It has been quite a year for Brazil with the success of the Rio Olympic games, the horrors of the Zika virus, and turbulent politics including the impeachment of the country’s first female president. Brazil’s new president -- Michel Temer -- said in a Christmas Eve speech that Brazil is now on the right track, and a better future is coming. Yin Yue reports from Sao Paulo.
President Michel Temer said in his speech that 2017 would be the year to defeat the economic crises. Temer promised to boost enterprises’ investments and lower the unemployment rate, so that “next Christmas would be a better one.” Temer said that in 2016, local businessmen were cautious because of the sluggish global economy, Brazil's deficit, and domestic political turbulence.
The Brazilian government recently decided to cap its increase in public spending for the next 2 decades. Together with the economic recession, and a high unemployment rate that has led to low consumption, Brazilian companies are searching for overseas opportunities. The Brazilian Promotion Agency of exportation and investment said that in 2017, Brazil aims to strengthen its trade relationship with China by setting up specific institutions within the organization.
President of Apex-Brasil, Jaguaribe, said, "Many sectors are prioritizing China. I think it’s also important to notice the internationalization issue such as to start producing in China. This could also boost and expand the commercial activities."
Brazil’s finance minister promises to tackle the hard issues of Brazil’s economy in the coming year and to revive the economy as soon as possible. "The targets for 2017 include reviving the economy, consolidate the fiscal adjustments, and set the base for more expressive growth in the coming years."
Michel Temer’s administration has frequently launched new economic policies since it created, which modestly lifted international confidence for Brazil. But local analysts believe that the Temer administration is aiming at a better macroeconomic situation in the long term and that 2017 is more likely to be a year of preparation instead of the long-expected growth.
Professor of Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie, Vladimir Maciel, said, "The expectations for 2017 are not as good as we imagined at the beginning of this year. The policies that Michel Temer took were all necessary, but they were all structural policies. In the short term, there’s not much that the government could do."
Brazil’s central bank is forecasting 0.8% growth for 2017, while the presidential office is hoping for 1% growth. Companies that seeking a better future are working extra hours as the new year approaches, in order to prepare for whatever that might come.