Will Reformer Neves Have A Chance To Lead Brazil Into Real Modernity? Brazil needs a new president who will reform its public sector, while improving conditions for investors

WASHINGTON – Will Brazil finally join real modernity? Notwithstanding a few years of promising economic growth, the largest country in Latin America shows deep contradictions.

Unhappy Brazilians

There are important export oriented sectors. But the country is not business friendly. Besides, the rich-poor divide is colossal, one of the widest in the world. Crime and homicides are sky-high in most of the large urban areas.

Finally, as the numerous angry demonstrations held prior to the World Cup revealed, many Brazilians are very unhappy with the quality of basic public services, from transportation to education.

That said, now Brazilians have the opportunity to change leadership.

A reformer gaining ground

As the country approaches the second and decisive round of voting for a new president, there is a decent chance that Aecio Neves, a former state governor and the candidate of the pro-business Social Democratic Party, may prevail against the Workers Party incumbent, president Dilma Rousseff. Polls indicate that the two candidates are very close.

But Neves was not supposed to end in second place. As the WSJ put it, “Neves was a surprise second place finisher in last Sunday’s first round of voting”. Contrary to most prognostications, Neves beat Marina Silva of the Socialist Party, this way gaining the right to get to the decisive final contest with president Roussef.

Business friendly Brazil?

A vote for economic reformer Neves may represent a real milestone for Brazil. The country needs to modernize its public sector and its wanting “business climate”.

The largest economy in Latin America cannot be just a commodity exporting country. If Neves wins, he may be able to steer Brazil in the right direction. A difficult task, but not impossible.


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