Intensifying strategic partnerships with the new Brazil

June 11, 2012

Standing [Canadian] Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade, May 2012

Brazil’s  economic  and  political  transformation  and  consequent  impact  on  the  western hemisphere  and  the  world  offer  many  valuable  opportunities  for  Canada  to  strengthen  its relations with this increasingly influential country, reinforce their mutual equality and understanding, and ultimately benefit the people and prosperity of both countries. In order to maximise these opportunities and realise their full benefit and potential now and in the future, Canada’s engagement with Brazil needs to intensify and, most importantly, needs to be strategic.

Accordingly, the Standing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade concludes from its study of the implications of Brazil’s transformation for Canadian policy and interests that the Government of Canada undertake strategic partnerships that match priorities and expertise in key sectors with the most promise: education, science and technology, infrastructure, investment and trade, and regional and global affairs.  Moreover, these strategic partnerships and the Canada-Brazil relationship in general would benefit from an update of Canada’s visa regime
regarding Brazil and an improved understanding of Brazil’s commercial climate.

The Committee was motivated to undertake its study of Brazil as a natural extension of its earlier study of the rise of Russia, India and China.  That Brazil counts itself among the BRIC group of states is without question given that, due to a combination of sheer size of territory and population, rapid economic growth and growing middle class, these four countries have emerged as dominant powers in the world economy and key drivers of global trade and investment.  The BRIC countries comprise more than 40% of the global population and cover over a quarter of the world’s land area.1   Their global share of gross domestic product (GDP) has grown from 11% in 1990 to approximately 25% today.2   By 2020, it is expected that the four economies will be responsible for almost 50% of the increase in global GDP.3   The size of the middle class of the four countries is expected to more than double that of the G-7 by 2020.

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Building bridges from B.C. to Brazil

May 2, 2012

Stephen Toope, Arvind Gupta – Vancouver Sun, 05/02/2012

In our rapidly evolving global context, Western nations, including Canada, are asking the question “To whom does the future belong?” We watch with wonder, and not a little envy, as emerging economies spread their wings and take off, seemingly overnight. Countries that have struggled with poverty and development are becoming economic miracles, blessed with stratospheric growth and a new-found confidence to compete in complex industries with established world leaders.

Brazil is one of these new powerhouses.

With a population of more than 190 million, Brazil is set to become one of the world’s top five economies. It is pursuing a bold future, and a key part of its strategy is a commitment to invest significant resources in higher education and research, particularly in so-called STEM disciplines: science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

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Brazil connection will pay off for MSU

April 27, 2012, 04/26/2012

Students, faculty, local businesses and our community as a whole all stand to gain from a promising new partnership linking Missouri State University with two universities in Brazil.

Last week, MSU officials announced separate agreements with Pontifical Catholic University, a prestigious private school in Brazil’s largest city, Sao Paulo, and a lesser-known state university in Maringa, a southern Brazilian city about twice the size of Springfield.

As early as this fall, additional Brazilian students will be on campus here, and local students will have new opportunities to study abroad in one of the world’s most fascinating and rapidly developing countries.

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Viewpoint: Brazil’s education challenge

April 17, 2012

Eduardo Gomez – BBC, 04/16/2012

Brazil has seen real progress in widening education access for its children

As an emerging nation striving to strengthen its economy, Brazil is making serious investment in scientific education.

Seeking to build a skilled and productive workforce, President Dilma Rousseff has made a point of expanding programmes that encourage families to enrol their children into schools.

She has also launched initiatives, such as the Science Without Borders programme, which aims to send thousands of students to universities abroad, including the US.

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Brazil’s President Rousseff praises new study abroad program

April 12, 2012

Whitney Eulich – CSM, 04/12/2012

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff smiles as David Ellwood, dean of Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, speaks to an audience on the schools campus in Cambridge, Mass., Tuesday.
Steven Senne/AP

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and President Obama highlighted a student exchange program called Science Without Borders this week. Even though it doesn’t resolve their differences over the United Nations’ Security Council, currency wars, or nuclear issues, it’s an area of cooperation that underscores how both countries acknowledge the need for stronger ties.

The international exchange program which aims to send 100,000 Brazilian students to undergraduate institutions for one year of fully-funded study, was rushed through the Brazilian legislature after Mr. Obama’s visit to Brasilia in March 2011. It garnered high levels of private sector investment within months, and has since placed students in nearly 100 US universities.

While attention is often focused on policy disputes between Brazil and Washington, programs like Science Without Borders show how educational and cultural ties between Americans and Brazil’s rising middle class are deepening. Brazil has made major strides in the past decade, moving some 40 million men and women out of poverty and into the middle class. And the Science Without Borders program is one of many initiatives to help the country achieve the 21st century standards of development needed to create a vibrant job market, innovative and growing economy, and bring basic services like electric power to all regions of the country.

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Brazil’s Rousseff deepens ties with MIT in US

April 11, 2012

AFP, 04/10/2012

President of Brazil Dilma Rousseff meets with Massachusetts Institute of Technology President Susan Hockfield (R) (AFP, Jessica Rinaldi)

Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff on Tuesday launched an initiative to deepen ties with the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

After meeting Monday at the White House with President Barack Obama, Rousseff continued her short visit to the United States with meetings in the Boston area where MIT is based.

“For Brazil it’s very important what we are doing here,” she said in an appearance with MIT president Susan Hockfield to announce an education initiative she said will be sure to grow further.

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Obama and Brazil’s president discuss trade, energy

April 10, 2012

Tom Cohen – CNN, 04/09/2012

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, shown in Brasilia last week, met with President Obama in Washington on Monday.

President Barack Obama and visiting Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff on Monday stressed the importance of strong ties between their countries, despite Brazil’s concerns about U.S. economic policies that it says can work against emerging economies.

In comments to reporters after a White House meeting, Obama and Rousseff highlighted the areas of cooperation on energy development, education and trade as the two leaders prepare to attend the upcoming Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia, beginning Friday.

However, they made no mention of less collaborative topics, such as whether each country will purchase new military aircraft from the other, or whether the United States will support Brazil’s efforts to gain a seat at the U.N. Security Council.

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Hopes rise on Brazil ties

April 9, 2012

John Lyons – WSJ, 04/08/2012

U.S. President Barack Obama is set to meet with Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff in Washington on Monday amid optimism for closer ties with South America’s rising economic power.

The issues in play reflect Brazil’s growing economic reach. Brazil’s biggest trade partner these days is China, not the U.S., and U.S. officials want Brazil as an ally in nudging China to let its currency rise. Brazil’s bigger economic presence in regional neighbors such as Venezuela, Ecuador and Cuba could allow Brazil to act as a moderating force in a region that has become more anti-U.S. in recent years.

Mostly, U.S. interests in Brazil are fueled by a growing consensus that the commodity-rich nation has put its history of periodic economic meltdowns behind it and will play a bigger role in world affairs as its economy grows. Brazil passed the U.K. as the world’s sixth-largest economy recently and is seeking a bigger voice in global forums such as the United Nations and the G-20 grouping of big economies.

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Brazil seeks association with U.S. in education, science

April 4, 2012

EFE/LAHT, 04/04/2012

Brazil’s drive to establish a partnership with the United States in the spheres of education, science, technology and innovation will be a key topic of President Dilma Rousseff’s visit to Washington next week, the education minister said Tuesday.

“Cooperation in the areas of education and innovation is now one of the priorities of Brazilian foreign policy,” Aloizio Mercadante told accredited foreign correspondents in Brasilia.

Mercadante said that this priority has been “materialized” in the Science Without Borders program announced by the government last December, which plans to award scholarships to 100,000 Brazilian students to the 50 best universities in the world by 2014.

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Education in Brazil: Studying the world

March 16, 2012

The Economist – from the print edition, 03/17/2012

Dilma and tomorrow’s scientists

SELLING her country’s technological prowess and booming IT market was the main order of business for Dilma Rousseff at a big trade fair in Hanover on March 5th. But Brazil’s president made sure to pose for photographs with young compatriots who last month began to study at German universities under her government’s new scholarship programme, Science Without Borders.

By the end of 2015 more than 100,000 Brazilians—half of them undergraduates, half doctoral students—will have spent a year or so abroad at the best universities around the world studying subjects such as biotechnology, ocean science and petroleum engineering which the government regards as essential for the nation’s future. That will cost 3 billion reais ($1.65 billion), a quarter of which will come from businesses and the rest from the Brazilian taxpayer.

Science Without Borders is Brazil’s boldest attempt to move up an economic gear. The country’s trend rate of growth, at 4-4.5%, is slightly below the Latin American average and far slower than in the other BRIC countries. Officials hope that improving the quality of the workforce could make a big difference, though it will take time to have an effect.

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