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Brazil determined to resume growth: Rousseff
January 2, 2015, 5:25 am

Rousseff had joined the resistance movement against the military dictatorship and was jailed and allegedly tortured in the early 1970s [Image: brasil.gov.br]

Rousseff had joined the resistance movement against the military dictatorship and was jailed and allegedly tortured in the early 1970s [Image: brasil.gov.br]

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, who kicked off a second term Thursday, vowed to restore economic growth. Rousseff also said her administration would prioritize boosting ties within BRICS.

“Brazil is determined to resume growth,” said Rousseff in her first speech to the parliament, adding that “the first steps of this journey are an overhaul of public accounts, increasing domestic savings, beefing up investments and improving productivity.”

Rousseff vowed to work with BRICS partners to further boost cooperation in trade, science and technology, and other areas, and step up efforts for the establishment of the new $100 billion development bank and the $100 billion contingency reserve arrangement.

In an oath-taking ceremony, Dilma Vana Rousseff welcomed the “millions of anonymous warriors who, returning to occupy, embodied in my figure, the highest rank of our great nation”.

The Brazilian President vowed to continue her social inclusion schemes but spur investment at the same time.

“We will prove that economic adjustments are possible without revoking acquired rights or betraying our social obligations,” Rousseff said on Thursday in Brasilia.

Her government, she said, would launch its third economic growth acceleration plan and a second infrastructure investment plan to boost joint public and private sector initiatives.

The president said she was committed to creating a more favorable environment for business by cutting red tape, promoting economic stability, prioritizing inflation control and fiscal discipline, and ultimately recovering the confidence of both labor forces and business owners.

“In my first term, we overcame extreme poverty, but ending misery is just the beginning. We have new goals. It’s time to improve what’s working and do what the people expect of us,” said the president.

Rousseff also promised to embark on an anti-corruption crusade in response to a multibillion-dollar graft scandal engulfing state-run oil and gas giant Petrobras.

“Petrobras is Brazil’s most strategic company,” she said. “We are determined to punish those responsible without weakening the firm.”

She said she would promote a national pact against corruption in the political class and the private sector as well.

On external exchanges, Rousseff said her foreign policy would center on BRICS and South America, particularly on strengthening relations with members of the Southern Common Market and the Union of South American Nations.

Strengthening South-South cooperation will also take center stage, said the president, adding that Brazil stands ready to push forward ties with countries especially in Africa, Asia and the Arab world.

She also stressed the need to improve ties with the United States, the European Union and Japan.

Brazil’s relationship with the US has been strained after whistleblower Edward Snowden’s revelations the Obama administration spied on Rousseff. The Latin American economy has, instead, boosted ties with the BRICS with China now Brazil’s biggest trade partner.

Brazil is the world’s seventh largest economy, though its economic growth has slowed down in recent years.

According to former Brazilian Finance Minister Guido Mantega, the country’s economic growth rate in 2014 was expected to be a scant 0.2 per cent, far below the government’s initial forecast of 2.5 percent.

Rousseff was re-elected in October for another four-year term. In January 2011, she took office as the first female president in the largest South American country.

 

TBP and Agencies

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