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3 | 2012
Aid, Emerging Economies and Global Policies
Dossier | L'aide bousculée. Pays émergents et politiques globales - Revue | Évolutions des politiques de développement

Brazil’s Generous Diplomacy: Friendly Dragon or Paper Tiger?

Robert Muggah and Eduarda Passarelli Hamann
Translation(s):
Le Brésil et sa généreuse diplomatie : un dragon amical ou un tigre de papier ?

Abstract

Featuring a stable democracy and dizzying economic growth, Brazil is fast on the way to acquiring global power status. The country is investing in enhanced multilateral and bilateral relationships as a means of leveraging trade and reducing vulnerability abroad and on the domestic front. This chapter demonstrates how Brazil has increasingly aligned its foreign policy with a ‘South–South Cooperation’ (SSC) agenda as a means of achieving these parallel objectives. But while Brazil’s trade activities have received attention, there has been comparatively less focus on the country’s aid policy and practice.

Moreover, there is surprisingly little discussion of how the country’s foreign policy pillars – trade and aid – are explicitly linked. The chapter demonstrates how Brazil’s emerging aid agenda is fundamentally informed by trade considerations. Over the past decade Brazil has positioned its foreign policy agenda in such a way as to re-shape the global terms of trade in its favour and decrease its dependency both internationally and domestically.

Brazil’s relatively modest development aid allocations are amplified by a wider effort to advance trade, foreign direct investment and technology transfer. Brazil seeks to expand to new markets for its products, services and investment, it anticipates that its South–South Development Cooperation (SSDC) stance will facilitate the extension of its influence in bilateral and multilateral arrangements, including the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the United Nations Security Council.

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1. Introduction

1Brazil’s development agenda is fundamentally conditioned by wider South–South foreign policy considerations. Since at least 2003 Brazil has situated its aid agenda within a broader commitment to improving the terms of trade and decreasing vulnerability at home and abroad. These political and economic considerations profoundly shape the form and function of official development assistance (ODA) and so-called technical assistance. Moreover, the diversification of trade and aid arrangements – including coverage, sectors and modalities – is occurring at a rapid pace. Such trends are raising pressing questions about the future trajectories of Brazilian development cooperation. On the one hand, key institutions – from the Brazilian Agency for Cooperation (ABC) to other public and private entities – are being forced to rapidly adjust. Likewise, domestic factors ranging from rigid legislation, constraints ABC’s autonomy and limited knowledge management/impact assessments to political ambivalence may well thwart Brazil’s diplomacy of generosity. Nevertheless, Brazil has and will continue making a major contribution to a wider South–South Cooperation (SSC) agenda – indeed many of its current and planned aid investments are framed to do precisely this.

 2. Trade determines aid

  • 1  Brazil had ‘observer’ status to the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) since its inception.

2Brazil’s engagement with SSC can be traced back to the mid-twentieth century. Its earliest incarnation emerged in the wake of the formation of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) established in 19611 and the Group of 77 in 1964. But the strategic use of SSC to secure both economic and political interests and advance the country’s ‘soft-power’ genuinely surfaced as a result of former President Lula’s so-called ‘new world’ foreign policy agenda, from 2003 to 2010. Put succinctly, Brazilian foreign policy was expected to promote economic development while simultaneously reducing vulnerabilities to external shocks. Then-President Lula’s stated ambition was to achieve a more equitable international order through better positioning in key institutions such as the United Nations (UN) Security Council together with enhanced bilateral, regional and global ‘partnerships’. However, Brazil’s push for trade liberalization placed a greater weight on ensuring social justice: trade was to be made freer and fairer.

  • 2  See Burgess (2009).
  • 3  Indeed, while the agenda of the G-20 has grown over the past decade, its primary objective remains (...)
  • 4  Mercosur is an economic and political agreement between Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. I (...)

3Brazil’s foreign policy establishment swiftly turned to strengthening multilateral relationships and new alliances and coalitions in order to support the realignment of the international order. Geopolitically, Brazil’s efforts to promote SSC were designed to counterbalance North–South postures that dominated conventional fora. In Latin America, Brazil has sought to establish what Burgess (2009) describes as a ‘consensual hegemony’ in order to gain regional support for international initiatives.2 This re-positioning played out prominently in the World Trade Organization (WTO) and its Doha Development Agenda. Brazil was also a key contributor to the formation of the G-20 (2003) which had (and continues to have) a direct link with the WTO.3 Brazil has also been an active contributor to the Global System of Trade Preferences (GSTP) and of course, closer to home, Mercosur.4 These and other new coalitions were regarded as a way of enhancing the negotiating potential and clout of emerging powers, not least Brazil. And their effects on the multilateral trading system were swift and visible.

  • 5  There are considerable concerns that bilateral trade agreements (BTAs) and regional trade agreemen (...)

4The most visible outcome of the SSC agenda and these new coalitions was the collapse of the 5th WTO Ministerial in 2005. The failure to complete the trade round set off a rash of bilateral trade agreements (BTAs). There were fears that these BTAs, many of which promised to set less favourable terms of trade, could undermine certain established non-discrimination principles of the WTO, including the most-favoured nation clause (MFN) (Peterson, 2005). The collapse of the trade talks also catalysed a sudden increase in regional trade agreements (RTAs). These highly diverse forms of cooperation arrangements reconfigured the world trade landscape and are not the subject of this chapter.5

  • 6  Brazil is not alone – the average Latin American country belongs to no less than eight BTA/RTAs.
  • 7  See, for example, Americas Quarterly Special Edition (2011).
  • 8  See Amorim (2011).

5The explicit positioning of Brazilian foreign policy along a South–South axis has generated some challenges. The country’s wide-ranging approach amounts to forum shopping and potentially dilutes its stated objectives of creating a fairer trading system benefiting both Brazilian and developing country exports but also reducing poverty. Brazil is a member of a bewildering array of regional groupings including as one of the WTO’s most active participants – seeking to push the agricultural agenda and preserve integrity of the more pro-poor Doha mandate – but also the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), Mercosur, the European Union and elsewhere.6 Some analysts are concerned that the diffuse membership in BTAs and RTAs may undermine the country’s bargaining potential.7 Indeed, Lula opened more than 37 embassies during his term alone, a source of considerable pride to the country’s diplomatic establishment.8

  • 9  See The Economist Intelligence Unit (2010).

6As noted above, a defining objective of Brazil’s positioning at the centre of the SSC agenda was to champion hunger and poverty reduction globally and domestically. On the domestic and foreign policy front, Brazil’s programme Fome Zero was premised on promoting social rights such as access to food, education, social welfare and employment protection. Trade policy was at least partially regarded as a means of fostering sustainable economic growth but also reducing the country’s vulnerability to global financial market volatility. Brazil has long sought to promote enhanced access for agricultural products through multilateral and bilateral negotiations. This is not surprising: the country is a biotechnology and agribusiness colossus.9

  • 10  Sakia Sasken describes the process of ‘glocalization’ – how Chinese businesses are now also dealin (...)
  • 11  It is still useful to put these developments in perspective. As of 2009, the country still account (...)

7It is worth noting that as part of its wider SSC agenda, Brazil also purposefully sought to diversify its export partners. Of course, the country’s major partners continue to be the traditional ones – the US and Europe. But since 2009 China has assumed its place as the country’s largest trade partner, a feat that, in 2004, Presidents Lula and Hu Jintao described as contributing to a ‘new geography of world trade’.10 There are also significant increases in Brazilian trade with Africa (which rose over 110 per cent in the past five years), the Middle East (equally rapid increases), Eastern Europe and Asia. All of these activities have similarly enhanced opportunities for more foreign direct investment. Furthermore, Brazil’s rapid market integration into the global economy has reinforced its priorities in agricultural and manufactured goods and increasing investments through the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES).11

  • 12  See Beattie (2010).
  • 13  See Lafer (2001).

8Put succinctly, SSC is both a product of and a contributor to a transforming global trading infrastructure.12 The SSC framework is also giving rise to new transnational alliances. For example, the Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa (BRICS) and India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) alliances are widely discussed. The latter has formed a trilateral business council to encourage mutual investments and even a small ‘development fund’ of roughly US$3 million to sell the package. Meanwhile, Brazil has also initiated a rash of trade agreements including through Mercosur. The result of all this cooperation and the fact that emerging economies are substituting imports from rich industrialised economies with cheaper Southern products is that South–South trade is moving at a much more rapid pace than the global average. This realignment has been met with considerable criticism from the Brazilian private sector that complains of foreign policy considerations trumping lucrative North–South trading arrangements. While fears of a ‘radical new foreign policy’ have not been borne out,13 there is recognition of the need to invest in both North–South and South–South arrangements.

3. Brazil’s ‘Southern’ aid agenda

  • 14  See Mulyana (2011).

9It is worth recalling that the wider SSC agenda predates Brazilian and others’ more contemporary manifestations. During the 1950s the concept of ‘technical cooperation among developing countries’ – later described as SSC – emerged in the context of anti-colonial struggles. The so-called Bandung Conference in 1955 assembled 29 countries from across Asia and Africa to promote economic and cultural collaboration.14 While Brazil was not part of the Indonesian event, it later joined the G77 in the 1960s as a means of ensuring its voice was heard. The goals were to promote more solidarity and self-reliance in order to reduce dependent relations on Northern countries. During the military regime (1964–85) Brazil played a comparatively low-key role in these wider debates concentrating on modest technical cooperation agreements with African countries to secure raw materials for expansion.

  • 15  See ECOSOC (2008). See also ECOSOC (2009).

10Notwithstanding its more radical roots, the potential dividends of South–South Development Cooperation (SSDC) were not lost on the multilateral aid system. In 1978 the UN established a special unit for technical cooperation – named SSC – hosted and administered by its Development Programme (UNDP). Overseen by the UN General Assembly, the entity was expected to facilitate and encourage the sharing of economic and technological knowledge and skills. Predictably, lacking supporting resources, the initiative had comparatively little impact. But as trade and incomes steadily grew in emerging countries during the late 1990s and 2000s, SSDC acquired a new resonance and influence.15

  • 16  The 2008 Accra Agenda for Action of the Third High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness notes that ‘So (...)

11Both the Brazilian government and some in the multilateral development sector have skilfully updated the concept for the twenty-first century. As noted above, Lula crafted a wider South–South agenda in which development was situated. Likewise, more traditional donors – particularly the 30 members of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) – also played up the idea. For example, the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC) listed SSDC as a major component of realising the so-called Paris Declaration and Accra Agenda for Action’s commitment for inclusive partnerships.16 During negotiations in both Bogota and later New York, in 2010, the OECD attempted to explicitly address the relationships between aid effectiveness and SSDC. There, wealthy donor countries sought to provide ‘lessons’ on their aid experience and called for more evidence of the outcomes of SSDC and, predictably, more global dialogue.

  • 17  See Cabral and Weinstock (2010). See also Burgess (2005).

12To some extent, the OECD-DAC-led SSDC agenda has failed to lift off, since major Southern voices – from Brazil and China to India and Saudi Arabia – are missing. Despite contributing more than half of Southern ODA, they are not present on the OECD-DAC’s steering committee. For its part, Brazil appears to be reluctant to engage in debates it sees as fundamentally unbalanced and dominated by views and standards set by the North.17 Notwithstanding repeated attempts at wooing them into the fold and the recent launch of the International Network on Conflict and Fragility (INCAF), just a small number of emerging economies (such as South Korea) have participated in ostensibly Northern forums. Of course the reasons for their absence are part strategic and part ideological.

  • 18  For a discussion of the ‘emergent’ and ‘established’ labels among new donors consult Woods (2008).

13Indeed, BRICS countries and others often reject the donor–recipient dichotomy and the lexicon of new and old donors embedded in the Paris Declaration and the Accra Agenda for Action. Since the mid-1950s Southern countries have been reluctant to reproduce traditional donor–client hierarchies and repeatedly emphasise the importance of non-conditionality. Brazil considers itself neither a donor nor a recipient, much less new, ‘established’ or old.18 In fact, at some point between 2005 and 2010, Brazil passed the threshold where it actually disbursed more ODA than it received. Eschewing the language of the OECD it prefers instead the concepts of ‘solidarity’, ‘respect for sovereignty and autonomy’, ‘diversity of circumstances and solutions’. The language of SSC reflects the priorities of these countries and OECD countries risk ignoring this at their peril.

  • 19  See The Reality of Aid (2010).
  • 20  See Harmer and Cotterell (2005).
  • 21  This includes ‘grants and concessional loans (including export credits) provided by one Southern c (...)

14The fact is that Southern aid is not inconsequential. Moreover, it is growing much faster than more traditional OECD donors.19 In 2009 the total volume of South–South ODA was estimated at US$17.5 billion (10–12 per cent of global ODA), though there is considerable disagreement over the figures owing to the way that Southern countries count their aid dollars.20 This compares to roughly US$121 billion spent by OECD countries in the same year. A widely cited UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) assessment has grappled with the definition, providing an imperfect definition of South–South ODA.21

  • 22  China is allegedly the largest Southern donor totalling about US$2 billion in 2009 (State Statisti (...)
  • 23  India established the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) programme in 1964 and has r (...)
  • 24  Brazil first created the National Commission for Technical Assistance (CNAT) in 1959. It was compo (...)
  • 25  See ABC (2005).
  • 26  See The Economist (2010).
  • 27  See IPEA (2011).
  • 28  The distribution of aid relative to other donors such as Canada and Sweden is discussed by Baker ( (...)
  • 29  Brazil set up a centre for training and enterprise development in Luanda in 1999 and in Paraguay i (...)

15While still dwarfed by China22 and India,23 as noted by Cabral and Weinstock (2010), Brazil has quietly become one of the world’s more significant aid providers. Official figures appear to unintentionally conceal the extent of support. Indeed, the ABC – originally established in 1987 to ‘coordinate’ ODA and cooperation24 – reportedly spent just US$30 million in 2009.25 Yet Britain’s Overseas Development Institute and Canada’s International Development Research Centre suggest that spending by the Brazilian government and associated institutions was between 10 and 15 times higher.26 Brazil also provides between US$25 and 100 million to the UNDP, US$300 million to the World Food Programme (WFP), US$350 million to Haiti and US$3.3 billion in commercial loans since 2008 from the state development bank – up to US$4 billion a year.27 While potentially less than medium-sized donors such as Canada and Sweden, the spread and extent of cooperation is rapidly increasing.28
In practice, the current Brazilian model reflects a genuine commitment to the early ethos and spirit of SSDC. Brazil draws extensively on internal capacity and innovation and exporting social policy success stories abroad. The examples are now widely known and include the wildly successful Bolsa Familia programme (itself a social technology imported from Mexico), which was exported to post-earthquake Haiti offering multiple incentives (targeting mothers) to encourage school attendance and enhanced nutrition. Other areas of social innovation include tropical agricultural research, including high-yield cotton projects in Mali, Benin, Burkina Faso and Chad. Brazil’s vocational training programmes – including support for centres of education excellence in Angola, Mozambique and Paraguay – are other prime examples.29 Other investments range from new developments in human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) treatment for the poor in Mozambique to the building of police training institutes in Guinea-Bissau. In fact, Brazil currently has technical cooperation agreements with more than 50 countries from across the Global South.

  • 30  See Federative Republic of Brazil (2008).

16While still early days, Brazil’s approach to SSDC has repeated political and commercial dividends. On the one hand, it has extended the country’s soft power in Africa and across Latin America and the Caribbean so that it can enhance its profile in multilateral fora while competing with India and China. Brazil had until recently focused primarily on Portuguese-speaking countries,30 but by 2010 had brokered more than 400 SSDC projects across African, Latin American, Asian and Middle Eastern countries. It has also served to bolster the country’s claim to a UN Security Council seat, as it assumes more burden and responsibility attendant with its economic status. On the other hand, it serves Brazil’s growing commercial interests. As noted in The Economist, Brazil currently is the world’s most efficient ethanol producer and seeks to promote markets in green fuel: spreading technology to poorer countries creates new suppliers and bolsters global market demand. These successes are not without some hubris. The former Minister for Strategic Affairs has noted how ‘since rising powers like Brazil will one day run the world…they can save trouble later by reducing poverty in developing countries now’.

  • 31  See Muggah and Szabo (2010).
  • 32  Meanwhile, Brazilian ‘private’ firms are focusing on activities ranging from roads and railways to (...)
  • 33  It is worth stressing that Brazilian firms and business leaders, most notably Eike Batista, are pi (...)

17Brazil exhibits certain comparative advantages when it comes to promoting SSDC. On the one hand, the country has purposefully sought to break down the traditional ‘donor–recipient’ model and these efforts are born of a domestic belief, albeit still untested, that cultural, linguistic and historical affinities ostensibly matter in shaping development outcomes.31 Likewise, while broadly playing by the international rules of development cooperation, Brazil has charted out an approach that still deviates somewhat from certain OECD principles. It is also fair to say that Western donors are less preoccupied about Brazilian aid than China, which they see as a rival power, fostering corruption and fundamentally ‘bad’ development policy. Since Brazil is widely regarded as having a stable democratic foundation and good neighbourly relations, the country is increasingly solicited by OECD countries for trilateral cooperation agreements. Moreover, as the Brazilian aid agency is focused on social policy, health and agriculture it is not regarded as a competitor.32 China, meanwhile, is more focused on financing roads, railways and docks for expedient resource extraction.33

4. Challenges for Brazil

  • 34  See Cabral (2010, 3).

18While rapidly evolving, it is important to stress that Brazil’s SSDC model is still nascent. There are still a great many challenges confronting the country, including the future mandate and organisation of the development cooperation agency. What is clear is that Brazil’s relationship with more traditional donors is adapting as it shifts from receiving to providing assistance.34 It has spurred on more trilateral – or three-party – modalities with the traditional donor providing financial support, Brazil offering technical assistance, and the receiving country also engaged. There are an abundance of examples ranging from Canada, Japan and the US to the International Labour Organization (ILO), UNDP and others. According to Cabral (2010, 3) ‘ABC currently manages 88 such initiatives across 27 countries…[and] represent one fifth of Brazil’s technical cooperation projects’.

  • 35  For example, the so-called Cotton 4 project established in 2008 between Brazil and Mali, Burkina F (...)

19And while Brazil exhibits a host of comparative advantages with respect to SSDC, it also faces a number of critical deficits. For example, partly owing to the novelty of many activities, Brazil has yet to demonstrate the outcomes and impacts of its major investments.35 This will require a greater awareness of the exiting portfolio, knowledge management, and monitoring and evaluation capabilities. As noted by Cabral (2010, 3) ‘the lack of reliable and accurate data on aid volumes and their impact is a common problem amongst emerging donors’. This is especially true for projects that started before 2004–05. And while some discussion is emerging about how to link aid effectiveness agendas to the wider SSDC approach, questions remain about the extent to which Southern partners are ready to engage.

20Related to this, Brazil confronts the challenges of an apathetic and potentially hostile domestic constituency to a more proactive SSDC mandate. For example, systemic (but gradually improving) social and economic challenges and far-reaching inequality in Brazil’s major cities and rural areas highlight the very real ‘development’ challenges on the home front. Some constituents have demonstrated a level of ambivalence to ODA, including to Haiti where the country is most visibly invested in the UN Stabilization Mission (MINUSTAH) and beyond. Without the vigorous backing of the executive and effective lobbying, there is a real possibility of the trade agenda becoming the dominant vehicle for multilateralism and development slipping off the radar.

  • 36  The Brazilian Agency for Cooperation (ABC) is located in one of seven divisions of the Ministry of (...)
  • 37  There are roughly 160 employees in ABC, including both diplomats and technical experts seconded fr (...)

21Most assessments of the future of Brazil’s SSDC agenda have centred on the administrative and bureaucratic modalities of assistance. On the one hand, there are well-known legal conditionalities that limit monetary transfers from the public sector to other governments. As such, Brazil focuses primarily on technical assistance and provides financial assistance only through existing multilateral modalities. Similar rules abound relating to constraints on procurement and contracting non-public servants. Likewise, ABC itself is institutionally locked into a subordinate position in Brazil’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (known as Itamaraty) and will need to carve out more autonomy and political support if it is to genuinely transform into a full-fledged development agency.36 Similarly, as Brazil’s trade and aid agenda expands, civil servants are overwhelmed.37 While the current President Dilma Rousseff mulls over the creation of a new aid agency, there is a danger of inertia taking hold.

  • 38  In principle, and most often in practice, all Brazilian ministries and agencies are expected to ‘p (...)

22A commonly cited challenge for Brazil relates to the way SSDC is currently coordinated and managed. Indeed, the regulatory framework is currently designed for ‘receiving’ rather than ‘providing’ assistance. Notwithstanding its critical central role, however, ABC is just one of many agencies engaged in promoting international development. Examples of other agencies include Embrapa (agricultural research), the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Social Development (social protection), the National Service for Industrial Apprenticeship (SENAI) and many others.38 As the number of Brazilian institutions engaged continues to expand, the decision-making authority of Itamaraty has arguably weakened (Cabral and Weinstock, 2010). And while some improvements are being registered, the development cooperation architecture has thus been described as ‘fragmented’ and characterised by uneven coordination in terms of strategic vision, standards and procedures.

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References

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Federative Republic of Brazil (2008) Trends in Development Cooperation: South-South and Triangular Cooperation and Aid Effectiveness. The Brazilian Experience, Cairo High-Level Symposium, http://www.un.org/en/ecosoc/newfunct/pdf/brazil_ssc_cairo.pdf (accessed on 30 August 2011).

Harmer, A. and L. Cotterell (2005) Diversity in Donorship: The Changing Landscape of Official Humanitarian Aid (London: Overseas Development Institute, Humanitarian Policy Group), http://www.odi.org.uk/resources/download/234.pdf. (accessed on 30 August 2011).

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Muggah, R. and I. Szabo (2010) The Southern Effect: Critical Reflections on Brazil’s Engagement with Fragile States (Paris: OECD).

Mulyana, Y.G.H. (2011) ‘The 1955 Bandung Conference and its Present Significance’, Jakarta Post, 29 April, http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2011/04/29/the-1955-bandung-conference-and-its-present-significance.html (accessed on 30 August 2011).

Peterson, E. L. (2005) The Global Governance of Foreign Direct Investment: Madly Off in All Directions, Dialogue on Globalisation Occasional Paper no. 19 (Geneva: Friedrich Ebert Stiftung) http://www.nuso.org/upload/fes_pub/Peterson.pdf (accessed on 6 December 2011).

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Notes

1  Brazil had ‘observer’ status to the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) since its inception.

2  See Burgess (2009).

3  Indeed, while the agenda of the G-20 has grown over the past decade, its primary objective remains the positive outcome in agricultural negotiations in order to preserve the interests of developing countries.

4  Mercosur is an economic and political agreement between Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. It was founded in 1991 by the Treaty of Asunción (later amended as the 1994 Treaty of Ouro Preto) with the stated goal of promoting free trade and the fluid movement of goods, people and currency (http://www.mercosur.int/).

5  There are considerable concerns that bilateral trade agreements (BTAs) and regional trade agreements (RTAs) are inferior to multilateral liberalization since gains for developing countries are marginal by comparison.

6  Brazil is not alone – the average Latin American country belongs to no less than eight BTA/RTAs.

7  See, for example, Americas Quarterly Special Edition (2011).

8  See Amorim (2011).

9  See The Economist Intelligence Unit (2010).

10  Sakia Sasken describes the process of ‘glocalization’ – how Chinese businesses are now also dealing directly with major cities such as São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. See Sasken (2011).

11  It is still useful to put these developments in perspective. As of 2009, the country still accounts for just 1.3 per cent of world trade.

12  See Beattie (2010).

13  See Lafer (2001).

14  See Mulyana (2011).

15  See ECOSOC (2008). See also ECOSOC (2009).

16  The 2008 Accra Agenda for Action of the Third High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness notes that ‘South–South Cooperation (SSC) on development aims to observe the principle of non-interference in internal affairs, equality among developing partners and respect for their independence, national sovereignty, cultural diversity and identity and local content. It plays an important role in international development cooperation and is a valuable complement to North–South cooperation’.

17  See Cabral and Weinstock (2010). See also Burgess (2005).

18  For a discussion of the ‘emergent’ and ‘established’ labels among new donors consult Woods (2008).

19  See The Reality of Aid (2010).

20  See Harmer and Cotterell (2005).

21  This includes ‘grants and concessional loans (including export credits) provided by one Southern country to another to finance projects, programmes, technical cooperation, debt relief and humanitarian assistance and its contributions to multilateral institutions and regional development banks’. The definition continues to be subject to debate and is not consistently applied by Southern governments. See ECOSOC (2009).

22  China is allegedly the largest Southern donor totalling about US$2 billion in 2009 (State Statistical Bureau of the People’s Republic of China, 2010).

23  India established the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) programme in 1964 and has reportedly transferred more than US$2 billion since then. It does not report figures to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the Development Assistance Committee (DAC). See The Reality of Aid (2010).

24  Brazil first created the National Commission for Technical Assistance (CNAT) in 1959. It was composed of a wide range of Ministries and was located under the Office of the President. See Costa Vaz and Yumie Aoki Inoue (2007).

25  See ABC (2005).

26  See The Economist (2010).

27  See IPEA (2011).

28  The distribution of aid relative to other donors such as Canada and Sweden is discussed by Baker (2010).

29  Brazil set up a centre for training and enterprise development in Luanda in 1999 and in Paraguay it created a centre of excellence for professional training. Other innovations include the Bolsa Escola in Mozambique.

30  See Federative Republic of Brazil (2008).

31  See Muggah and Szabo (2010).

32  Meanwhile, Brazilian ‘private’ firms are focusing on activities ranging from roads and railways to mining and dam projects. Companies such as Andrade Gutierrez, Odebrecht, Queiroz Galvao, Petrobras and Vale are all extremely active abroad.

33  It is worth stressing that Brazilian firms and business leaders, most notably Eike Batista, are picking-up commodities and extraction firms. See, for example, Burgess (2007).

34  See Cabral (2010, 3).

35  For example, the so-called Cotton 4 project established in 2008 between Brazil and Mali, Burkina Faso, Benin and Chad seeks to enhance the region’s cotton value chain. While anecdotal evidence suggests that it is generating positive returns, no comprehensive evaluation has been undertaken.

36  The Brazilian Agency for Cooperation (ABC) is located in one of seven divisions of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs under the General Sub-Secretariat for Cooperation and Commercial Promotion.

37  There are roughly 160 employees in ABC, including both diplomats and technical experts seconded from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

38  In principle, and most often in practice, all Brazilian ministries and agencies are expected to ‘partner’ with ABC in order to sign and implement technical cooperation projects.

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Cite this article

Electronic reference

Robert Muggah and Eduarda Passarelli Hamann, « Brazil’s Generous Diplomacy: Friendly Dragon or Paper Tiger? », International Development Policy | Revue internationale de politique de développement [Online], 3 | 2012, Online since 27 February 2013, connection on 23 November 2017. URL : http://poldev.revues.org/1009 ; DOI : 10.4000/poldev.1009

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About the authors

Robert Muggah

Fellow at the Instituto de Relações Internacionais, Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio. There, he directs several projects on humanitarian action in non-war settings, civilian rosters for peace support operations and urban violence. Dr Muggah also works closely with the OECD, UN and World Bank in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, South and South-East Asia and the South Pacific. He received his DPhil from the University of Oxford and an MPhil from the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex.

By this author

Eduarda Passarelli Hamann

Brazilian lawyer, with MA and PhD in international relations. Her areas of interest include peace operations, Brazilian foreign policy, South–South cooperation and related subjects. Dr Hamann is currently a senior researcher at Instituto Igarapé and a consultant at the World Bank. She has previously worked for Viva Rio, QUNO-Geneva and Canal Futura. She also has teaching experience in renowned Brazilian universities (Pontificia Universidade Catolica do Rio de Janeiro, Fundacao Getulio Vargas and Universidade Candido Mendes).

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Copyright

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.

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