Bolsonaro: Gov’t endorses private import of vaccines

A group of investors wishes to import 33 million vaccines

Published in 26/01/2021 - 15:39 By Andreia Verdélio - Brasília

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said today (Jan. 26) that the federal government supports the idea of investors purchasing vaccines against COVID-19 to immunize their employees on their own. The statement was made while he participated in an online seminar on investment in Latin America, held by bank Credit Suisse.

“The federal government endorses this group of investors going ahead with their idea of bringing the vaccine here to immunize 33 million people at no cost for the federal government. We will stimulate whatever leads to the advancement of this initiative, as 33 million free doses would be a significant help to the economy and to those who want to be vaccinated to be free of the virus,” Bolsonaro said.

The president explained that, last week, the government was contacted by investors on having 33 million doses of the Oxford vaccines imported.

Of this total, half would be incorporated into Brazil’s Unified Health Care System (SUS) and made available to the population under official criteria, and the other half would be used by companies after their own criteria. The government signed a letter of intent approving the measure, the president reported.

“On the list of countries who vaccinated the most, we rank sixth—soon to be among the first ones—to give more comfort to the population and security to everyone, and also preventing the economy from coming to a halt,” he said, mentioning that the government enacted a provisional decree last year earmarking $20 billion to purchase the vaccines.

Drawing investment

In his address, Bolsonaro restated his commitment to the public spending cap and said the government plans to speed up privatization and reforms to encourage the work of the private enterprise in economic recovery after the crisis triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We will maintain the firm commitment with the rule on the spending cap as an anchor for sustainability and economic credibility. We will not allow temporary crisis-related measures to become permanent spending commitments. Our goal is to go beyond recovery with the support of consumption for a sustained growth through a dynamic private sector,” he declared.

According to the president, the work conducted by the government aims to draw direct foreign investment, especially for priority projects in infrastructure.

“We intend to speed up concession and privatization auctions, especially those under the Program of Investment Partnerships, the PPI, which has a portfolio of strategic projects in the long run, with low risks as well as attractive and stable yield rates,” he noted.

Changes

Bolsonaro also stated he understands the structural issues facing the global industry as well as Brazil’s and added he has worked to make changes in this sector “with strategic thought and the redefinition of links in global production chains.”

The agenda of reforms in Congress and Brazil’s admission to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) continue among the government’s priorities, the president pointed out.

“We will keep advocating for wide competition, free trade, the modernization of the state, democratic values and the relentless fight against corruption. We can already see positive outcomes and we count on the support of the private enterprise to consolidate the new cycle of development and prosperity in our country. You may rely on our hard work in opening the way towards economic opening and the facilitation of trade and investment,” he went on to say.

Translation: Fabrício Ferreira -  Edition: Kleber Sampaio / Nira Foster

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