Luciana Magalhaes – Wall Street Journal, 8/15/2012
SAO PAULO–Nothing will awaken the “animal spirits” of Brazilian business owners as much as broad reforms to reduce the country’s crushing tax burden, according to Josue Gomes da Silva, chief executive of the sprawling textile conglomerate Coteminas (CTNM4.BR).
“Brazil should structure a plan, to be implemented over a period of five or 10 years, with the clear goal of reducing the percentage of gross domestic product taken out every year by taxes,” Mr. Da Silva said in an interview. “Brazil should seek to gradually reduce its tax burden, now equal to about 36% of GDP, to levels more in line with other countries in similar stages of development.”
Mr. Da Silva belongs to a group of business leaders who recently advised Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff on ways to kick start the nation’s stalled economy. Brazilian GDP grew only 0.8% in the first quarter of 2012 against the same quarter a year earlier, with most economists predicting 2012 GDP performance of no better than 2%. GDP grew 2.7% in 2011.