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.
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.
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.
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.
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.