Rio de Janeiro: I’ve been traveling across the Americas, and I find something interesting. I’ve been doing this job a long, long time as you can tell; I’m a very old man. But I was elected when I was 29 years told to the United States Senate, and my portfolio has been American foreign policy. So I’ve traveled the hemisphere and the world over the last 40 years. And it’s astounding to see the transformation that not only Brazil has gone through, but that the hemisphere is going through. Political conflicts are now most often resolved at the ballot box. Democratic elections are the norm, not the exception. There are now 275 million people in Latin America and the Caribbean who are part of the middle class. If you look at it in perspective of the last three, four decades, it’s truly astounding. Things are changing. The economies of the region are growing. Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, members of the G20. Brazil is about to become the director general of the WTO.
For most of the twentieth century, the strategic importance of the North Atlantic outstripped that of the southern part of the ocean. However, the past decade has brought significant shifts in Atlantic dynamics, with regional and external actors developing new interests in the region. Brazil, in particular, has been working to reinforce its control and influence in the South Atlantic. To this end, over the last five years the Brazilian government has launched or intensified efforts meant to securitise the South Atlantic.
Closer engagement between the EU and Brazil would offer the opportunity to challenge binary narratives on the fledgling international order (old vs. new powers; North vs. South) and to make a difference together. Gaining a better perspective sometimes requires taking a step back. The last few years have been hard on Europe and rewarding for Brazil. But whether recent experience shows divergent paths ahead is a different question. Drawing linear projections of irreversible decline for Europe and unstoppable rise for Brazil may be misleading since Europe has more assets than often acknowledged and Brazil faces considerable challenges to sustain its remarkable performance. In both cases, addressing domestic dysfunctions is a requirement for influence abroad. If they were to succeed, both actors could be regarded as emerging ones on the international stage. And they would share much more than what divides them.
South-South co-operation (SSC) has re-emerged in the 2000s as a multifaceted force in international relations. Its modalities include multiple-geometry coalitions among developing countries, such as the India-Brazil-South Africa Dialogue Forum (IBSA) and the G20, South-South trade and investments, technological and scientific co-operation, regional and interregional integration and South-South Development Co-operation (SSDC), to mention a few. SSDC, which will be the modality of SSC focused here, has been boosted by several factors, including disappointment towards economic globalization and the social impacts of neoliberalism; the emergence of progressive governments in several southern countries; efforts made by traditional donors to reconstruct their legitimacy in international development co-operation (IDC); and a global convergence around the belief that the transfer of experiences, knowledge and policies among southern countries would be more effective in the promotion of international development (Morais 2009).
Brasilia: The conversations with Brazil's top business leaders often last two hours, and up to four. President Dilma Rousseff asks detailed questions but otherwise listens intently, staring back with an inscrutable frown that occasionally unnerves her guests. There is talk of investments, and the need for shared prosperity - a favorite topic of Rousseff's. But in these meetings, the conversation inevitably comes back to the severe bottlenecks that have brought the economy back to earth after a historic boom last decade. "Brazil needs to focus now on issues like productivity and reducing costs, because that's the only way we can grow in a sustainable fashion," said Marcelo Odebrecht, who runs a global conglomerate that bears his family's name.
Sao Paulo/Brasilia: Brazil is urging Venezuela's government to hold elections as quickly as possible if President Hugo Chavez dies, senior officials told Reuters on Monday, a major intervention by Latin America's regional powerhouse that could help ensure a smoother leadership transition in Caracas. Brazilian officials have expressed their wishes directly to Venezuelan Vice President Nicolas Maduro, the officials said on condition of anonymity. Chavez has designated Maduro as his preferred successor if he loses his battle with cancer.
Brazilian exports of goods and services have grown sharply in recent years, with sales nearly three times higher in 2010 than in 2000. When compared to other countries, the Brazilian economy shows remarkable diversification, being able to put many different products into several markets. This suggests considerable potential to expand foreign sales, because sunk costs to reach these markets have been paid. Despite such a recent positive performance, there are major concerns with Brazil’s foreign trade, as revealed by some of the indicators presented in this note:
Brasilia: The World Trade Organization needs Brazil's diplomatic and consensus-building skills to bring global trade talks back to life, Roberto Azevedo, the South American nation's candidate to head the trade club, said on Thursday. Azevedo, an experienced negotiator who has represented Brazil at the WTO, is running against eight other candidates to lead an organization struggling to remain relevant after repeated failures to reform world trade rules.
Ankara: The foreign ministers of Turkey, Brazil and Sweden, who addressed Turkish ambassadors from around the world in İzmir on Saturday at the Fifth Annual Ambassadors' Conference, underlined the importance of facing the challenges of a changing world together as they announced a new trilateral initiative. The new initiative's name is inspired by the initials of three countries as announced by Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu: Trilateral Solidarity for Building Peace.
Brasilia: Large emerging economies were hit hard in the past year - particularly in the first half - by the crisis in developed countries, with Europe in recession and the United States staging only a meager recovery. But 2012 will also be remembered as the year when structural changes in the Brazilian economy were consolidated. The global economic crisis that began in 2008 is similar to the Great Depression of the 1930's not only in terms of its depth and duration, but also in view of advanced countries' policy errors and hesitation.