Economy & Business - June 2022

Big promises on privatisations in Brazil, but where’s the beef?

On 1 January 2019, the day he took office three and a half years ago, Paulo Guedes, Brazil’s ‘super minister’ for the economy, announced a right-wing revolution. Apart from slashing red tape and delivering pension reform, one of the “pillars” of his tenure, he said, would be a drastic programme of accelerated privatisations, rapidly paring down to a “minimal state”. Guedes said sweeping divestment of state companies would raise R$700bn (around US$175bn at the time), which could go towards funding the fiscal deficit and paying down the country’s foreign debt. But this didn’t really happen.

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