Erle Frayne D. Argonza
Brazil is now clearly leading the growth path of the entire South America, and this is a most welcome news. I am truly impressed by the developments down south that Brazil had led, and so I extend my kudos to the citizens and development stakeholders of Brazil.
Under the able stewardship of the very popular president Lula, the growth policies of the country were strengthened and sustained. The added feature is that, under a socialist regime, Brazil’s social policy had been further stressed and strengthened, with the hopeful gains of growth distributed more equitably to the poor folks of the cities and countrysides.
As we should all realize, South America isn’t exactly following a growth trend akin to East Asia’s. While Asia generally surges upwards, breathing new life to the global economy, that of South America’s could only count on specific countries (not general trend) jettisoning their ways further upwards. Brazil, Argentina, Chile are the most concrete success stories, while Mexico burns in the embers of an anti-drug war (Mexico sputters in its role as a growth driver).
Among all regions down south (America), it seems that the Brazil-Mercosur promises the greatest hope for the continent. It remains to be seen though how far this can be sustained. Contrast this to Asia, where three regions—Northeast Asia (China-Korea), Southeast Asia (ASEAN), and South Asia (India-led)—are acting as a grand chorale that enchants and enthralls the global economy as a whole.
Brazil, as an emerging market, clearly leads the pack in the whole of the continent, and being large enough by itself, it can jettison ahead and be the equivalent of China-India-ASEAN of the south. Its ‘real economy’ is the base of its growth that enables it to veer away from the anarchic and destructive ‘virtual economy’ policies up north (America).
Such an upward surge should move on till the aerospace program of Brazil will clearly be established as solid rock, thus ensuring the country’s entry as a top producer of affordable satellites for diverse end-users. It can go on and establish, in 25 years’ time, active metallurgical R&D in other planets such as Mars and Jupiter that can be alternative sources of metals for our own planet.
Also, Brazil better lead in creating a continental-looping railway that can accelerate development of the other regions, quicken the movement of skilled peoples and information across borders, and magnify continental trade by many folds. Likewise should Brazil lead in cyber-looping the continent with state-of-the-art infotech cables like what the East is now ambitiously embarking on.
Likewise should Brazil lead in massive energy investments, with clean technologies leading the way. Incidentally, biofuels and other clean energies are now surging upwards in the emerging market, with a policy environment in place that qualitatively is as sterling as East Asia’s (the Philippines has one such policy environment now well built up).
On the other hand, Brazil should better go slow in taming the Amazons with massive energy projects that could sadly kill the indigenous cultures that are among the country’s top endowments. Furthermore, in no way should the Amazon jungles’ diverse species be terminated for the sake of producing power, mineral resources, timber, and heavy industries for the country and its trading partners.
The world is watching Brazil mutate into a gigantic pillar of the global economy, we in Asia are surely watching with awe, and such a rise of a giant will ensure that the imperialist power up north will tone down its hegemonic attitudes towards the southern continent in the short run. The USA should better choose the path of cooperation with the south if it desires to remain relevant at all, as its own economy slides down a 3rd world level notwithstanding the continuous ‘virtual economy’ predation of its industries, agriculture, and infrastructures.
Surging upwards under a series of conscienticized and enlightened leaders, Brazil will continue to come on as sweet and enchanting as samba and bossa nova. To celebrate Brazil’s victories, we better chill out with Brazilian music & dance while we relish Brazilian cuisine in a spirit of peace and cooperation worldwide.
[Philippines, 21 July 2010]
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