“Brazil cannot squander and lose an exceptional opportunity to consolidate itself and rise above this plateau of emerging or developing country,” President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva told the dozens of entrepreneurs who attended the fifth anniversary celebration of the newspaper, “Valor EconÀ²mico,” at the headquarters of the Federation of Industries of the State of São Paulo (Fiesp).
According to Lula, the country is struggling hard to accomplish this. “Everybody knows how tough the Americans are in a fight. We don’t want to confront the Americans. I’m not crazy. What we want to do is to treat them the way they treat us,” he affirmed.
That, he added, is the only way for Brazil to attempt at least a tie “and not be blown off the field, as we always have.”
The President emphasized: “We have to stop regarding ourselves as the poor, unfortunate ones. Let us look for new markets.”
To illustrate his point, he mentioned the concern on the part of Brazilian entrepreneurs, especially in the textile sector, over the “invasion” of Chinese products on the Brazilian market.
Lula pointed out that this is not due to the recent alliance between Brazil and China, but, rather, to the 1994 Uruguay Round, which set the end of quotas for 2005.
“It is something that was done 11 years ago, and, if we haven’t prepared ourselves in the last 11 years, we will have to prepare ourselves now. Instead of standing around, crying, we must prepare ourselves,” he warned.
Lula recalled that the same entrepreneurs who used to defend fluctuating exchange rates now want the Minister of Finance, Antônio Palocci, to determine the quotation of the dollar.
He said that it is necessary to promote meetings with all the sectors that feel injured to help them seek new markets, improve the quality of their products, and reduce costs.
“What we can’t do is remain paralyzed, watching things happen, because we’ve seen this before,” he concluded.