Brazil's upbeat Bolsonaro faces sober Davos mood

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on January 22, 2019 - Duration: 02:15s

Brazil's upbeat Bolsonaro faces sober Davos mood

Brazil's new far-right president Jair Bolsonaro had the unenviable task of trying to lift spirits at the World Economic Forum in Davos with attendees concerned about slower global economic growth and the effects of climate change.

Conway G.

Gittens reports.

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Brazil's upbeat Bolsonaro faces sober Davos mood

A chill in the air at the start of the World Economic Forum on Tuesday (January 22) as participants expressed far less confidence in the global economy than they did last year.

(SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) CONWAY G.

GITTENS, REUTERS, SAYING: "I'm Conway Gittens inside the Congress Center.

Right at the start, some of the titans of global finance sounded the alarm.

Ray Dalio of Bridgewater Associates - the biggest hedge fund in the world - warned economic growth in the U.S. and Europe will slow down significantly.

Adding to that, Axel Weber, chairman of UBS went further, declaring rate hikes in the U.S. and Europe are dead - at least for now." And the warnings coming out of Davos weren't just of the financial kind.

In a sit-down chat with Britain's Prince William, noted naturalist Sir David Attenborough had some stern words about the environment.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH NATURALIST, SIR DAVID ATTENBOROUGH: "It's difficult to overstate it.

We are now so numerous, so powerful, so all pervasive, the mechanisms that we have for destruction are so wholesale and so frightening that we can actually just exterminate all ecosystems without even noticing it." But there was no gloom or doom coming from Brazil's new far right president Jair Bolsonaro.

He used his first star turn on the world stage to say South America's largest economy, though sputtering, is ready to once again fuel global growth.

(SOUNDBITE) (Portuguese) BRAZILIAN PRESIDENT, JAIR BOLSONARO, SAYING: "We are here because in addition to deepening our ties of friendship, we want to deepen our trade relations.

We have the world's largest biodiversity and we have abundant mineral riches.

We want partners with technologies so that this marriage can be turned into progress and development for all.

Our actions, make no mistake, will attract you to big business opportunities, not only for Brazil's benefit, but also for the benefit of the whole world." Bolsonaro is just the first of many world leaders to speak at the forum.

Germany's Angela Merkel will serve as a flag bearer for the G7 on Wednesday (January 23), with most of her counterparts kept away by troubles at home.

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