Bloomberg — Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva lunched with some of Brazil’s richest and most powerful company executives Tuesday, the latest in a series of get-togethers to dispel concern about policies the leftist former president would implement if elected in October.
Guests included 3G Capital’s Carlos Alberto Sicupira, Itau Unibanco Holding SA’s Joao Moreira Salles, Banco Bradesco SA’s Luiz Carlos Trabuco Cappi, Magazine Luiza SA’s Luiza Trajano, former World Trade Organization head, Roberto Azevedo, as well as Dan Iochpe, Jacyr Costa, Fabio Coelho, Josue Gomes, and Rafael Cervone, according to two people familiar with the meeting, who requested anonymity because the event wasn’t public.
Lula told the business leaders that if elected he’d seek labor law reforms to give unions a greater voice in talks and also look to boost the country’s minimum wage, according to one of the people, who works for his campaign. The candidate reaffirmed his commitment to fiscal responsibility and vowed to follow credible, transparent and predictable policies, the person said.
The presidential front-runner was accompanied by his running mate Geraldo Alckmin, former Education Minister Fernando Haddad, who is running for governor of Sao Paulo state, and economist Aloizio Mercadante, who is coordinating his economic program.
The business people, in the meantime, told Lula that Brazil needs to make credit more accessible to Brazilians as a way of boosting growth and address the country’s lamentable loss of international relevance in multilateral organizations.
Lula has intensified meetings with Brazil’s corporate elite in the past few weeks, presenting himself as a moderate candidate and reminding them of the good relationship he had with the business community during his eight years in power. In public, however, the former president has criticized bankers and said he’s sure none of them will vote for him.
The lunch took place at the headquarters of the Sao Paulo Industry Federation although it was not officially sponsored by the institution. The federation will host Lula for an official event with business leaders on Aug. 9.