News from Brazil

Politics & Government

In Brazil on February 11, 2011 at 9:40 am

POLITICS

President Dilma Rousseff is determined to prioritize the resolution of the controversy surrounding the proposed distribution of oil royalties from Brazil’s oil producing states to the rest of the country, and is expected to send the amendment back to Congress (The Rio Times).

In his speech during the opening sesion of the 1st ordinary legislative session of the 54th National Congress, the president of the House of Representatives, Marco Maia (PT-RS, picture), said that the priorities for the next two years will be the political and tax reforms (Senado Federal).

President Dilma Rousseff’s first month in office has been a “positive surprise” as she seeks to dismantle the free-spending policies of the previous government, former President Fernando Henrique Cardoso said (Bloomberg).

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INTERNATIONAL

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner met with Brazil’s leaders Monday looking to bolster ties before next month’s visit by President Barack Obama and foster teamwork on economic issues such as confronting China on its currency (AP).

Nick Clegg has cancelled a trip to South America as the government battles to secure legislation needed to hold a referendum on the UK voting system. The deputy prime minister had been due to travel to Brazil on Sunday on a four-day visit to promote trade (BBC).

Brazil expects Venezuela’s full incorporation to Mercosur to be approved “soon” said Foreign Affairs minister Antonio Patriota in Caracas with his peer Nicolas Maduro in Caracas to reaffirm strong bilateral links (Mercopress).

Brazilian policy towards Middle East and the Arab world harm US strategy in the region according to US embassy diplomatic cables between 2004 and 2009, recently exposed by Wikileaks (Mercopress).

Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina are to embrace a joint project to adapt to the effects of climate change in their coastal regions. Called Atlasur, the UNESCO-coordinated project is designed to find action that can be developed on the coasts of the three countries by the governments and incorporated into the development and environment agenda (Portal Brasil).

The governments of Mexico and Brazil will begin formal negotiations on Feb. 28 to reach a free-trade agreement (Bloomberg).

DEFENCE

Brazil with a defence market described as “one of the fastest growing in the world” will be signing a defence agreement with the UK which should open the way for a deal worth “billions of dollars”, according to reports in the Brazilian and UK media. A first deal could involve £ 2.9 billion which includes the purchase of six patrol vessels (£ 60 to £ 80 million) and five or six frigates Type 26 (render) with a unit cost of £ 300 to £ 400 million (Mercopress).

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has told visitors she believes Boeing’s F-18 is the best jet among three finalists in a multi-billion dollar Air Force fighter tender, but she is still pressing for better terms on technology transfers that are critical to any deal (Reuters).

INNOVATION & RESEARCH

As it stands now, Brazil is home to some of the world’s largest companies: Vale, which produces iron ore; beverage giant AB InBev, which recently purchased Anheuser-Busch; and oil giant Petrobras, which is leading the way in deep-sea drilling and exploration.  These titans of industry have become the face of a Brazil that is expanding its political and economical footprint across the globe. While these corporations are the face of corporate Brazil, they do not tell the whole story of Brazilian innovation (Brazil Portal).

When Vale,  the world’s second-biggest mining company said last year that it would open three state-of-the-art research centers in Brazil, it marked the most visible development yet in the changing relationship between business and academe there (The Chronicle).

One of the highlights of Campus Party Brazil, held last month in Sao Paulo, was the Motion FX Beta simulator, developed by Brazilian brothers Gabriel and Joao Pedro Sffair (BBC).

Petrobras plans to invest as much as $4.5 billion in research and development over the next five years, with a focus on advancing technologies for ultra-deepwater oil production (Reuters).

On a lighter note and some sort of innovation too: a church in Brazil is trying to crack down on tardy brides by fining them $300 for showing up late to their own weddings (Washington Post).

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