The story of Brazil crashing and burning, economically speaking, is no secret. In 2012, the Brazilian economy took a devastating hit from China. The Chinese economy was going through a major upheaval, and the country stopped exporting some of Brazil’s natural resources. China was Brazil’s largest trading partner, and the decision to cut back on Brazilian exports started a chain reaction. The government didn’t react fast enough to curb inflation, and the banks didn’t cut the high-interest rates that hurt consumer buying. In a nutshell, Brazil went from an emerging market superstar to an economic disaster.
But those days are over, according to the new president of Brazil, Michel Temer. Temer is cultivating new trading partners, and he is proposing a $18.5 billion spending bill that will inject new energy into the country’s economy. Temer also put new rules in place, and they are attracting more than $6.3 billion in private investment money to modernize Brazilian ports. The new investment in ports will help companies like Eucatex, the Sao Paulo building supply company. The CEO of Eucatex, Flavio Maluf, thinks his country is on the road to recovery.
Eucatex is one of Brazil’s leading exporters. The company sells building materials to home improvement stores in North and South America. Eucatex also has a large presence in Europe. The company manufactures all products in the four modern factories in the state of Sao Paulo.
Flavio Maluf spent time in the United States before starting his career in the family business. Maluf’s grandfather is the man who put Eucatex on the radar of home and offices builders back in 1951. Back then, the company only had one product to sell, but it was a good one. Maluf’s eucalyptus wood ceiling tile was a hit, and the company began exporting ceiling tiles in 1959. Today, Eucatex is one of Brazil’s top exporters and Maluf is one of the country’s leading environmentalists. Flavio is a staunch cause capitalist who gives back some of his company’s profits to help the environment. The Eucatex eucalyptus tree planting program is one of Brazil’s most successful environmental programs in the country.