Brazil’s economy is heading in the right direction. First quarter GDP growth is on the plus side, and the central bank is cutting interest rates again. The central bank cut its benchmark rate to 10.25 percent. The Selic rate was 11.25%. The bank wants to continue to reduce the escalation in borrowing costs which started in October 2016. And the bank wants to help reduce inflation and get Brazil’s struggling economy back in the black again.
There are economic bright spots in the country. President Temer is pushing for new trade agreements with China, and the United States as well as with Britain. Exporting is one of the economic sectors hit hardest by the devastating recession that cost seven million Brazilian their jobs over the last four years. Most Brazilians are optimistic about what the government is trying to do, but there is still some serious mud in the political system.
Nonetheless, business leaders in cities around the country are finding ways to contribute to GDP growth. One of those business leaders, Flavio Maluf, the environmentalist and philanthropist from the state of Sao Paulo, is showing the country what it takes to beat the recession. Maluf’s company, Eucatex, is one of the country’s largest manufacturers of building materials. Eucatex has four domestic factories, three domestic offices and offices in other countries like the United States and Germany. All Eucatex facilities follow recycle, reuse, and reduce protocol, and the factories use renewable energy sources. Maluf is responsible for making his family-owned business one of the most environmentally friendly companies in the country.
The Flavio Maluf story is not one of those rich boys gets richer stories. Flavio has a working man’s mentality. He is an expert in marketing, and he has an engineering degree from New York University. Before Flavio became president of the company, he developed a successful marketing program for Eucatex. He is responsible for developing the Eucatex brands sold in home improvement stores like Home Depot. Today, thanks to Flavio, Eucatex ships floorboards, paint, varnishes, ceiling tiles, and other building materials to more than 30 countries. He is also responsible for starting eucalyptus tree farms so the company can replace the trees they use to make branded products.