Opinion

Bolsonaro v. Lula reveals gulf between Brazilian and foreign executives

While Brazil's economic elites largely plan to vote for Bolsonaro, international investors tend to support Lula

lula bolsonaro business investors executives
Members of Fiesp, the federation of São Paulo industries, during a meeting with President Jair Bolsonaro. Photo: Marcos Corrêa/PR

Over the past few weeks, business meetings between Brazilian and international executives and investors have often involved moments of awkward silence and eyes rolling when the conversation turned to Brazil’s upcoming elections. 

While Brazil’s economic elites still overwhelmingly support President Jair Bolsonaro, the former Army captain is deeply unpopular among international (and particularly Western) elites. He is generally seen as an environmental villain, Covid denialist, and a direct threat to Brazil’s democracy. 

International executives are often surprised to find out that voting behavior in Brazil ahead of his matchup with former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is very different...

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