The Central Bank of Brazil has kept interest rates high for the last four years for a reason. Brazil’s economy was showing signs of slowing down in 2012, and when China pulled the plug and reduced the amount of exports they needed from Brazil, the bottom fell out of the economy. President Dilma Rousseff tried to bring the economy back, but her policies caused more damage than good. When Vice-President Michel Temer took over the presidency, the banks and the Congress decided to stand behind him and his austerity plans.
Big corporate leaders also decided to back Temer, and all that support is producing some interesting results. Inflation is starting to slow down, unemployment figures are getting smaller, and foreign investors are coming back to Brazil. Brazil signed the Clean Air Agreement recently and that act is a good example of what companies like Eucatex, the giant building supply company, can expect from Temer in the next two years.
Eucatex wasn’t always a giant building supply company. The Sao Paulo-based family-owned company was founded in the 1950s by the grandfather of the current CEO of the company, Flavio Maluf. Granddaddy Maluf was in the sawmill business back then, and he had an excess of eucalyptus wood laying around the sawmill and he wanted to use it. Maluf decided to make ceiling times out of eucalyptus wood, and the tiles caught on in the domestic market. Eucatex was created to handle the demand for the ceiling tiles back then. His LinkedIn tells us that Flavio Maluf joined the company in 1987, and he was appointed president in 1997.
Flavio has transformed Eucatex into an Eco-friendly supplier that exports to countries around the world. Maluf also put a renewable energy mandate in place in Eucatex factories and offices. Today, Eucatex is one of the corporate leaders in the push toward clean air and environmentally friendly practices. Flavio Maluf is often asked to speak about climate change and other issues.
The eucalyptus tree forest he purchased several years ago is also one of the topics that often comes up in his speaking engagements. The Temer decision to sign the Clean Air Agreement is verification that the government stands behind Maluf in his efforts to save Brazil’s natural resources.