Press Release: IMF Managing Director Meets Brazilian President Lula da Silva

January 28, 2003

The Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Horst Köhler, today made the following remarks after meeting in Paris with the President of Brazil, Luís Inácio Lula da Silva:

"While in Paris, I met with President Luís Inácio Lula da Silva of Brazil, who was accompanied by Finance Minister Antonio Palocci. It was our second meeting since his election, and a continuation of the excellent dialogue we initiated during my visit to Brazil last month.

"Our discussion covered a range of issues, from the global market environment to developments in the Latin America region and, of course, to the current situation in Brazil. We were encouraged by the general improvements in market confidence toward Brazil over recent months, driven by a wider appreciation that sound economic policies will be maintained in Brazil—a point that the President again reiterated to me.

"In today's discussion with the President, I was particularly impressed by his vision for Brazil—to speed up growth with improving social equity, while maintaining strong macroeconomic fundamentals. The President told me that important elements of his reform program will be carried forward in the coming weeks and months, and should underpin Brazil's continuing recovery. Maintaining fiscal sustainability by progressive structural reforms will lie at the heart of macroeconomic policy.

"Of course, the global environment remains challenging and we agreed, therefore, to keep in close touch, as the IMF continues to support Brazil's efforts to emerge from its temporary difficulties. The present IMF-supported program is on track, and there is every reason for optimism that a basis for sustained economic growth and social progress is being established in Brazil," Köhler said.


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