BRASILIA – Brazil’s President Michel Temer said on Thursday that the South American country was no longer in an economic crisis and had regained the confidence of foreign investors.
“Brazil once again is becoming a country in which everyone wants to invest,” Temer said prior to a signing ceremony for concessions to operate airports in the cities of Florianopolis, Fortaleza, Porto Alegre and Salvador.
The rights to operate airports in Porto Alegre and Fortaleza were awarded in March to Germany’s Fraport (Frankfurt Airport Services), while France’s Vinci and Switzerland’s Zurich International Airport won concessions for airports in Salvador and Florianopolis, respectively.
The three groups, the lone participants in the auction, paid a total of 3.72 billion reais (some $1.18 billion) for the rights to operate the airports, or 23.42 percent more than the minimum required by the government.
They also pledged to invest a total of 6.61 billion reais to modernize and expand the airports.
In his speech, Temer expressed concern about the high number of unemployed people (nearly 14 million) in Brazil, which has been in recession since 2015, but he said the economy was showing clear signs of recovery and hailed the recent drop in the unemployment rate.
He also said the fact that German, French and Swiss companies had decided to invest in Brazil showed that confidence was returning.
Temer, who since taking office last year has carried out an austerity drive aimed at getting Brazil’s financial house in order, including successfully pushing for a spending cap that limits public spending to inflation for the next 20 years, credited his administration’s “responsible” fiscal policy for the increase in investor confidence.
His policies have been unpopular though, as reflected in an approval rating of just 5 percent, the lowest of any Brazilian president in decades, according to a survey released Thursday.
The president also is in legal trouble, with lawmakers set to vote next week on whether to allow him to be tried by the Supreme Court for allegedly accepting bribes from meatpacking giant JBS.