Brazil the New Emerging Global Power

Discussion in 'Politics' started by SouthAmerica, Dec 28, 2005.

  1. .

    December 28, 2005

    SouthAmerica: In a nutshell:

    "In the lead-up of the Hong Kong ministerial, Brazil and India’s new role as power brokers between the developed and developing world was affirmed with the creation of a new informal grouping known as the “New Quad.” This formation, which included the EU, US, Brazil, and India, played the decisive role in setting the agenda and the direction of the negotiations."


    INQUIRER and GMA Network – December 28, 2005
    Afterthoughts : “Brazil, India join the Big Boys’ Club”
    By Walden Bello -

    What was at stake in Hong Kong was the institutional survival of the World Trade Organization. After the collapse of two ministerials in Seattle and Cancun, a third unraveling would have seriously eroded the usefulness of the WTO as the key engine of global trade liberalization. A deal was needed, and that deal was arrived at. How, why, and by whom that deal was delivered was the real story of Hong Kong.

    …The dealmakers

    The reason for the developing countries’ collapse was not so much lack of leadership, but leadership that brought them in the opposite direction. The key to the debacle of Hong Kong was the role of Brazil and India, the leaders of the famed Group of 20. Even before Hong Kong, Brazil and India were prepared to make a deal.

    For Brazil, the bottom line was the specification by the European Union of a date for the phase-out of agricultural export subsidies, and this was an item that Brazilian negotiators and many others expected would be delivered by the EU at the ministerial, though for negotiating purposes the Europeans would not reveal it till the last minute.

    Brazil also came to Hong Kong willing to accept a Swiss formula in NAMA and the plurilateral approach in services. India, for its part, arrived in Hong Kong with its positions well known. It would accept the plurilateral approach in services negotiations and the Swiss formula in NAMA and follow Brazil’s lead in agriculture. The only question for many was this: Would India press for developed country concessions in Mode 4 of GATS—that is, get the US and EU to agree to the entry of more professionals from developing countries? As it turned out, it decided not to press Washington on this.

    The prize

    It is a matter of debate whether the final agreement will result in a net gain for Brazil and India, though if the balance ends up with a net loss, this would likely be smaller than for the less advanced developing countries. However, the main gain for Brazil and India lay not in the impact of the agreement on their economies but in the affirmation of their new role as power brokers within the WTO.

    With the emergence of the G 20 during the ministerial in Cancun in 2003, the EU and the US were put on notice that the old structure of power and decision-making at the WTO was obsolete. New players had to be accommodated into the elite. The circle of power had to be expanded to get the organization back on its feet and moving. The EU and US’s invitation to Brazil and India to be part, along with Australia, of the “Five Interested Parties (FIPs),” was a key step in this direction, and it was agreement among the FIPs that solved the impasse in the agriculture negotiations, which led, in turn, to the Framework Agreement at the General Council meeting in July 2004.

    In the lead-up of the Hong Kong ministerial, Brazil and India’s new role as power brokers between the developed and developing world was affirmed with the creation of a new informal grouping known as the “New Quad.” This formation, which included the EU, US, Brazil, and India, played the decisive role in setting the agenda and the direction of the negotiations. Its main objective in Hong Kong was to save the WTO. And the role of Brazil and India was to extract the assent of the developing countries to an unbalanced agreement that would make this possible in the face of the reluctance of the EU and US to make substantive concessions in agriculture.

    Delivering this consent was to be the proof that Brazil and India were “responsible” global actors. It was the price that they had to pay for full membership in new, enlarged power structure.

    It took a lot of lobbying before and during Hong Kong, with both governments putting their reputation as leaders of the developing world on the line, but they succeeded in getting everybody, though not without some grumbling, to assent to a bad deal. It was no mean feat for it involved:

    - getting the least developed countries to agree to a “development package” that consisted mainly of a loophole-ridden provision for the “duty free” and “quota free” entry of their products into developed country markets and a deceptively named “aid for trade” deal that would consist partly of loans to enable them to make their economic rules WTO-consistent, increasing their indebtedness in the process;

    - cajoling the West African cotton producers to accept a deal whose main content was giving the US a whole extra year to eliminate export subsidies that it should have eliminated a year and a half ago, following a WTO decision against these subsidies, and which totally ignored their demand for compensation for the enormous damage these subsidies had inflicted on their economies;

    - coaxing the holdouts in the services negotiations—Indonesia, Philippines, South Africa, Venezuela, and Cuba—to give up their opposition to Annex C of the draft declaration, which stipulated plurilateral negotiations; and

    - neutralizing the more dissatisfied members of the so-called “NAMA 11,” (of which Brazil and India were themselves members) which wanted to tie the North’s demands for a fast pace of liberalization in industrial and fishery tariffs to the North’s concessions in agriculture.

    Mutual admiration club

    The final G 20 press conference in the late afternoon of December 18 was notable for its lack of substance and for its symbolism. As if to preempt hard questions on whether the ministerial text represented a good deal for developing countries, Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim repeatedly claimed “We have a date,” referring to the 2013 phase-out date for export subsidies. Then Amorim and Indian Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath engaged in a round of backslapping, congratulating one another for doing a great job in coming out with an agreement that protected the interests of developing countries.

    Then, with so many of those in attendance poised to ask questions, Amorim hurriedly cut short the press conference and quickly left the room with Kamal Nath, ostensibly for another meeting but obviously so as not to be on the line of fire from skeptical reporters and NGO representatives.

    At the closing session of Sixth Ministerial, Pascal Lamy, the director general, said that in Hong Kong, “the balance of power has tilted in favor of developing countries.” The statement was not entirely cynical and untrue. The grain of truth in his statement was that India and Brazil, the big boys of the developing world, had become part of the big boys club that governs the WTO.


    It is paradoxical that the G 20, whose formation captured the imagination of the developing world during the Cancun ministerial, has ended up being the launching pad for India and Brazil’s integration into the WTO power structure. But this is hardly unusual in history. Vilfredo Pareto, the Italian thinker, referred to history being the “graveyard of aristocracies” that took a hard line against change in power relations. To Pareto, the most successful elites are those that manage to co-opt the leaders of the mass insurgency that set out to remove them for power and enlarge the power elite while preserving the structure of the system. Though divided on agriculture, the US and the EU had as a common priority since the collapse of the Cancun ministerial the survival of the WTO, and they successfully managed a strategy of co-optation that snatched victory from the jaws of defeat in Hong Kong.

    Before the events in Hong Kong, the most striking recent cases of co-optation involved the Worker’s Party-led government of President Luis Inacio da Silva in Brazil and the Congress-led coalition government in India. Both came to power with anti-neoliberal platforms. But in power, both have become the most effective stabilizers of neoliberal programs, with both enjoying the support of the International Monetary Fund, the transnational corporate lobby, and Washington. It is not unreasonable to assume that there is a connection between the domestic record of these governments and their performance on the global stage in Hong Kong.


    Walden Bello is executive director of the Bangkok-based research, analysis, and advocacy institute Focus on the Global South.

  2. .

    December 28, 2005

    SouthAmerica: "Today, 42 percent of Brazil's energy use comes from renewable sources, compared with 6 percent for OECD countries. Around 90 percent of Brazil's electricity comes from hydropower."


    “Brazil Exemplifies Global Move toward Clean Energy” - December 27, 2005

    Sao Paulo, Brazil [] Wrapping up a six-day tour of the Amazon Rain Forest and semi-arid areas of Northeast Brazil before Christmas, World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz called for stronger global action on protecting the environment and developing energy alternatives for economic growth and fighting poverty.

    "There is an urgent need to do more, both on the global and local levels, to preserve a healthy Brazil for future generations of Brazilians. For many reasons, this is important not just to Brazilians but to all of us," Wolfowitz said at a Special Session of the Sao Paulo Forum on Climate Change. He emphasized how global warming and the drought in the Amazon have devastating effects on those who are most vulnerable -- the poor.

    "This past year alone, we have seen a major drought in the Amazon destroy fish and crops-the lifeline for indigenous communities. When poorly managed development damages the environment, it is often the poor who suffer the most. They are often poor because they already live in fragile environments which make them particularly vulnerable," said World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz.

    Noting that as developing countries grow, their demand for energy will also grow, countries like China, India, Mexico and Brazil, said Wolfowitz, are leaving behind a trail of environmental footprints on their path. Brazil as a global leader on clean energy has much to share with the world in this area.

    Today, 42 percent of Brazil's energy use comes from renewable sources, compared with 6 percent for OECD countries. Around 90 percent of Brazil's electricity comes from hydropower. Brazil is also the world's largest producer and consumer of fuel ethanol from sugarcane as a transportation fuel, an achievement possible because it is the world's most efficient producer of sugarcane, which accounts for about 60 percent of the cost of ethanol production. The ethanol program in Brazil is saving around 180,000 barrels per day of gasoline, valued at about US$4 billion per year. This means that about 24 million tons less CO2 are added to the atmosphere each year.

    According to Wolfowitz, there is a need for broad, consistent environmental policies that balance the importance of encouraging development and protecting natural resources-to reap the double dividends that may be possible. He also noted that the World Bank could help in three ways: by stimulating knowledge sharing and policy advice at the local and global levels; by supporting partnerships on global public goods; and by providing financial resources for development.

    In closing, he said that for the World Bank, Brazil is more than a borrower: it is becoming a major global player as a donor, exporter of knowledge, and leader on the environment.

  3. .

    December 28, 2005

    SouthAmerica: ... elections in Latin America to mark a significant shift in the Western Hemispheric balance of power between the United States and Brazil, Bolivians voted…


    Asian Tribune, Thailand- December 28, 2005
    “Bolivia's Evo Morales Shifts the Hemispheric Balance of Power”
    By: Dr. Michael A. Weinstein

    In the first of the wave of year-long presidential elections in Latin America to mark a significant shift in the Western Hemispheric balance of power between the United States and Brazil, Bolivians voted into power Evo Morales who is pledged to end Bolivia's dependence on the United States and to join the forces of regional autonomy and integration.

    …With a successful trading relationship with the United States based on a neoliberal economic paradigm, yet eager to obtain energy supplies in the region, Chile maintained its posture of straddling the North-South gulf by giving a large plurality to Socialist Michelle Bachelet who promised a dual-track policy of continuing the country's good relations with Washington -- anchored in a bilateral trade agreement -- and pursuing regional integration through its associate membership in the Brazil-dominated Mercosur trading bloc.

    In contrast to the Honduran and Chilean elections, Bolivia's presented a stark and genuine choice between the two contending power centers. The two leading candidates -- Morales and Jorge Quiroga -- stood at the opposite ends of the North-South divide, with Morales committed to taking Bolivia into Brazil's camp and Quiroga affirming a pro-U.S. position. Morales' victory registered a severe setback for Washington in the region.

    With the largest natural gas reserves in South America (estimated at approximately 53.3 trillion cubic feet) after Venezuela, Bolivia is of central strategic interest to both the United States and Brazil, and the former is now in retreat. Morales' success is also likely to embolden similar movements in the other Andean states -- Ecuador and Peru -- leaving Washington with the prospect that Colombia will remain its only reliable ally on the continent. Washington's loss is Brasilia's gain.

    The Significance of Morales' Victory

    Presenting himself as Washington's "worst nightmare," Morales stands on the far left of the current tendencies in South America to seek alternatives to Washington's neoliberal economic policies. An admirer of Cuba's Fidel Castro and Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, Morales based his campaign on promises to wrest control of the gas reserves and the hydrocarbons industry from the multinational energy corporations that had invested in Bolivia during its pro-U.S. administrations of the past 20 years.

    Morales also pledged to decriminalize the cultivation of the coca leaf -- the source of cocaine -- for its traditional uses as a mild stimulant and medicinal tea, and to fight the cocaine trade, promising to end cooperation with Washington's programs to eliminate the crop. Morales wrapped up his proposals in an ideology that attacked the neoliberal market model and offered in its place a vision of cooperative socialism and regional integration similar to Chavez's "Bolivarian Revolution."

    Pre-election polls showed Morales with 34 percent of the vote to Quiroga's 29 percent, with the other six candidates below 10 percent. Had those figures reflected the results, Morales would have had to face a run-off in Bolivia's congress, necessitating deal making that would have diminished his power. As it turned out, he scored a surprising total of 54.3 percent of the vote, avoiding the run-off and gaining enhanced legitimacy, which was solidified by the 85 percent turnout of registered voters. Since the end of Bolivia's period of military dictatorships in 1982, the country's presidents had rarely received more than a 25 percent share at the polls and never a majority, much less such a convincing one.

    Morales' rise from an impoverished childhood, through his leadership of Bolivia's coca growers, to his leadership of a broad social movement -- composed of indigenous communities, labor unions, coca growers and the urban poor -- reflects the progressive alienation of the sectors of Bolivia's population that were disadvantaged by neoliberal policies. In 2003, the International Monetary Fund, which promotes the neoliberal agenda, reported a fall in Bolivia's per capita income and a rise in unemployment, leaving 63 percent of the population below the poverty line and more than 50 percent living on less than one dollar a day.

    With a left-nationalist political tradition that made Bolivia the first South American country to nationalize its energy industry in the 1930s and surfaced in a 1952 revolution spurred by organized miners, the failure of neoliberalism generated a new wave of social movements centered on reversing the privatization of public utilities, restoring state control over hydrocarbons, rolling back coca eradication programs, instituting land redistribution and enhancing the rights of the majority indigenous population. Morales, an indigenous Aymara, gathered the disparate movements into the Movement Toward Socialism (M.A.S.), which became the largest bloc in congress, and failed narrowly in the 2002 elections to become Bolivia's first indigenous president.

    The winner of the 2002 contest, Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada, pursued hard-line neoliberal policies, including a plan to pipe Bolivian gas to Chile, where it would be liquefied and shipped to the United States. That proposal ignited the "gas wars" of 2003, in which the rising social movements resorted to direct action, including a profusion of road blockades, to oppose Sanchez de Lozada's policies. The gas wars merged with the "coca wars," "water wars" (against privatization of waterworks), and union and student demands for social spending into a political force that led to Sanchez de Lozada's resignation. The new president, Carlos Mesa, was ousted in 2005 under similar pressures after his efforts at reconciliation failed to heal the division between Bolivia's highlands -- populated by impoverished and indigenous peoples -- and its lowlands, where the energy resources are located and the population is more European and mestizo, and relatively wealthier.

    Morales' unexpected vote tally indicated that he had drawn support from groups outside his base, particularly the small business sector that had been economically hurt by the blockades and had calculated that it would be more advantageous to have Morales on the inside than in the opposition. He also attracted support from urban professionals and government workers who had become disaffected in response to the economic situation and corruption.

    Although Morales has legitimacy, the announced loyalty of the military and the temporary acquiescence of the opposition, the path to reaching his goals is not clear. His highest card is the fear of the opposition that, if he is thwarted, he could unleash his energized base and move to authoritarian rule that could involve expropriation of land and resources, which -- at the moment -- he has promised not to do.

    The opposition's highest card is the threat to take the lowland provinces into secession if the economic interests of that region are severely damaged. Morales also faces the need for capital investment to develop the gas industry and Bolivia's dependence on aid and trade preferences from Washington, the latter of which have been instrumental in developing the country's textile and furniture industries.

    The complex set of pressures on Morales resolves into a force field in which he must balance between the demands of his base that he fulfill his promises, and civil strife and the possible loss of Washington's benefits and of foreign investment if he goes too far in trying to fulfill those promises.

    Analysts point out that Morales could be cushioned by aid from Venezuela and has ready markets for its gas in Brazil, Argentina and Chile. It is a telling sign that among the multinational energy companies in Bolivia, such as Total, Exxon, British Gas and Repsol, only Brazil's national company Petrobras has not put litigation on the table if Morales goes too far in his efforts to renegotiate hydrocarbons agreements.

    Meanwhile, Washington is faced with the uncomfortable choice of punishing Morales by withdrawing aid and trade preferences if he carries through on his coca policies, which could drive him firmly into the arms of Chavez, or to attempt to compromise with him and see the effective termination of its Andean war on drugs.


    Caught between an insistent and mobilized base, and a determined opposition which is only held back by the threat of that base and which might move toward secession if that threat materializes, Morales will have to be adroit to survive. The tangled conflicts will come to a head in August 2006 when Morales has promised to convene a constituent assembly to rewrite Bolivia's constitution. Both his base and the opposition are counting on the assembly to enshrine their divergent aims; for the former, indigenous rights and state control of energy, and for the latter, regional autonomy and a greater share of hydrocarbons revenues. Until then, both sides will be girding for battle.

    Morales will be supported externally by Brazil -- the biggest importer of Bolivia's gas -- and Venezuela. The United States will probably try to stay on the sidelines, fearful that any measures to curb Morales will backfire into greater support for him, as they did in 2002 when Washington threatened to withdraw aid if Morales was elected, a threat that was not repeated this time around.

    In addition, Morales is operating in a friendly neighborhood, with the support of the region's major power center, Brazil, and its oil-rich partner, Venezuela.

  4. .

    December 28, 2005

    SouthAmerica: Brazil had a balance of trade surplus of US$ 44 billion for 2005.


    “Brazilian trade balance surplus attains US$ 44 billion”
    Agência Brasil – December 27, 2005

    Brasília - From the beginning of the year through last week, Brazilian companies exported US$ 44 billion more than they imported. This positive result (surplus) in the trade balance was announced yesterday (26) by the Ministry of Development, Industry, and Foreign Trade. The surplus represents a 33.19% increase in comparison with the same period last year, according to the ministry.


    Brazil and the Arab World

    Global trade from January to November was US$ 2.1 billion greater than that in the same period last year. In other words, the sum of exports and imports between the Arab world and Brazil is of US$ 9.7 billion against US$ 7.4 billion in the same months in 2004. "We are very close to reaching the US$ 10.5 billion target," says the president of the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce, Antonio Sarkis Jr.

    The Arab Chamber forecasts a 20% increase for the year's exports, but according to Sarkis, there is the possibility of reaching 25%. During the last few months, the percentages of increase in sales have surpassed the stipulated numbers. "The increase has always been above 25%," recalls the president of the Arab Chamber. For December, Sarkis expects a performance close to November's.

    In the last month, the largest Brazilian clients in the Arab world were, in this order, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Morocco and Algeria. Saudi Arabia spent US$ 90 million with Brazilian products, US$ 20.6 million or 29.3% more than in the same month in 2004.

  5. .

    December 28, 2005

    SouthAmerica: Is this ridiculous or what?

    “Brazil's story may have only limited application to the United States, analysts said. Brazil, with 186 million residents, consumes only about 1.8 million barrels of oil a day, while the U.S. consumes more than 10 times as much, 58 percent of it imported, according to the U.S. Energy Department.”

    Year 2005

    US population 300 million people = consumes 18 million barrels of oil per day

    Brazil population 186 million people = consumes 1.8 million barrels of oil per day

    US population is only 60 percent larger than the Brazilian population, but the US uses 10 times more oil than Brazil.

    Even when we take in consideration and adjust for the size of GNP, the US figures for oil consumption still ridiculous – and Brazil still mainly an agricultural and manufacturing country, and the US in contrast is a service economy, with a declining agriculture and manufacturing sectors.


    Houston Chronicle, United States - December 24, 2005
    “Brazil is primed to export energy”
    Effort to cut consumption, add reserves succeeds
    By JACK CHANG - Knight Ridder Tribune News

    RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - Brazil, once almost completely dependent on imports for oil, is poised to mark an energy milestone that promises to shield it from the twists and turns of the international market.

    Early next year, Brazil will begin producing as much oil as it consumes, and shortly thereafter it'll join the ranks of the world's net oil exporters.

    The accomplishments are due to a years-long push to find oil within Brazil's borders and to decades of government efforts to keep oil consumption low by encouraging the use of alternatives such as ethanol from sugar cane and soy.

    "Brazil has a lot to be proud of when you talk about petroleum policy, especially when you look at other Latin American countries," said Roger Tissot, an analyst with the U.S.-based consulting firm PFC Energy.

    Brazil's story may have only limited application to the United States, analysts said. Brazil, with 186 million residents, consumes only about 1.8 million barrels of oil a day, while the U.S. consumes more than 10 times as much, 58 percent of it imported, according to the U.S. Energy Department.

    "Americans can't ignore geological reality," Tissot said. "It would be nearly impossible to produce all the oil they use."

    Still, the role of alternative sources and Brazil's willingness to look for new sources of oil are lessons in how public policy can confront dependence on foreign energy.

    "Brazil has taken effective steps to protect itself from international price volatility," said Sophie Aldebert, a Rio de Janeiro-based associate director with the consulting firm Cambridge Energy Research Associates.

    But the energy turnaround is astonishing for a country that in the 1980s imported 40 percent of its energy needs and whose fragile economy repeatedly has felt the inflationary pressure of soaring energy prices.

    Brazil's emergence as an energy player began 40 years ago when state planners launched oil exploration off its southern coast. The move was daring.

    Brazil wasn't among the world's technology leaders at the time, and the deposits presented enormous technological challenges, said Jose Luiz Marcusso, Petrobras' general manager of domestic exploration and production strategy.

    Brazil pioneered deep-water exploration methods using state-of-the-art pipelines, buoys and other equipment that extended the depths in which oil could be reached.

    Today, it extracts four-fifths of its oil from under the ocean floor of the Campos Basin field near the coasts of Rio de Janeiro and Espirto Santo states.

    Another major factor has been the rise of alternative fuels. Half of all the new cars sold in Brazil are so-called "flex-fuel" models that can run on ethanol as well as gasoline. Ethanol makes up about a third of the fuel that's pumped into cars in Brazil, compared with 2 percent in the United States. Brazilian law requires gasoline to contain at least 25 percent ethanol.

    Ethanol has one major drawback: It produces 20 percent fewer miles per gallon than gasoline. But Brazilians also pay 40 percent less for ethanol, an average of $2.54 per gallon versus $4.21 per gallon of gasoline, a difference that makes up for the lower fuel efficiency. Consumption of ethanol grew nearly 10 percent from 2000 to 2004, while production zoomed 40 percent.

  6. .

    January 9, 2006

    SouthAmerica: The Financial Times of London published an article on January 5, 2006 regarding Brazil and the country's improving circumstances.

    The major appreciation of the Real (Brazil’s currency) versus the US dollar during 2005 says volumes about what is happening in the Brazilian economy and the Future of Brazil.

    Stay tuned.


    “Why Brazil and friends want the world to listen”
    By Mohamed El-Erian
    Financial Times - UK
    Published: January 5 2006

    Brazil's decision to pre-pay its outstanding debt to the International Monetary Fund and the governments of the Group of Seven industrial nations says a lot about the country's improving circumstances. But it also points to the more confident fashion in which emerging countries are evolving in the world economy. This presents a challenge to more traditional international economic players, such as the G7 and the IMF, in adapting to the new structural realities of the global system.

    Less than a year before a presidential election, Brazil has chosen to use part of its foreign exchange holdings to repay all its liabilities to the IMF and members of the "Paris club" of country creditors. The decision reflects the rapid improvement in Brazil's international reserve position, driven by a large trade surplus, growing influx of foreign direct investment and high portfolio flows.

    It is also the result of prudent financial management which, consistent with the country's growing wealth, now emphasizes more sophisticated asset-liability management techniques. Underlying Brazil's decision is its growing economic self-confidence.

    Sound macroeconomic management, anchored by a cautious fiscal regime and responsive monetary policy, is increasingly hard-wired into the socio-political framework. The need for external financial support is lessened by the country's growing ability to "self insure" - through large reserve holdings and a declining and less volatile stock of debt.

    This phenomenon is not limited to Brazil. It is also evident in a number of other emerging economies and will likely spread further. As a result, several countries will probably join the "Brics" (Brazil, Russia, India and China) in having greater influence on global economic and financial flows. This is particularly true for oil exporters and, to a lesser extent, for Argentina, which is also pre-paying the IMF.

    The growing self-confidence among an expanding group of emerging countries raises interesting challenges for the traditional international economic order.

    This is most apparent in the case of the IMF. By eliminating long-standing creditor-debtor relations, which anchored frequent policy reviews, the pre-payments are affecting the conventional mechanism by which the institution has interacted with emerging countries. As a result, the IMF is working hard to establish itself as a "trusted adviser" for these countries.

    This centres the more voluntary policy discussions on the economic challenges that the countries face rather than just being part of the "exceptional provision" of financing by the IMF.

    The pre-payments also affect the IMF's internal budget: the smaller the stock of outstanding claims on emerging economies, the lower the institution's ability to generate net interest earnings to fund its range of activities.

    To the extent that the reduction in emerging economies' reliance on IMF financing is structural in nature, and I believe it is, the greater the need for the Fund to find more sustainable sources of revenue. This will require spreading the net over a larger base of activities, with all the political maneuvering that inevitably accompanies significant modifications in the international distribution of funding burdens.

    The growing self-confidence of emerging countries is also reflected in their greater assertiveness in international economic deliberations. In addition, they are more vocal in questioning global governance structures, including their under-representation on the boards of multilateral institutions and limited access to the periodic deliberations of the G7 on global policy matters. Some industrial countries may view this as disruptive stubbornness while some emerging economies may see it as correcting long-standing inequalities.

    Fundamentally, it is a reflection of structural forces that are influencing the global system, and which require national policy changes.

    For industrial countries, this involves greater responsiveness to the legitimate aspirations of emerging economies. For emerging economies, it involves being patient in agreeing to a gradual (as opposed to a "big bang") adjustment in the distribution of international economic entitlements.

    All countries need to adjust gradually to the new structural realities of the global system. In so doing, they will contribute to high global growth, a correction in international imbalances and an orderly realignment of trade volumes and prices. If they fail to do so, the global economy will be more vulnerable to a disorderly adjustment that involves a decline in living standards overall and disruptions in certain financial markets.

    The writer is a managing director at Pimco, the investment management firm

  7. Brazil is light years from becoming a super power. I've been in Rio and Sao Paulo and the poverty you see is terrible.

    But beautiful babes they have, among the best I have ever seen and very open in terms of sex.:D
  8. So caring, and yet so not particularly noble at all..:D
  9. .

    Popesidious: Brazil is light years from becoming a super power. I've been in Rio and Sao Paulo and the poverty you see is terrible.


    January 9, 2006

    SouthAmerica: If your thinking is frozen in the past then you are right about Brazil being light years from becoming a super power.

    But if you look forward to the new realities of the new 21st century then it is another story.

    In the new century we will not have only one or two superpowers as in the 20th century.

    In the new century we have a new ball game and if you want to live in the future instead of the past you better start adjusting your thinking on these matters otherwise you will be completely out of touch with the new global reality.

    If your idea that a country has to have a massive amount of investment in military spending to become a superpower – I have news for you – that is a great strategy to put your country in the poor house in the long term – eventually all this wasted investment in military power it does catch up with your economy.

    In the new 21st century global economy we will have a number of powerful trading blocks including – the European Union, the Bric’s (Brazil, Russia, India, and China), the United States and so on…

    Your idea of a superpower is an obsolete idea of the past. Brazil is becoming an important member of the new world order and not of the world that you have in mind – your world belongs to the history books.

  10. Latin American is doing well for the past 3, 6, and 12 mnths... esp. columbia.
    #10     Jan 9, 2006