Another Brazil Essay Research Paper Brazil National — страница 3

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to Friday. Besides statutory holidays, the annual Carnival causes a standstill to all businesses Monday through Wednesday. Recreation activities are mainly outdoors, taking advantage of the tropical climate. Society Though under a democratic system, the society is still highly stratified with a small group of business elite and landowners controlling the direction of major policies. The Congress is dominated by whites. A century after the abolition of slavery, blacks lack adequate political representation, education, and housing. The basic unit of society differs among different regions. Individualism dominates in the highly industrialized South where people enjoy a greater social mobility. In the rural northern regions, however, fazenda-traditional large agricultural producing

unit is the basic social system. It is characterized by the dualistic system, with the landlords at the top and everyone else at the bottom. In the traditional agriculture based society, powerful fazendeiro tended to extend their power into the political system in order to control government policies. This is why the present government is facing large resistance on land reform from the North. The hierarchical relationship is also closely linked to clientelism in which superiors grant certain favors to inferiors, thereby creating indebtedness and moral obligations while securing a steady supply of labor or scarce skills. While in urban contexts with high rates of unemployment, job opportunities are provided in exchange for loyalty and backing in elections. Such concept of

‘extended family’ is the foundation of human relationship in Brazil. National Strategy Institutional Framework The Executive holds much of the responsibility for formulating and implementing trade and industrial policies. The present government has eliminated and simplified many regulations dealing with specific trade and tax concessions that used to be complicated. The complex investment code has also been simplified and liberalized, though a few constraints still remain. The main economy agency is the Ministry of Economy, Finance, and Planning(MEFP) headed by Pedro Malan. Under it the principal business regulatory agencies include: BACEN-Central Bank(monetary policy, foreign exchange controls, control of foreign capitals and profit remittances, regulation of banks and

financial institutions), CVM-Securities Commission(securities markets and listed companies), CADE-Administrative Council for Economic Defense(monopoly, cartel, antitrust monitoring), INPI-National Institute of Industrial Property(technological development), CDI-Industrial Development Council(industrial development, granting of fiscal incentives), and DECEX-Foreign Trade Department(foreign trade, control of export and import licenses). In the formulation of economic policies, the government maintains contacts with the private sector which may contribute in the process through participating in sectoral chambers and special committees. Also, reviews of policies are sometimes provided by research institute. Economic Policy and Challenges Until the recent reforms, the economy was

subject to extensive regulation which inhibited the operations of a competitive market economy. Since 1990, Brazil has undertaken a major liberalization effort concentrating on trade liberalization, deregulation, and privatization. The current economy is basically one of free enterprise, but there is still considerable state and semi-state participation in various strategic sectors. The National Privatization Program was enacted a few years ago to privatize many formerly state-run enterprises, most notably the steel and petro-chemical industries. In July 1995, the lower house of Congress has accepted the Constitutional Amendments that will open oil, mining, electric power, and telecoms to private and foreign investment. One of the largest successes of the recent reform is the

real, Brazil’s latest currency. Introduced to deindex prices and to lower inflation, the real and accompanying measures have brought fierce growth and a flood of new investment: 12 multinationals alone are planning to spend $8 billion by 2000. Most significantly, inflation has fallen, from 3000% in 1989 to 30% in 95. However, the strength of the currency encouraged imports and Brazil is facing a trade deficit: $3.2 billion in 1995. The government responded by devaluation, import curbs, tariffs, and quotas on car imports. Another problem is the coming back of inflation. However, inflation seems to be built in the system characterized by private greed, lack and mismanagement of public finance and enterprise. Urgent reforms are needed in the following: the rusty and unwieldy tax