Hamilton Mourao is the current Vice President of Brazil under the government of Jair Bolsonaro. He previously served as a General in the Brazilian Army, the highest rank attainable in peacetime.
What you would consider Brazil's major successes and challenges during your administration so far?
Undoubtedly, our major success this year was the approval of pension system reforms by Congress. Like other countries, Brazil has gone through a broad demographic change, not only in terms of aging, but also in health and way of life. This change affected not only the sustainability of the system, but also the eonomy's productivity. In the modern world, the pension system is something pivotal to [our] economy, merging public finances and investments, but essential to social well-being. Additionally, a balanced pension system is a bridge between generations, a fundamental pillar of the western democracies. The conduction of this reform, since its conception, has been a continuous challenge to the Brazilian government. Up to now, the states and municipalities haven't been included in the reform, but we are advancing in this area, and they could be part of the reforms in the near future. This would enhance confidence in the public accounts in general, with immediate benefits to the economy.
Our challenges could be summarized in one single word: confidence, the key element of the economy. Confidence of investors, confidence of consumers, confidence of citizens, in fact, a widespread sense of accountability and reliability of public and private agents. We believe that restoring confidence in the economy is the main commitment of this administration, and we are confident that it is possible to meet this expectation until the end of our term. Obviously, in a modern and complex society like Brazil, this means continuous, fair and patient dialogue with Congress and civil society, under the rule of the law. There are no detours or shortcuts on this way. The commitment assumed by President Bolsonaro with the modernization of Brazil is clear and well founded in a realistic perspective of politics and economics.
As the biggest economy of Latin America and an economic leader in the region, where do you see Brazil's economy in the future: will be Brazil remain heavily focused on agribusiness, or are there plans to diversify the economy in light of the economic troubles it has seen in recent years?
Actually, Brazil had a diversified economy until the 80's, with circa 25 percent of its GDP...