President Lula Urges Recognition of Brazil, Saudi Arabia’s Growing Economic Influence

Brazil’s President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva at the FII Priority Summit in Rio de Janeiro (FII Institute)
Brazil’s President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva at the FII Priority Summit in Rio de Janeiro (FII Institute)
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President Lula Urges Recognition of Brazil, Saudi Arabia’s Growing Economic Influence

Brazil’s President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva at the FII Priority Summit in Rio de Janeiro (FII Institute)
Brazil’s President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva at the FII Priority Summit in Rio de Janeiro (FII Institute)

Brazil’s President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has stressed the importance of including emerging nations in global economic discourse, highlighting the rising influence of countries like Saudi Arabia and Brazil.
In his opening remarks at the FII Priority Summit in Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday, President Lula highlighted that Brazil’s first-ever hosting of the Saudi Future Investment Initiative (FII) signifies the growing influence of emerging economies in the global economic talks, moving beyond established powerhouses.
Defying negative predictions, Brazil’s GDP grew by 2.5% over the past year, and the country is on course to become the world's eighth-largest economy by the end of my term, said Lula.
He also highlighted that in 2023, Brazil achieved a historic trade surplus, with exports from January to April reaching a record $108 billion, largely driven by the manufacturing sector.
Lula saw great potential in partnering with Saudi Arabia for mutual gains.
The Brazilian leader said his country is looking forward to creating a bilateral investment fund to explore unique opportunities and strengthen its partnership with the Kingdom.
On his part, Yasir Al-Rumayyan, Governor of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, shared the fund’s interest in investing in Brazil, particularly in technology, renewable energy, and mining.
The PIF governor also hoped for an opportunity to invest in the Brazilian football landscape.
Al-Rumayyan emphasized the PIF’s focus on entertainment and sports, noting that 70% of Saudi Arabia’s population is under 35.
He mentioned PIF’s significant initiatives in various sports, including football, and called Brazil an ideal place for such investments.
Al-Rumayyan explained that while 80% of PIF’s assets are invested in Saudi Arabia, the remaining 20%, about $200 billion, is invested internationally. The total assets under management are around $1 trillion, with a target to reach $2 to $3 trillion by 2030.
He stressed that most investments are within Saudi Arabia to create jobs, boost GDP, and localize production of imported goods.
The three-day FII Priority Summit, happening for the first time in Latin America, powered by FII Institute, gathers global officials and business leaders from various sectors. The event debates issues under the theme “Invest in Dignity.”
The summit gathers global leaders, government officials, investors, CEOs, and entrepreneurs. It is part of the FII Institute, known as “Davos in the Desert,” based in Riyadh.
The FII Institute hosts annual global conferences and initiatives to tackle major world challenges, focusing on environmental, social, and governance issues. The Saudi PIF manages the institute.



UK Borrowing Overshoot Underscores Task for New Government

Larry the Cat sits on Downing Street in London, Britain July 19, 2024. REUTERS/Toby Melville
Larry the Cat sits on Downing Street in London, Britain July 19, 2024. REUTERS/Toby Melville
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UK Borrowing Overshoot Underscores Task for New Government

Larry the Cat sits on Downing Street in London, Britain July 19, 2024. REUTERS/Toby Melville
Larry the Cat sits on Downing Street in London, Britain July 19, 2024. REUTERS/Toby Melville

Britain's government borrowed a lot more than forecast in June, according to official data published on Friday that highlighted the big budget challenges facing the new government of Prime Minister Keir Starmer.
Public sector net borrowing, excluding state-controlled banks, was a larger-than-expected 14.5 billion pounds ($18.75 billion) last month. A Reuters poll of economists had pointed to an increase of 11.5 billion pounds.
Dennis Tatarkov, Senior Economist at KPMG UK, said the data showed "the daunting task" for the new government to fund its agenda without worsening the public finances.
"A combination of high levels of spending and weak growth prospects will present uncomfortable choices – deciding between even more borrowing or substantially raising taxes if spending levels are to be maintained," he said.
New finance minister Rachel Reeves is likely to announce her first budget after parliament's summer recess. She and Starmer have ruled out increases in the rates of income tax, corporation tax and value-added tax, leaving her little room for maneuver to improve public services and boost investment.
Reeves has ordered an immediate review of the new government's "spending inheritance", a move that lawmakers from the opposition Conservative Party say could presage increases in taxes on capital gains or inheritances.
"Today's figures are a clear reminder that this government has inherited the worst economic circumstances since the Second World War, but we’re wasting no time to fix it," Darren Jones, a deputy Treasury minister, said after the data was published.
Starmer's government says it will speed up Britain's slow-moving economy - and generate more tax revenues - via a combination of pro-growth reforms and a return to political stability that will attract investment.
The borrowing figure for June was 2.9 billion pounds higher than expected by Britain's budget watchdog whose forecasts underpin government tax and spending plans.
In the first three months of the financial year which began in April, borrowing was 3.2 billion pounds higher than projected by the Office for Budget Responsibility at 49.8 billion pounds.
The Office for National Statistics said June's borrowing was the lowest for the month since 2019, helped by a big drop in spending on interest paid on bonds linked to inflation which has slowed sharply.
But the deficit was made bigger by a 1.2 billion-pound fall in social security contributions compared with June 2023. They were cut by former Prime Minister Rishi Sunak before the July 4 election that swept Starmer's Labour Party to power.