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Brazil Needs Lower Taxes and Cheaper Capital to Grow Again, Says Industry

Factory chimney in Brazil In Brazil, the aggregate rate of investment and savings needs to become equivalent to 24% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) within three years. Such is the expectation of the president of the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES), Luciano Coutinho, who opened the seminar Investment Perspectives in Brazil, at the head office of the National Confederation of Industries (CNI), in São Paulo, this Monday  December 14.

The National Monetary Council (CMN) should soon regulate the treasury bonds, which will create opportunities for private banks to obtain funds with longer payback periods.

The intention is to include the bonds in financing operations maturing in the medium-term, and in financing projects. Changes in the debenture market are also being negotiated by the government with the Private Banking System, by means of the Brazilian Banks Federation (Febraban).

"The aggregate rate was close to 20% before the world crisis, and now it has dropped to 17.5%. We need to catch our breath and expand in a consistent manner. These are good ways of combining economic growth and sustainability," said Coutinho, who underscored that the increased investment would multiply the ability to supply goods and services, preventing bottlenecks and threats that generate inflationary pressure.

The seminar in São Paulo, promoted by the CNI and newspaper Valor Econômico, presented preliminary data from a survey on investment perspectives across 12 different production systems in Brazil.

The work is coordinated by the institutes of economy of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) and of the Campinas State University (Unicamp), and counts on financial support from the BNDES.

"What sets the survey apart is the subject matter: there is not much of a tradition of studying investment in Brazil," explains David Kupfer, the coordinator of the project, which is entitled "PIB" (the Portuguese acronym for GDP).

The conclusions are going to be published in March 2010, when new seminars will take place. With regard to infrastructure, for instance, the advice is to "resume planning in order to prevent significant deficits," according to the survey. The strategy recommended consists not only of improving the regulation, but also of mechanisms for coordinating, elaborating and implementing plans that are increasingly complex.

The president of the CNI, Carlos Eduardo Moreira Ferreira, who presided over the opening panel, stated that "2010 cannot be a year of waiting for a new administration." According to him, there are crucial, urgent post-crisis measures to be adopted in order to sustain Brazil.

"The priorities in this agenda include reducing the tax burden on fixed capital investment, recovering export tax credits, reducing the cost of capital for companies and improving the active exchange policy," he warned.

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