As the five members of the BRICS group of emerging economies – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – tighten ranks and seek to expand their global influence, the inevitable trade spats have begun.
As governments struggle to find ways out of the persistent global financial crisis, Brazil’s development model offers an alternative path to recovery and growth, according to some economists and politicians.
The Brazilian government of Dilma Rousseff is taking firm steps towards stronger relations with Africa, such as the creation of a special fund to finance development projects together with multilateral lenders like the World Bank.
On her first visit to Brazil, the United Nations humanitarian affairs chief Valerie Amos stressed the need to take advantage of this country’s experience in disaster response and the fight against poverty.
Trade ministers of the BRICS countries - Brazil, Russia, China, India and South Africa – say that at the G20 trade ministerial summit later this month in Mexico they will try to ensure that attempts by industrialised countries to frame a new trade agenda do not drown development-led trade liberalisation and the World Trade Organization talks.
Over the last decade, China has become Brazil’s main trading partner and source of foreign investment. But this apparent lifeline at a time of global crisis could actually aggravate longstanding problems faced by Latin America’s biggest economy.
Brazil and South Africa have experienced a widespread contraction of their manufacturing industries, with the latter suffering massive unemployment as well, thanks to the rampant volatility and misalignment of dominant global currencies like the dollar, trade experts from the two countries say.
At their summit in the Indian capital on Thursday, leaders of the coalition known as BRICS – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – made several noteworthy decisions that experts say hint at the converging of economic and political interests of a disparate regional bloc.
Opinions are divided in Brazil over the prosecution of U.S. oil giant Chevron for two oil spills. While some argue that the legal action is an over-reaction triggered by nationalism, others say it is necessary to show that Brazil is serious about protecting the environment.
By allowing a generic manufacturer to produce a patented cancer drug at a fraction of its current cost, India has declared that it is not about to abandon its role as the ‘pharmacy of the world’s poor'.
India, Brazil, and South Africa, the international grouping for promoting international cooperation among the three countries known as IBSA, along with China and several other developing countries, have denounced the ongoing attempts to craft an exclusive, plurilateral agreement to liberalise trade in services without concluding the multilateral trade negotiations of the World Trade Organization.
Our oceans face a grim outlook in the coming decades. Ocean acidification, loss of marine biodiversity, climate change, pollution and over-exploitation of resources all point to the urgent need for a new paradigm on caring for the earth’s oceans—"business as usual" is simply not an option anymore, experts say.
China is looking to Latin America to experiment with the yuan, or renminbi, to replace the dollar, taking advantage of the growth in Chinese trade and investment in this region. But because the volume is still insignificant, it is not yet clear what impact the currency will have on economies in the region.
In 2011, Brazil's economy grew by less than half the 7.5 percent it attained in 2010. However, this result would be miraculous in any other country with the barriers to productivity and competitiveness that prevail in Brazil.
The fall in world tobacco consumption, especially in industrialised nations, is a sign of the urgent need for producer countries like Brazil, China, India and the United States to offer their farmers alternatives to growing tobacco.