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On the eve of Lula's election in late 2002, Brazil had only US$ 37.8 billion in international reserves and external debt four times that much: $ 165 billion. Many people believed that Brazil would be unable to pay the debt - until Lula showed how it could be done. For the first time in 500 years, Brazil ceased to be a debtor and joined the select group of international creditors. The country that was once forced to cut investment, jobs and social programs to meet the targets of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) today controls its own destiny. It has US $ 376 billion in reserves and full autonomy in economic management. Brazil chose grow with income distribution. And even lends money to the IMF.
In 2002, the Cardoso government was once again visited the IMF in order to close the accounts for the year. He received a loan of US$ 41.75 billion, that all presidential candidates have pledged to pay. In 2005, the Lula government made an historic decision and settled the rest of the debt contracted by FHC and rid the country of the IMF requirements. In 2009, the first time in history, Brazil has lent money to the Fund: US$10 billion to help developing countries through the international crisis. In 2012, new loan of $ 10 billion, now for the euro area - with a demand: more effective participation by developing countries in the decisions of the Fund. An important detail: our ministers never took off their shoes to anyone.
Under Lula, Brazil buried the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), supported by the United States and defended by the previous government. In practice, the FTAA tied the country to American business interests. Without giving up trade with the United States and European Union, Brazil has strengthened trade with Mercosur, which increased from US$ 10.5 billion in 2002 to US$ 39.2 billion in 2010 and US$ 43.9 billion in 2013 also narrowed relations with Africa, India and China. Along with the other countries that form the BRICs (Russia, India, China and South Africa), Brazil consolidated not only a strong business partnership, but also an important political articulation with innovative proposals to address global economic problems.