Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro announced a record 100 million COVID vaccines, including other economic achievements, despite the pandemic that hit the world last year.
At the beginning of his speech, President Bolsonaro announced that Brazil, which is currently positioned as the fourth country that vaccinates the most in the world, has also secured technology transfer agreements to produce two types of vaccines in the country: AstraZeneca and FioCruz.
He later recalled that he never supported government-mandated lockdowns that caused economic disasters around the world. “Our government has not forced anyone to stay at home, has not closed businesses, has not closed churches or schools, and has not taken the livelihood of millions of informal workers,” he said.
“I always said that we had two problems ahead of us, the virus and unemployment, which should be treated with the same responsibility and simultaneously,” he added.
Bolsonaro also said in his pronouncement that some sectors such as bars and restaurants, tourism, among others, “were greatly supported by our government through PRONAMPE (National Program to Support Micro and Small Enterprises in Portuguese)”. He also announced that a new law was passed that gives the capacity to allocate up to 25 billion reais (almost $5 billion) to the events sector.
Despite the pandemic, and the iron lockdowns policy that many governors applied on the citizenry, in 2020 Brazil closed with more formal jobs than in 2019. In addition, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) projected for this year foresees a growth of more than 4%. “Only in the first quarter of this year, the economy showed its vigor being among the countries in the world that grew the most,” added Jair Bolsonaro.
During the pandemic, with a Congress more or less against him, the president managed to approve measures such as the provisional measure of economic freedom that allows companies to test new products and services without a required commercial license (as long as the items do not affect health or public and sanitary safety). It also extinguishes limits on the hours of operation of all businesses, as long as they do not violate the labor law and other related laws or regulations.
Successful auctions were also carried out, allowing the privatization of airports, roads and ports, such as the Port of Santos, the most important port in the country, located in São Paulo.
In the technology branch, Bolsonaro announced that the federal government was able to bring Internet “to more than 8 million Brazilians, mainly in the North and Northeast regions”–Brazil’s most precarious areas.
“The stock market,” continued the Brazilian president, “broke a historic record, the Brazilian currency is getting stronger and we are advancing in the difficult process of privatization.”
“In infrastructure, our government has been building bridges, doubling highways, finishing works that have been stopped for decades,” he added in his speech.
The president’s major announcements also included the celebration of Copa America in the country, “following the same protocol of the Copa Libertadores and the World Cup qualifiers.”
The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) recently announced that Brazil was the nation that most contracted extreme poverty last year during the pandemic. “Extreme poverty in Brazil fell from 5.5% to 1.4% during the pandemic period,” reported the BBC.