BRASILIA, April 6 (Reuters) - Brazilian Economy Minister
Paulo Guedes said on Tuesday he expects the economy will be back
on track in two to three months, as an accelerating nationwide
COVID-19 vaccination program gets people back to work and
Speaking in an online event hosted by Banco Itau, Guedes
also said he expects a "decisive move" soon on the
implementation of the stalled trade pact between the European
Union and Mercosur bloc of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and
"We think that probably two, three months from now Brazil
could be back to business. Of course, probably economic activity
will take a drop but it will be much, much less than the drop we
suffered last year ... and much, much shorter," Guedes said.
To achieve that, Brazil must speed up mass vaccination,
which Guedes hailed as the country's most important fiscal
policy right now.
"It is the one that has most return in terms of economic
results - to preserve people's health and guarantee a safe
return to the workforce," he said.
Brazil on Tuesday reported a record 4,195 deaths in one day,
bringing total fatalities to 336,947 and cementing its place as
the current global epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic.
Interactive graphic tracking global spread of coronavirus:
open https://tmsnrt.rs/2FThSv7 in an external browser.
Some experts say the South American nation's death toll
could eventually surpass the United States, where more than
550,000 people have died.
Guedes said the government will revive the job protection
scheme that he says saved 11 million jobs last year, and will
renew its privatization efforts.
Studies on the planned privatization of the country's
largest power company, Eletrobras, should be
completed within nine months, he said.
On the EU-Mercosur impasse, Guedes said he is hopeful
agreement will be reached soon.
"Either we go in that direction and they (the EU) accept us,
and help us go in the right direction, or we'll have trouble,"
Guedes said. "I think we will go in the right direction."
The pact struck in 2019 promised to remove 4 billion euros
of import tariffs on EU products. But it has not been
implemented, due to Europe's concerns over Amazon deforestation
and scepticism about Brazil's commitment to tackling climate
change under President Jair Bolsonaro.
(Reporting by Jamie McGeever in Brasilia
Editing by Bill Berkrot and Matthew Lewis)