Public Papers

Remarks at a Luncheon for the Business Community in Brasilia, Brazil


Thank you, Ambassador, for your introduction and for your hospitality, you and Peggy. I seldom speak on behalf of a group of Brazilian businessmen, but thanks for the hospitality at this luncheon, too. We're delighted to be here. Let me salute the Minister of Justice, Your Excellency; and the Minister of the Economy, who is with us; the Minister of Agriculture, who is with us. I just want to say thank you to all the guests, some who've come from a long, long way. I want to salute the Minister of the Infrastructure, who is here, and each and every one of you.

I'm delighted to be here today, as was Secretary Mosbacher last spring, with some of this nation's most distinguished business leaders to discuss very briefly our dynamic bilateral relationship and our relationship with the rest of the major trading nations of the world. I'm delighted that Secretary Brady, our Secretary of the Treasury, is with us here today.

The success of this economy -- he and I agree on this -- the success of your economy, the world's eighth largest, is truly vital to the well-being of all nations in the Americas. In talking with your President -- your able President -- my friend, this morning, President Collor, I was impressed with his vision of a ``Brazil Novo.'' He is determined that this great country will grow and prosper throughout the nineties. And he believes that with a market economy Brazil will take its rightful place at the first table of nations. And I wholeheartedly share that view.

This morning, I was deeply honored to be able to speak before a joint session of your Congress, and I spoke there of the daunting task that awaits us: the construction of a new economic relationship for the whole Western Hemisphere. Our shared future is borne of the triumph of democracy in this hemisphere and is directed towards the next necessary steps: raising the standard of living and expanding the economic opportunity of all the people in Latin America. I call this initiative the Enterprise for the Americas, a vision of a community of the Americas, free of barriers to trade and investment and free of the burden of debt.

The United States is Brazil's largest investor and trading partner. And we are excited at the prospect of a growing market economy in Brazil. And we recognize that it is the private sector that is the locomotive for economic growth. As business leaders and entrepreneurs, your role in building a more open market in Brazil has been and will be a key part of our growing trade relationship.

This week in Brussels, trade ministers are meeting over there for the final negotiation of the Uruguay round. The U.S. and Brazil agree on the need to phase out agricultural subsidies. Taken with our progress on the other ambitious topics of the negotiation, a success at the GATT in Brussels will represent new market opportunities and more profits for Brazilians. We just have to be successful in this GATT round.

You, more than most, know that the dead hand of state control has got to be lifted to unleash the creativity of entrepreneurs and business leaders such as those represented here today, yourselves, and to give your businesses the flexibility to adapt to changing markets. The U.S. has already invested almost billion in this country, and Brazilians know what foreign investment can help produce: meaningful jobs for your workers and expanded goods and services for your customers.

The first steps to implement the Enterprise for Americas Initiative are already underway. The nations of Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, and the United States are drafting now a framework agreement to make its principles a reality. I urge each and every one of you to stand with us in support of this enterprise, to stand with us on the side of the future, and on the side of order and progress -- as the flag of Brazil reads -- and the changes to come.

In the short run, economic change will be difficult and painful for many. But the longterm results -- a growing economy and a sound currency -- will lead to new opportunities and a better quality of life for all the people of Brazil and, indeed, for the rest of the hemisphere. That is what your President meant with his vision of economic growth for the ``Brazil Novo.''

In the 19th century, Brazilians declared their independence from the Old World and founded their republic. And now, as we approach a new century, we embark on what I see as a voyage of rediscovery. Brazilians have joined the move toward greater prosperity and freedom for the people of this hemisphere, toward a new dawn for the New World.

Well, I just want to say thank you, then, to all of you for participating in this. We need your help to make all of these dreams come true. And I want to thank you for the warm welcome in this receiving line. You do make me feel welcome here in Brazil, and I am delighted to be back. And God bless you all and your wonderful nation of Brazil. Thank you all very much for coming.

Note: The President spoke at 1:48 p.m. at the U.S. Ambassador's residence. In his remarks, he referred to U.S. Ambassador Richard Melton and his wife, Peggy; Minister of Justice Bernardo Cabral; Minister of Economy Zelia Cardoso de Mello; Minister of Agriculture Antonio Cabreira Filho; Minister of Intrastructure Ozires Silva; and U.S. Secretary of Commerce Robert A. Mosbacher.