Neck & neck Brazil presidential race casts doubts on Mercosur, BRICS

October 21, 2014

Mauricio Saverese – RT, 10/21/2014

About a year ago everyone expected an easy ride for President Dilma Rousseff in her reelection campaign. Now, in the final week of Brazil’s election season, she is technically tied with opposition’s Aécio Neves.

About 20 percent of voters, who reject both candidates or seem too tired of politics to show up on October 26, are hearing desperate claims from the incumbent and her antagonist. It is likely Brazilians only know what will happen after the last vote is counted. That uncertainty makes the country’s future a big mystery. And that includes a big chunk of South America’s powerhouse foreign policy.

Neither Rousseff nor Neves want to give away much of what they intend to do if victorious. But the president’s closest allies have given hints. Rousseff’s foreign advisor Marco Aurélio Garcia says “South America is a big asset” and insists Mercosur – the region’s free trade zone – must be strong to keep Brazil’s position as a Latin American spokesman. Neves’ aide Rubens Barbosa, a former ambassador to Washington, says Brazil does better by imploding Mercosur (which includes Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay), so there is a deal with the European Union and diplomacy that is friendlier to the US.

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Brazilian Stocks, Currency Plummet as Presidential Election Looms

September 30, 2014

Jeffrey T. Lewis and James Ramage – The Wall Street Journal, 09/29/2014

Brazil’s stock market and currency were sent reeling Monday by signs President Dilma Rousseff is pulling ahead of her main challenger in the country’s presidential election next month.

The Brazilian real weakened to its lowest level against the dollar in nearly six years Monday, declining 2.4% to 2.4777 reais, before paring losses to 2.4543 reais later in the day. The country’s benchmark Ibovespa stock index fell as much as 5% in early trading and was down 2.2% early in the afternoon.

Brazil’s losses were among the worst in a broad selloff that hit financial markets across the developing world. Developing economies have been caught up in fears the Federal Reserve is moving closer to raising interest rates, a move that would make higher-yielding currencies, such as those in emerging markets, less attractive to investors. Concerns about protests in Hong Kong have also sent investors into less-risky assets.

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Developing countries should be better represented in global institutions: Brazil’s Rousseff

September 25, 2014

Rodrigo Campos – Reuters, 09/24/2014

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff told the United Nations on Wednesday that developing countries should be better represented in international financial institutions that otherwise are in danger of losing legitimacy.

“The delay in the expansion of voting rights of developing countries in these institutions is unacceptable,” Rousseff said in a speech to the United Nations General Assembly.

She said it was imperative to eliminate what she called a disparity between the importance of emerging economies and their “insufficient” representation in such institutions as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

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Brazil’s young professionals look to emerging markets

September 23, 2014

Paulo Cabral – CCTV America, 09/22/2014

Brazil has become a destination for those who look for employment in emerging markets over the last a few years. A growing number of students and young professionals are moving to Brazil. CCTV America’S Paulo Cabral reports.

In one recent survey, 90 percent of the young professionals said they expected to work in at least three or four countries during their lives. Among the BRICS nations, Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, Brazil was the preferred destination for 40 percent of the students.

The recession in Brazil hasn’t discouraged young professionals from coming here to build careers. Because of a shortage of skilled workers, the labor market remains tight and unemployment remains close to a record low of 4.9 percent.

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10 Takeaways From Pew Global Economic Survey, From Greek Pessimism To Chinese Jubilance

September 10, 2014

William Mauldin – The Wall Street Journal, 09/09/2014

The outlook for the sluggish global economy can be described as “blah,” but don’t tell that to a bipolar roster of nations with views on their own economies ranging from abject pessimism (think Greece) to an almost religious reverence (China).

In a survey of people in 44 countries, the Pew Research Center noted surprising examples (including Russia and Germany) where the public perception of the nation’s finances vastly diverged from economists’ views and hard data. Below are 10 takeaways from the study, released Tuesday.

Brazil. If the British saw the biggest improvement, Brazil saw the worst meltdown in views toward the economy, with a loss of 27 percentage points from last year. The souring views may play into the hands of Marina Silva, the new Socialist candidate who’s seeing increased support in her bid to unseat President Dilma Rousseff in October.  “The mood certainly explains some of the shift in the polls,” said Bruce Stokes, the Pew center’s director of global economic attitudes.

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Brazil needs to keep pace with rise of “China 2.0″

September 9, 2014

Ji Ye (Xinhua) – English.people.cn, 09/09/2014

Brazil needs to develop a strategic vision in order to cooperate with China in a new era, said Marcos Troyjo, a Brazilian economist and co-director of the BRICLab at Columbia University, in a recent exclusive interview with Xinhua.

According to Troyjo, the way China’s economy progressed over past 30 years following thecountry’s reform and opening-up policies is called “China 1.0.”

During that period of time, China took advantage of public-private partnership, cheap workforce and a favorable approach to foreign capital to become the largest manufacturing park in the world. According to Troyjo, China has now entered a new stage, which he calls “China 2.0,” and itshould no longer rely on governmental investment and foreign trade to simulate its economic development.

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Can China-Brazil trade keep up its promising momentum

August 25, 2014

Zhang Fan – China Daily, 8/25/2014

The world is facing overwhelming change and the rise of China is among the key factors, said Marcos Troyjo, a Brazilian economist and co-director of the BRICLab at Columbia University, at a conference hosted by Brazilian law firm Demarest in Sao Paulo on Aug 19.

Troyjo said China has entered a new stage, what he calls “China 2.0″. Compared with the 30 years following the county’s Reform and Opening-up policies of 1978, China can now no longer rely on governmental investment and foreign trade to simulate its economic development.

China 2.0 needs to alter its economic development, reduce overproduction and enlarge its importation, said Troyjo, which could mean great opportunities for Brazilian industries.

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