Brazil president begins new term

Lula uses inauguration speech to vow to unlock country's economic growth potential.

    Thousands celebrated Lula's reinauguration [AFP]

    Growth halted
     
    Tight monetary and fiscal policies sent financial markets soaring during Lula's first-term but helped brake growth.
     
    With average growth of only about 2.6 per cent during the past four years, Brazil is the economic tail-light among fast-growing emerging markets such as India and China.
     
    Lula said in his congressional address in Brasilia on Monday that he would cut red tape, provide tax incentives for private investment and boost public investment.
     
    Lula said an economic stimulus package later this month would be followed by measures to expand infrastructure projects and improve regulatory frameworks.
     
    Legal uncertainty
     
    Investors often complain about red tape, legal uncertainty and government intervention in industry regulators.
     
    Critics say Lula has not agreed to slash large government expenditures, which economists say are the principal obstacle to lower stifling taxes and interest rates.
     
    The former factory worker is still hugely popular among Brazil's 185 million people. An opinion poll in December showed they consider him the country's best president ever.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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