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Silva says diversified Brazil can ride out US recession, European downturn

Silva says diversified Brazil can ride out US recession, European downturn

Brazil is well-prepared to weather a U.S. recession as diversified exports, thriving domestic markets and the elimination of foreign debt bolster its economy, President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said Monday.
"We're going to transform this country into a great economy and a great nation," Silva said on his weekly radio program.
Latin America's largest economy is enjoying a prolonged boom, driven by high global demand for Brazilian ethanol, iron ore and agricultural products.
Gross domestic product will expand at least 5 percent a year through 2010, as frenzied domestic consumption of big ticket items like homes and cars continues, Silva predicted.
Brazil has a domestic market of nearly 190 million consumers.
"People are buying more, and exports are growing because we don't depend on the United States and Europe alone," Silva said. "We're exporting to many more countries around the world, and this leaves us calm in the face of an American crisis."
Brazil has also ended its debt crisis, long a drag on growth. The nation's traditionally mammoth debt was "built over a period of many years by the mistakes of other administrations _ mistakes that we fixed," Silva said.
The country last week emerged as a net foreign creditor for the first time, and should now consider taking fresh loans to improve crumbling infrastructure and boost employment, Silva said last week.
On Monday, he unveiled a multibillion-dollar (-euro) anti-poverty initiative to provide jobs and infrastructure in Brazil's poorest regions.
The plan would spend about US$6.4 billion (euro4.3 billion) to target 24 million people, including 1 million small farmers, in nearly 1,000 towns across the country in 2008 alone.
Brazil is riding high on soaring global demand for its vast natural resources. The country is the planet's top exporter of ethanol, iron ore, beef, chicken, sugar, coffee and orange juice, and runs a close second to the United States in soy exports.
Two major recent offshore oil finds by state-controlled oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA could also turn Brazil into an oil and natural gas powerhouse and prospective member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.


Updated : 2021-05-12 23:57 GMT+08:00