Brazil’s Bolsonaro Uses Davos Speech to Appeal to Big Business

January 22, 2019 Updated: January 22, 2019

DAVOS, Switzerland—Brazil’s new President Jair Bolsonaro threw out the welcome mat for big business and foreign investors on Jan. 22, telling a summit of CEOs in Davos that his government would make the country one of the top 50 in which to do business.

Bolsonaro said he would work to open up Brazil’s relatively closed economy, reduce and simplify taxes, privatize state companies, and give his new justice minister the tools to tackle corruption.

The former army captain turned politician was elected in October on a wave of conservative nationalism and anti-leftist sentiment in a country fed up with political graft and a painful economic downturn.

“We enjoy the credibility to carry out reforms that we need and the world expects of us,” Bolsonaro told the Davos audience.

“We will reduce the tax burden, simplify tax rules, and make life easier for those who want to produce, do business, invest, and create jobs,” he said.

Bolsonaro vowed to restore macroeconomic stability with fiscal disciple.

He assured investors he has fulfilled campaign promises to form a cabinet without engaging in the political horse-trading that led to rampant corruption in the past.

He said Justice Minister Sergio Moro, accompanying him in Davos, was the right man to fight corruption and money laundering. Moro oversaw Brazil’s biggest graft investigation ever, landing powerful businessmen and politicians in jail, including former leftist president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

Bolsonaro, who became president on Jan. 1, has pledged to realign Brazil with more advanced economies rather than regional allies, overhauling diplomatic priorities after nearly a decade and a half of leftist rule.

He campaigned on a promise to clean up politics, crack down on crime, and set a new direction for the country.

By Mark Bendeich from Reuters. The Epoch Times contributed to this report.