in their country. Not surprisingly, he is often described as a Brazilian Donald Trump.”
I’m not sure, but I think that coming from the New York Times, that phrase can be taken as a compliment — even if it were not intended to be.