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Reason with him Source: www.newsweek.com 22nd Sep, 2009 (Ada 9215

Reason with him

Source: www.newsweek.com

22nd Sep, 2009 (Adapted)

Question (Q) 1: Margolis: When you took office, Brazil was regarded

as an underachiever, and the last among the BRIC nations. Now Brazil is

considered a star among emerging countries. What's happened?

Lula: No one respects anyone who doesn't respect themselves. And

Brazil always behaved like a second-class country. We always told

ourselves we were the country of the future. But we never transformed

these qualities into anything concrete. In a globalized world you cannot

sit still. You have to hit the road and sell your country. So we

decided to make strengthening Mercosul (the South American trading bloc)

a priority, and deepened our relations with Latin America in general.

We prioritized trade with Africa and went into the Middle East

aggressively. Our trade balance today is diversified. This helped us

cushion the blow of the economic crisis.

Q2: Margolis: Has Brazil´s success in navigating the economic crisis changed investors' views?

Lula: There was no miracle. We had a strong domestic market. We

had consumers who wanted to buy cars. We reduced part of the sales tax

and asked the companies to offer consumers credit on affordable items.

It's the same case with refrigerators, stoves, washing machines, and

with computers and the housing construction.

Q3: Margolis: What are the lessons for other countries?

Lula: The great lesson is that the state has an important role to

play, and has great responsibility. We don't want the state to manage

business. But it can be an inducer of growth and can work in harmony

with society.Brazil's president refers to the country's diversified trade balance as having

Questão no QuestionsOf: Reason with him Source: www.newsweek.com 22nd Sep, 2009 (Ada 9215

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