Global CEOs less optimistic about Brazil ahead of World Economic Forum

wef world economic forum davos ceos
Photo: Drop of Light/Shutterstock

The World Economic Forum’s annual meeting kicked off today, with world leaders and billionaires gathering online for the second year in a row, instead of congregating in the famous Swiss ski resort of Davos. As part of the agenda, major auditor PwC published its 25th annual Global CEO survey — consulting 4,400 CEOs across 89 countries — and the findings proved to be somewhat alarming for Brazil.

Over the past decade of high inflation, low growth, and a steep loss in citizens’ purchasing power, CEOs have lost interest in Latin America’s biggest economy. While Brazil was seen as the third-largest market of interest by the global business elite between 2011 and 2013, it is now only the tenth, being surpassed by India and Canada in the last year.

Moreover, CEOs in Brazil say they are less optimistic about growth rates than they were a year ago, and just 55 percent are optimistic about their own companies. This rate was as high as 85 percent for CEOs in Japan.

And if the main concern for business leaders is the threat of cyberattacks, Brazilian CEOs rank macroeconomic issues above anything else.

The country faces fiscal concerns, as President Jair Bolsonaro is willing to break the bank in order to ensure his reelection. Meanwhile, former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva — who leads all polls — has talked about scrapping economic pillars which are dear to markets, such as the federal spending cap and the 2017 labor reform.