Former president Luis Inacio Lula da Silva tried to convince foreigners to invest in Brazil yesterday in front of an audience of American investors and Brazilian businessmen gathered in New York.

The day before, the U.S Federal Reserve had classified Brazil as the most vulnerable emerging market to external shocks out of 15 nations, coming second only after Turkey.

Lula told investors that the recent predictions by economists had been exaggerated. He highlighted the country´s growth over the past 11 years, since the Worker´s Party (PT) has been in power.

“Lula´s main message was you shouldn´t be afraid to invest in Brazil,” said a businessman who preferred to remain anonymous to Folha at the end of the event.

As the speech was exclusively to members of the Americas Society and Council of the Americas (organizers of the event), and their guests, most participants preferred not to comment on Lula´s speech.

The Council brings together important representatives of US and global banks, such as JPMorgan, Bank of America, Citigroup and Santander, as well as big companies such as Microsoft, General Motors, Pepsico and Boeing.

According to a banker present at the talk, Lula was “very positive” and “confident” in the Brazilian economy and was “quite convincing” in doing so.

However Lula did not offer statistics to illustrate the apparent wellbeing of the Brazilian economy that he had described.

In January, the IMF downgraded its forecast for Brazil´s GDP growth in 2014 to 2.3%, 0.2 points less than was previously expected.

In 2013, Brazil also registered a record current account deficit of US$ 81.4 billion, 3.66% of its GDP, the worst result since 2001.

The Fed pointed towards Brazil´s trade deficit as one of the causes of its vulnerability as well as the size of its foreign reserves in relation to its GDP, the government´s gross debt to GDP ratio, as well as the average inflation rate over the past three years.

Translated by MILLI LEGRAIN

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