Brazil wins another vote of confidence today when Rio de Janeiro was selected as the host city for the 2016 Olympic Games.
I had the honor to meet President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva last week when Maria Bartiromo interviewed him at the Intercontinental The Barclay New York Hotel last Thursday. President Lula is very charismatic leader and friendly to those that were present at the interview.
President Lula was excited with the idea of hosting the 2016 Olympics. President Lula made it clear that his country deserved to host the 2016 Games. President Lula said, "Brazil, for a long time, is among the ten largest economies in the world.
And it's the only country of the ten largest economies in the world that never organized an Olympic game before. The U.S. has organized four winter - Olympic games, and four summer Olympic games. Spain has organized, Tokyo has organized, Japan. Why doesn't Brazil have the right to organize, for the first time, the Olympic games and South America for the first time."
Even President Obama's presence at the International Olympic Committee vote failed to give Chicago's bid a boost, his hometown was eliminated in the first round. Tokyo was next, leaving the final vote between Madrid and Rio.
And not that Brazil needs more good news. The economy pulled out of recession in Q2, with GDP growth of 1.9%. Just last week, Moody's upgraded its debt rating to an investment grade. All of this bodes well for this emerging economy.
Ed Kuczma, Emerging Markets Investment Analyst at Van Eck Global told us that the winning Rio bid will shine more favorable light on Brazil, given that it already has a more sustainable economy. Unlike many countries, Brazil isn't dependent on exports to the U.S. Kuczma said, their increased exports to China has made them more resilient from the global recession.
But there are still challenges and topping that list is getting the crime rate under control. There are also improvements that need to be made on infrastructure - airports and highways. But Doug Smith, Regional Head of Research - the Americas at Standard Chartered Bank thinks all of this will result in positive changes for the country. With Brazil hosting the World Cup in 2012, a lot of these infrastructure will already be built ahead of Rio 2016.
Smith is one of the more bullish on Brazil's economic growth, targeting 0.6% growth this year but he says "the risk is to the upside".
We will be watching Rio's road to 2016.
Liza Tan contributed to this article.
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