Brazil to be fifth largest econ­omy by 2016, says Lula

The Pak Banker - - I Nternational -

RIO DE JANEIRO: Pres­i­dent Luiz Ina­cio Lula da Silva said that Brazil would be the world's fifth biggest econ­omy by 2016, as he laid the cor­ner­stone of a new Fiat fac­tory.

"Fiat was right to set up in northeastern Brazil, and if it were up to me, whether I am pres­i­dent or not, other com­pa­nies would set up in other states" in the re­gion, Lula said Per­nam­buco state.

"Brazil will be the fifth largest econ­omy in the world be­fore the Olympic Games" to be held in Rio De Janeiro in 2016, he added.

The Ital­ian auto group said ear­lier this month it would in­vest 1.3 bil­lion eu­ros (1.7 bil­lion dol­lars) in the new plant.

The in­vest­ment is part of the com­pany's 2011-2014 strate­gic plan, which calls for ex­pen­di­ture of a to­tal of 4.4 bil­lion eu­ros (5.8 bil­lion dol­lars) in Brazil, where it has been the coun­try's lead­ing au­tomaker for the last nine years.

Lula has hailed his eightyear record lead­ing Latin Amer­ica's biggest nation as he pre­pares to hand the reins of power to anointed suc­ces­sor Dilma Rouss­eff, who was elected pres­i­dent in Oc­to­ber and will as­sume of­fice Jan­uary 1. The 65-year-old for­mer me­tal­worker and trade union leader leaves of­fice with a pop­u­lar­ity rat­ing above 80 per­cent and a claim to hav­ing re­duced so­cial in­equal­i­ties and presided over a long pe­riod of pros­per­ity. -Ap

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