DAVOS, Switzerland — Brazilian President Michel Temer urged the industry giants at the World Economic Forum to invest in his country despite its falling credit rating, by promising tax reform, efficient bureaucracy and fiscal responsibility.

“Brazil is back in business,” Temer said Wednesday. “Do invest in Brazil and you shall not regret it.”

Brazil’s fiscal crisis began in 2015 and the country has suffered from a high unemployment rate and a deep budget deficit. Two weeks ago, the ratings agency S&P downgraded Brazil’s credit rating from BB to BB-.

Latin America's largest nation has been roiled in recent years by a corruption scandal that has taken down top politicians and business executives.

Temer said he would push forward on his fiscal overhaul plan, including major changes to the country’s underfunded social security system, even as his party faces a tough election battle. Brazil's presidential election is in October. 

“Yes, we shall complete our agenda,” he said. “The potential for a setback is virtually non-existent. We will battle day and night to pass social security reform.”


Temer said Brazil has its inflation under control, and state-run enterprises are now turning a profit.

“Brazil has come out of the crisis in a stronger position,” he said.

Temer's speech came the same day a Brazilian appellate court unanimously upheld the graft conviction against former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, 72.