JAIR MESSIAS BOLSONARO, President of Brazil, said his country is a different from the one portrayed in newspapers or seen on television. Outlining the changes Brazil has undergone since his administration took office in January 2019, he declared that there has been not a single case of corruption in the past 2 years and 8 months. “Brazil has a President who believes in God, respects the Constitution, values family and is loyal to its people.” State-owned enterprises, which once incurred billions of dollars in losses, are now lucrative, he said. As for Brazil’s public-private partnership programme, he reported that $100 billion in new investments were contracted and $23 billion were collected in concessions.
On the infrastructure front, Brazil auctioned 34 airports and 29 port terminals to the private sector in 2021 and has more than $6 billion in private contracts for new railroads. As a result, there is less fossil‑fuel consumption and a decrease in the operational costs associated with doing business in Brazil, especially in relation to food production, he said. Brazil’s modern and sustainable low-carbon agriculture feeds more than 1 billion people around the world and takes up only 8 per cent of its national territory.
Turning to environmental matters, he declared that no other country in the world has such a comprehensive environmental legislation. In the Amazon biome alone, 84 per cent of the forest is intact, harbouring the greatest biodiversity on the planet. Deforestation was reduced by 32 per cent in August 2021 compared to August 2020. Moreover, Brazil is an example in energy generation, with 83 per cent coming from renewable sources. He went on to report that Brazil ratified the Inter-American Convention Against Racism, Racial Discrimination and Related Forms of Intolerance and said that 14 per cent of its national territory, over 110 million hectares, is designated for reservation for indigenous people.
Brazil welcomes refugees, he said, citing his Government’s “Operation Welcome” which has already received 400,000 Venezuelans displaced by the severe economic and political crisis there. Furthermore, Brazil will grant humanitarian visas to Afghan refugees, specifically Christians, women, children and judges.
As for combating COVID-19, he emphasized the importance of addressing the virus and unemployment in a simultaneous manner and with equal responsibility. Brazil granted an emergency relief compensation of $800 each for 68 million people in 2020 and recorded approximately 1.8 million new jobs created during the first seven months of 2021. In addition, Brazil distributed more than 260 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and more than 140 million Brazilians, representing almost 90 per cent of the adult population, have received at least the first dose. While his Government supports vaccination efforts, Brazil is against a sanitary passport or any vaccine-related obligation, he said.