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Rousseff names new development, industry and foreign trade minister

Armando Monteiro

Brasilia, Dec 1 (EFE).- Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff on Monday named the former president of the country’s top industrial business association, Armando Monteiro, to be her new development, industry and foreign trade minister.

Monteiro is a senator with the Brazilian Labor Party, or PTB, and headed the National Confederation of Industry, or CNI, the most important association in the sector, from 2002-2010.

The new minister will replace Mauro Borges, who will remain in the post until the transition to Rousseff’s second term is complete on Jan. 1, 2015, according to an official communique issued by the president’s office.

This is the fourth nomination made by Rousseff for her new mandate, after last week tapping Alexandre Tombini to head the Central Bank, Joaquim Levy to head the Finance Ministry and Nelson Barbosa to take over at the Planning Ministry.

Monteiro, 61, also headed the industry association in the northeastern state of Pernambuco between 1994-2004 and the metallurgical, mechanical and electrical industry association in that region.

In the nationwide elections last October, Monteiro vied for the governorship of Pernambuco but was defeated by Paulo Camara, with the Brazilian Socialist Party.

The new minister will be tasked with helping the badly battered Brazilian industry to recover from the current economic crisis as well as providing a new push for exports.

Brazilian industrial production contracted by 1.5 percent in the third quarter of this year, after expanding by 1.7 percent in the second quarter, according to government GDP figures released last week.

Brazil’s trade balance accumulated a $4.2 billion deficit between January and November, according to government figures released on Monday, a deficit that was almost 16 times larger than that of the previous year.