A big vote of confidence on Brazil came less than 48 hours before our exclusive interview with Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Moody's Investors Service upgraded the country's credit rating to an investment grade rating of Baa3. Standard and Poor's and Fitch Ratings had already given Brazilian assets their thumbs up last year.
Among the G20 economies, Brazil is one of the few that emerged from recession in the second quarter. South America's largest economy recorded GDP growth of 1.9% from the previous quarter. But unlike many countries, Brazil only experienced a short recession. President Lula is confident about his country's prospects, saying he expects economic growth of 5% in 2010.
Brazil is one of the four nations that comprise the BRIC bloc - the others being Russia, India and China.
The rise of the BRICs hasn't gone unnoticed. Leaders of the four countries held their first ever summit in June of this year and some have also been vocal about replacing the U.S. dollar as the world's reserve currency. President Lula is pushing a proposal that he already has kick-started with Argentina. He's "proposing that trade exchanges should be done with our domestic currencies, without the need to buy dollars." President Lula has received positive feedback from the other three BRIC countries and is hoping to get more momentum behind his proposal.
"I don't want a weak dollar and I don't want a strong real," Lula said when pressed on whether he thought the greenback would continue to weaken. But he added that finding "a balance between the different currencies" is important.
An interview with President Lula isn't complete without a mention of sports. He is a big soccer fan and is 100% behind Rio de Janeiro's bid to host the 2016 Olympics. President Lula will be in Copenhagen next month for the International Olympic Committee vote and is counting on President Obama's absence to boost his country's chances of being the first Latin American country to host the Games. President Lula made his case to Bartiromo. He said, "Brazil is among the ten largest countries in the world and the only one that has never organized an Olympic games".
If Brazil scores, the world will be watching its transformation the same way it did with Beijing when it hosted the 2008 Olympics.
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