As we prepare for the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Brazilians have just elected a new president. We have shown once again how vibrant our democracy is, how solid our institutions are.
In January, I will leave office with a sense of accomplishment. Much has been achieved in a short period. We overcame the worst recession in Brazilian history. With government finances now on a sounder track, confidence in our economy has been restored, laying the groundwork for more growth and more prosperity for all. We have overhauled a more than seven-decade-old labour law in order to keep it abreast of changing social and economic practices. We have modernised our middle and high school systems. We have brought the need for pension reform to the centre of public debate. In brief, we have advanced a transformational agenda that was long overdue.
Outside our borders, though, the environment is one of worrisome tendencies. Threats to the global order we have built over the past decades are numerous. Isolationism, intolerance and unilateralism risk undermining the very fundamentals of this order. An order that – imperfect though it is – has proven capable of delivering results in areas that range from trade to nuclear nonproliferation.
To these threats, Brazil responds with further openness, solidarity and diplomacy. It is a Brazilian conviction that our shared future depends on an increasingly freer flow of goods, investment, technology and ideas.
Brazil stands strong in its determination to uphold a rules-based multilateral trading system. This system, today with the World Trade Organization at its centre, has served us well. The virtually universal support it enjoys bears witness to this. It would surely benefit from enhancement, as a result of a broad and inclusive debate, but its accomplishments cannot be wasted.
At this critical juncture, the G20 should not hesitate before the major challenges affecting development and growth. The G20’s core mandate, as Brazil sees it, is to seek consensus on the pressing issues on the international agenda, with a view to paving the way for them to be effectively addressed.
The priorities chosen by Argentina’s presidency of the G20 for Buenos Aires are fully in line with Brazil’s view and have received our full support throughout the year. The new economy, brought about by constant innovation, not least in technology, has upended the labour market globally and governments are struggling to cope with the fast pace of change. Taking into account the linkages between education, training and work, the G20 has been able to put together a roadmap of policies that can guide us as we navigate uncharted waters.
Another key issue facing the international community, especially developing countries, is the deficit in infrastructure. Overcoming this insufficiency is paramount to ensuring social, economic and environmental gains for our people. In the G20, our ministries of finance and central banks have been working hard to identify and address financing gaps. Consensus has been achieved on the need to mobilise further private investment for infrastructure projects. Brazil has understood this and, by improving its regulatory framework, has involved the private sector even more in such vital projects.
We have also welcomed the importance attached by Argentina to the sustainable food future. By expanding its production and exports of agricultural products, Brazil has helped feed the millions of people throughout the world who have been lifted out of poverty in the last decades. To ensure the widely recognised productivity and sustainability of Brazilian agriculture, we will continue to focus on innovation, bio-economy and agroecology.
Argentina’s leadership in its presidency of the G20 has rekindled the spirit of understanding and cooperation that gave rise to the group. As we convene in Buenos Aires, I reaffirm Brazil’s unwavering commitment to that spirit, as well as our decided engagement in the shaping of a world where openness, solidarity and diplomacy are more and more the rule, not the exception.