During the last few troubled years, the Brazilian economy has been one of the global economy’s major success stories. Against the expectations of many, the election of former left-winger Luis Inácio Lula da Silva as president in 2002 and the emergence of the other resource-hungry BRIC nations heralded a period of rapid economic growth for Brazil, boom times for Brazilian multinationals like mining company Vale, and the emergence of a dynamic domestic market, helped by enlightened social policies and initiatives designed to boost consumption.
At the same time, public opinion on economic matters has undergone a dramatic transformation. As recently as 2005, GlobeScan’s Trust index for the corporate world—the propensity of Brazilians to say they trust global companies to act in the best interest of society—was heavily negative (-30). But by 2010 the fruits of economic success were apparent to everyone, and trust in global companies had grown out of all recognition to stand at +43. Compare this to China and the USA, where trust in global companies is on the decline.
With new prosperity has come new faith in the ability of the free market model to deliver prosperity for Brazilians themselves. Brazil—along with China—has now overtaken the USA in its enthusiasm for free market capitalism as the best available economic system. When it comes to global economic leadership, this shift more than anything is surely the sign of the changing of the guard in the global economy.
Finding from the GlobeScan Radar, Wave 2, 2010
This post was written by former GlobeScan Research Director, Sam Mountford.
Brazilians looking with fresh eyes at the world of business
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