Brazil: How to grow the economy
5 ways to grow Brazil’s economy


A few weeks ago, just following the Brazilian presidential election, we published our thoughts on the country’s opportunities for growth. Over the last 20 years, Brazil has taken crucial strides towards achieving its weighty, if elusive, economic potential. When the country rapidly emerged from the Global Recession of 2008-2009, Brazil’s momentum seemed unstoppable. More recently, however, the country has hit growing pains.

The reelection of President Dilma Rousseff (albeit by a small margin) suggests that a majority of Brazilians still believes she can steer the country out of its current malaise. But what should be her strategy?

This is the focus of our new working paper that expands upon the previous post. Authored by Samuel George in our Washington office in collaboration with Cornelius Fleischhaker of The World Bank, we shared our findings with Ambassador Mauro Vieira of Brazil on Friday November 21, 2014 in Washington, as well as online here.

The event, which took place at the University Club, featured a high-level audience that included the Ambassadors of Argentina and Paraguay to the United States.

Our Findings: The Foundation of Our Recommendations to grow Brazil’s economy

As Brazil and other BRIC countries move forward, they face a persistent need for increased productivity and efficiency.

Our belief is that addressing this root cause can lead President Rousseff to develop policies that can jump start Brazil’s growth. Below in a few graphs are our recommendations. You can read the full report here.

1. Brazil Inflation: Restoring fiscal discipline should be a top priority

Inflation in Brasil (graphic) - limiting growth
Inflation over time in Brazil. Direct impact on economic growth

2. Get a Handle on Inflation – A Persistent Latin American Problem

Chart showing Inflation in Latin America 2011-2014

3. Close the Infrastructure Gap – The Good News is Foreign Investors Still Want in

Chart of Infrastructure Gap Direct Investment in Brazil 2003 - 2005
Brazil Infrastructure Investment Gap and it’s connection to economic growth


4. Education in Brazil: Educate a 21st Century Workforce

OECD Chart showing South American Workforce Reading Proficiency
Brazil’s Education Levels: Impacting its growth.


 5. Spark Productivity by Reducing Barriers to Trade

Chart showing Average Applied Tariffs Latin American Economies

While Brazil faces trying circumstances, it does not face imminent crisis. Rather, the present situation presents policymakers with an opportunity to prove that they can enact meaningful economic reform in the absence of an economic emergency. But if these changes are not made, the result may well be a crisis down the road that forces policymakers’ hands.

We welcome your thoughts on our recommendations on how Brazil can speed up its economic growth.