Brazil’s Ricupero Retires from Unctad

The secretary general at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
(Unctad), the Brazilian Rubens Ricupero, retired yesterday from the position he
occupied at the entity for nine years.

His retirement coincided with the entity’s 40-year anniversary. The organization was created to promote trade and development in the developing countries.

At his departure, Ricupero seized the opportunity to launch his book Beyond conventional knowledge on politics and development: an intellectual history on Unctad 1964-2004.

A successor for the office has not yet been decided. For the while the Chilean Carlos Fortí­n, assistant secretary general, will be in charge of the organization. The choice of the new secretary is an incumbency for the United Nations secretary general, Kofi Anan.

Ricupero, who was Brazil’s Finance Minister during the Itamar Franco administration, stated recently that the combination of a series of factors “will take Brazil to very interesting economic growth in 2004.”

These factors, according to him, are the “primary surplus” in the Budget, the “small balance” in the current account registered last year, and inflation on the decline.

“I believe that we have never had these four conditions together,” stated Ricupero, after signing agreements for the 11th Unctad to take place in the southeastern city of São Paulo, together with Foreign Relations minister Celso Amorim, and São Paulo mayor Marta Suplicy.

Apart from that, the ambassador added that the world economy is currently growing, a factor that should also have a positive influence on the Brazilian Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

According to the ambassador, international trade rose 4.7% in 2003 and Unctad estimates show it should grow “vigorously,” between 7% and 8.5% this year. “The World Bank estimates are even more optimistic,” he declared.

However, he pointed out that for Brazil to have good growth rates in “coming years,” investment levels in the country will have to rise to between 23% and 25% of the GDP.

ANBA ”“ Brazil-Arab News Agency

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