Mixed opinions about world cup impact on Brazilian economy
Mixed opinions about World Cup impact on Brazilian economy
The 2014 World Cup has injected an estimated $15 billion into the Brazilian economy and created many jobs, this according to the head of the government’s Embratur tourism board, Vicente Neto.
Vicente Neto: “Regarding the human legacy, the numbers are extraordinary: the creation of one million jobs in the country due to this great event, one million jobs or 15 percent of all the jobs created this year in Brazil.”
The government has invested $11 billion in stadiums and infrastructure and another $2 billion in security. It is expected to spend billions more preparing for the 2016 Olympic games in Rio.
But an analyst who studies such mega-events, Architecture and Urbanism Professor at Rio de Janeiro’s Fluminense Federal University, Chris Gaffney, believes these figures are exaggerated.
Chris Gaffney: “I don’t think that they’ve invested enough money to create those kinds of permanent jobs. In the scale of the Brazilian economy we’re not looking at that much money being invested. It’s 30 billion in a $1 trillion economy.”
Another expert, Lisa Delpy Neirotti of George Washington University in the United States, says the real economic benefits of such events are less tangible and more long-term.
Lisa Delpy Neirotti: “There’s a lot of transfer of knowledge, so people are learning more about hospitality. There’s also the broadcast center where they’re being trained in how to use technology. And so I think it’s in the media sector, a lot in the hospitality industry and also in licensing and merchandizing, retail.”
Chris Gaffney believes the money being spent benefits very few Brazilians.
Chris Gaffney: “The World Cup and Olympics are part of an extractive business model that moves around the world very freely, a top-down business model that uses the interests of local political and economic elites to make money for international corporations.”
Delpy Neirotti disagrees.
Delpy Neirotti: “Yes, there’s been a lot of money spent here but we have to realize that the infrastructure that they’ve built up around the World Cup is something that will last and it stays in the country.”
Other analysts say the Cup may help the Brazilian economy but it also boosts inflation and public debt. Less than half of the Brazilians in a recent poll believed that hosting the Cup was a good idea. And there have been many demonstrations against the Cup, though they have declined since the tournament began.
Nevertheless, many Brazilians are proud to host the World Cup and the 600,000 foreign visitors it brings. They hope that they will spread the good word about Brazil when they return home. Scott Bobb, VOA news, Rio de Janeiro.