I admit I am really moved and I do feel very honoured to be in a position to address such a distinguished audience.
Currently we all need each other. Brazil needs you. And of course, the same is true the other way around. The business community also needs Brazil to a large extent!
Good afternoon to all.
I thank you for the opportunity to address you on the occasion of the opening session of this plenary meeting.
This is the first international trip I make after I was elected, proof of the importance of just how much importance I attach to the agendas that have been promoted and prioritised by the World Economic Forum.
This trip is also a great opportunity for me to showcase to the world the unique point in time my country is going through and also an opportunity for me to introduce to all of you the new Brazil which we are building.
During the election campaign, even having spent less than 1 million dollars and with only a few seconds of television airtime, and having been unfairly attacked all the time, we have nevertheless come out victorious.
I took office in Brazil amidst a deep ethical, moral and economic crisis.
We are committed to changing our history.
For the very first time in Brazil, a president has set up a team with highly qualified cabinet ministers. By honouring our campaign pledges, by not accepting political and partisan interference which in the past did nothing but breed State inefficiency and corruption.
We enjoy credibility to carry out the reforms that we need and that the world expects from all of us.
Among us here in Davos is my Minister of Justice, Mr Sergio Moro, the right man to fight corruption and money laundering. We will invest heavily in safety and security so that you can comfortably come and visit us with your families. After all, Brazil is one of the very first countries when it comes to natural beauty, but we are currently not among the most visited tourist destinations in the world. Do come and get to know our Amazonian region, our coastline, our beaches, our cities and our wetlands. Brazil is a paradise, but not yet very well-known.
We are the one country that most preserves the environment. No other country in the world has as many forests as we do. Agriculture takes place in no more than 9% of our territory, and it has grown thanks to its technology and to farmers’ competence. Less than 20% of our soil is devoted to animal husbandry. These agricultural commodities, to a large extent, have ensured a surplus to our balance of trade and have fed a substantial portion of the world.
It is now our mission to make progress in harmonising environmental preservation and biodiversity on the one hand, with much-needed economic development - while bearing in mind that these are interdependent, inseparable pillars of our society.
Those who criticise us have, actually, a great deal to learn with us.
We wish to govern by example and we want the world to re-establish the trust and the confidence it has always had in us.
We will work to lower the tax burden, streamline rules and make life easier for those who wish to produce, and do business as entrepreneurs, invest and create jobs.
We shall work to foster economic stability, while respecting and honouring contracts by means of privatisation projects and by balancing government accounts.
Brazil’s economy is still relatively closed to foreign trade, and to change that situation is one of my administration’s major commitments.
You can be sure that by the end of my term in office our economic team, led by Minister of Finance Paulo Guedes, will position Brazil in the ranking of the 50 best countries in the world to do business.
Our foreign relations will be stepped up and will gain momentum with Minister Ernesto Araujo, by implementing a policy where the ideological bias will no longer exist.
To that end, we will seek to better integrate Brazil into the world by mainstreaming international best practices, such as those adopted and promoted by the OECD.
We will pursue efforts to better integrate Brazil into the world by means of an active advocacy of WTO reform, with the purpose of eliminating unfair trade practices while guaranteeing legal certainty to our foreign trade flows.
We will also restore our values and open up our economy.
We will defend family principles and true human rights; we will protect the right to life and private property, and promote an educational system that will prepare our young people to rise to the challenges of the 4th industrial revolution, thereby seeking to alleviate poverty and extreme poverty through knowledge.
We are here in Davos because we want not only to deepen our ties of friendship, but also deepen our trade relations.
Brazil is home to the world’s largest biodiversity and we have abundant mineral resources. We want to engage with partners who master technologies so that this marriage translates into progress and development for all.
Our actions, make no mistake whatsoever, will certainly attract you to seek great business opportunities, not only for the good of Brazil, but for the good of the world at large.
We stand with open arms. I want more than just a great Brazil; I want a world of peace, freedom and democracy.
Our motto is: “God above all things”, and I believe that our relations will yield and bring about countless benefits to all of us.
Thank you so very much.