I was pleased to hear the announcement by my counterpart in Brazil, Finance Minister Antonio Palocci, that Brazil has decided it does not need a new IMF program.
This decision reflects the strength of Brazil’s economy and of its economic policies. It is terrific news, a hallmark of financial accomplishment for the country, and great credit goes to President Lula for this success.
I want to congratulate President Lula and Finance Minister Palocci on their stewardship of the Brazilian economy which has made this milestone possible.
Under President Lula’s leadership, Brazil’s good macroeconomic policies have brought down inflation, reduced the country’s debt, and provided the foundation for solid economic growth in the wake of the 2002 financial crisis.
Last year, Brazil’s GDP growth was 5.2%-the fastest growth rate in ten years-while its debt-to-GDP ratio registered the first decline since 2000 and inflation fell to 7.6 percent, within the central bank’s target band.
Brazil has harnessed the opportunities of trade and strong global growth to increase exports by 32% last year.
I am impressed by the agenda that the Lula Administration has laid out for further reducing vulnerabilities and sustaining robust growth.
Building on his achievements in reforming the bankruptcy code and judicial sector, the Lula Administration is pursuing microeconomic reforms aimed at streamlining business regulation, simplifying the tax code, and promoting infrastructure development.
Today’s good news shows the results that can be achieved when good policies are implemented and adhered to.
I’m delighted for our Brazilian friends and look forward to continuing our work together in forums such as the U.S.-Brazil Group for Growth to identify policies for increasing prosperity in both of our countries.
The text above is the full statement by U.S. Treasury Secretary, John W. Snow, on Brazil’s announcement concerning the International Monetary Fund
U.S. Department of the Treasury