Brazil: New Guidelines Highlight Trade and Investment

After the suspension of the Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff for an impeachment trial, the new interim government of the country intends to revive the stalled economy.

With this in mind, the politicians worked out a new foreign policy guideline, which underlines trade and investment. As is reported by the Montevideo-based online news agency MercoPress, new foreign minister Jose Serra, nominated by acting president Michel Temer in May this year, said that Brasília will now pursue economic interests over ideological goals. With this he signaled that Brazil would no longer be part of the loose left/leaning alliance that exists across several Latin American countries.

The interim government plans that Brazil‘s foreign policy and interests will also target economic powers such as China and India. According to reports of the news agencies, China has been the country’s top trade partner since 2009 and one of its leading foreign investors.

Jose Serra also said the ministry will focus on bilateral trade treaties, reducing its dependence on the WTO (World Trade Organization). Boosting trade and diplomatic ties with longtime partners in the United States, the European Union and Japan, which in recent years took a back seat to regional integration and multilateral forums, and which do not run counter to Brazil’s push to forge ties with new partners, the Foreign Minister was cited by MercoPress.

The exchange of goods between Mercosur (“Common Market of the South“ – an economic and political agreement among Latin American countries to promote the free movement of goods, services and people among member states) and the European Union will be the departure point for concluding a trade agreement that promotes greater reciprocal trade and investment, without harming the legitimate interests of various Brazilian productive sectors, the Chinese news agency Xinhua gave account. With the United States, Brazil plans to look for short-term solutions to remove non-tariff barriers and rules that hamper exchanges.

According to Serra, Brazil will also play “a pioneering role” in climate change policies, underlining the country‘s role as guardian of most of the Amazon rain forest and some of the world‘s biggest supplies of fresh water.

Objectives in the environmental area

It can be assumed that another issue will be the fight against the growing amounts of waste. The production of garbage in Brazilian households has increased by 29 percent between 2003 und 2014, while the population only grew by six percent during that period, “The Rio Times” reported in July last year the results of a study, conducted by ABRELPE, the Brazilian Association of Public Cleaning and Special Waste Companies. Per day, the average Brazilian creates 1.062 kilograms of garbage with 41 percent of the total waste (78.6 million tons) not being adequately treated.

A large part of this amount could possibly be converted into energy. “Brazil’s renewed government funding, Congress-backed incentives and expanding power grid speed up the development of waste-to-energy projects in Brazil adding to 16 GW planned renewable energy capacity before 2018,” Arc Media Global reported, announcing a waste-to- energy conference in Rio de Janeiro, which took place in July this year. An Investment Program in Electric Energy (PIEE), worth 53 billion US-Dollar, was launched to expand the country‘s power grid.

According to the provided information, the program will include projects to ensure Brazil can generate electricity at competitive prices at the international market, while increasing the role of clean and renewable energy sources in the grid.

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