The Fix on Brazil

We hear a lot about China and even India.  But Brazil is a country that warrants attention as noted in this CFR Independent Task Force Report:

Domestically, Brazil’s “inclusive growth has translated into a significant reduction of inequality, an expansion of the middle class, and a vibrant economy, all framed within a democratic context.” Consequently, Brazil has been able to use its economic bona fides to leverage a stronger position in the international, commercial, and diplomatic arenas.

Brazil is on the rise.  Brazil is no longer the country of the future.  But Brazil needs some reform–and we are not just talking about the preparation for the Olympics and World Cup.

People living in cities like São Paulo pay more for food, housing and other basic goods than people in other comparable countries. A big reason for the high prices is that the government has not built enough roads, railways, ports and other infrastructure to keep up with the economy’s growth. Brazil also imposes high import duties and taxes that inflate the price of many goods and services.

The country also needs to reform its education system, which does a poor job preparing young people for skilled jobs in the manufacturing and the service sector. In an international test of the reading, math and science skills of 15-year-olds, Brazilian students scored lower than their counterparts in other Latin American countries like Uruguay, Mexico and Colombia.

Brazil has such chronic shortages of skilled professionals that the government is planning to import doctors from other countries. That might be a fine temporary solution, but the government needs to build more universities and improve teaching in primary and secondary schools to make sure more students can pursue higher education.

via Brazil’s Next Steps –


2 thoughts on “The Fix on Brazil”

  1. Brazil seems to be facing a number of problems. Although their economy has grown and disparity shrunk, if Brazil wants to continue positive growth changes must be made. Education in Brazil is behind where it should be, so much so that doctors are being brought in from other countries. The Brazilian government must make education a larger focus if they wish to have a thriving nation. In addition, they must add to the infrastructure, as the economy develops so too must the cities.
    When sufficient changes have been made, I believe that Brazil should have permanent membership on the UN Security Council. The Obama administration has said, and I agree, that we should have leadership structures in international institutions that are more reflective of international realities. As Brazil rises to a more prominent position, I believe its full participation on the UNSC should be fully endorsed.

  2. Brazil is defiantly a country to watch. They are growing a great power in the global world but they still face many challenges. When I heard that Brazil has problems with education and infrastructure I think of the Southern States in the early 1900’s. Their infrastructure was lacking and their education system was the worst in the country. When they began to build roads more people became connected therefore being able to make a stronger community. Once a community was established schools were able to be built and the education system began to grow. This is the pattern that Brazil should follow. Brazil should invest in building up their infrastructure and in return their education system will slowing begin to grow.

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