Brazil 2013 Foreign Policy Outlook

Six of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff’s overseas trips in 2013 have already been announced and appear to show greater attention to Africa and the BRICS group of emerging nations.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff. Photo by Wilson Dias/ABr. As with the fifteen countries she visited in 2012, there will be a clear focus on economics with potential import-export deals invariably topping her 2013 agenda.

Nearly half of President Rousseff’s trips were made to Latin American countries in 2012. She oversaw the Mercosur economic bloc as it gained two members – Venezuela and Bolivia – and also suspended Paraguay.

Yet Rousseff made almost as many trips to Europe – most notably to Spain to thrash out a raft of business deals, as well as a December trip to Russia in the face a ban on imports of meat, the main Brazilian export to Russia.

President Rousseff also travelled to the United Kingdom for the Olympics – the finale of which saw Brazil handed the baton as 2016 Olympic host nation.

The visits cement Brazil’s position as chief bridge nation between Latin America and Europe and, as if to underline this, the president’s first trip of 2013 will be to the Chilean capital, Santiago, for a joint summit of the Latin American and Caribbean States Community (CELAC) and the European Union, aiming to facilitate trade between the two regions.

The president will also travel to the United States to continue the established tradition of the Brazilian leader giving the opening speech at the UN General Assembly.

Despite Brazil’s affiliation with the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) group of emerging economies, the president made just one journey to Asia and none to Africa.

However, both regions are slated to feature more prominently in 2013: the president is set to travel to Africa in February to take part in the Africa-South America Summit in Equatorial Guinea.

Read the full article on The Rio Times.

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