Saturday, April 18, 2015

Brazil: The Overlooked BRIC?

This opinion article in the BRICSPOST is all about Brazil. Most people think of China and Russia when they hear the term BRICS mentioned. Brazil has held the BRICS Presidency for this past year and this article talks about how Brazil has used that position to promote its own views in the world. The article notes however that Brazil does not want to sever relations with the US and the EU and finds itself in a balancing act in that regard. Below are some quotes from this BRICSPOST article.

"In what has undoubtedly been a tumultuous year for the world and for the country itself, Brazil took over the Presidency of the BRICS and hosted the sixth BRICS Summit since the group of emerging economies formalized its existence in 2009. Much of the recent focus on the BRICS has centered on institutional developments, not least among which is the creation of the BRICS Development Bank – the New Development Bank – and the Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA). Less optimistic commentary has raised concern regarding the arguably uncertain future of the group’s economies, which have in the past year seen significant declines in their GDP growth rates – some, including Brazil, more so than others.
Yet, less has been written regarding the degree to which the Brazilian administration has capitalized on its Chairpersonship to promote key Brazilian foreign policy goals."
. . . . . . . "chairing the BRICS throughout these past months, has also given Brazil the opportunity to instrumentalise its membership of the group for the promotion of longstanding practical and normative goals of its global and regional aspirations."
. . . . . 
"Brazil’s foreign policy is driven by the aspiration to reconstruct the global order – represented by the global institutional architecture – into one characterized by the equal and democratic participation of all states.
It envisions a multipolar order with dynamics which reduce hegemonic tendencies; new paradigms for development; the promotion of human rights. It also strongly endorsed the principles of state sovereignty and non-intervention in other states’ affairs, while acknowledging that difference between non-intervention and non-indifference.
The promotion of this vision on the global agenda leads to normative divergence with Western countries – mostly the US and Europe – and the established global institutions.
Looking back at the Brazilian Chairpersonship of the BRICS, we can identify a few symbolical acts of “counterweighing” the West. The BRICS opposition to US and EU sanctions against Russia and their insistence that the Russian President attend the G-20 Summit in Brisbane illustrated the existence of multiple voices in terms of approach towards the Russian-Ukrainian issue (and a caution towards sanctions which is characteristic of Brazilian foreign policy)."
. . . . . 
"Brazil’s BRICS Chairmanship has been consistent with Brazil’s foreign pursuits and, among those, with the importance Brazil attributes to the BRICS. Yet, a big challenge that remains is to succeed in the balancing act of deepening ties with the BRICS, while repairing relations with the US and concluding unfinished trade arrangements with Europe, at a time where the Brazilian economy and politics are in desperate need of renewed vigor."

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