Seeking foreign investment, Economy Minister doesn’t know who he’s meeting on G20 trip

guedes g20 rome
Paulo Guedes on Friday. Photo: Clauber Cleber Caetano/PR

Economy Minister Paulo Guedes will join President Jair Bolsonaro on a trip to the G20 Leaders’ Summit next week in Rome, alongside Foreign Minister Carlos França. Still, Brazil’s top economic official doesn’t know which bilateral meetings he’ll be attending in Italy. 

“They must be on the schedule, I don’t know,” Mr. Guedes told The Brazilian Report during a press conference on Friday afternoon. During the same event, the minister promised to “relaunch” the Brazilian economy abroad, with a “green investment program” worth USD 2.5 billion. However, he gave no further details on the investments. 

During the conference, flanked by President Bolsonaro, Mr. Guedes dismissed rumors of his resignation. He admitted that supporting a new welfare cash-transfer program does mean the government will be breaching the constitutional spending ceiling. “Am I happy to break the [expenditure] ceiling? No, I’m not. I hate breaking the ceiling.”

On October 29, Mr. Guedes will attend a joint meeting of G20 health and finance ministers, as advancing Covid-19 vaccination and post-pandemic economic recovery is one of Italy’s G20 presidency priorities.

On the summit’s economic track, Brazil will emphasize that “saving the planet means generating green opportunities,” alluding to Mr. Guedes’ “green investment project” and Brazil’s aspiration to conclude negotiations on Paris Agreement carbon markets implementation. The Economy Ministry has high hopes of attracting foreign investors to the country’s carbon credits. 

Brazil will also prioritize advancing global taxation on transnational companies —slack primarily big techs — following a landmark agreement reached within the OECD ministerial meeting earlier this month. The economic team also wants to address the global digital divide, advocating for an e-commerce agreement through the World Trade Organization.