IASW – Brazil Makeover Helped Humala Shed His Chávez Image

http://interamericansecuritywatch.com/brazil-makeover-helped-humala-shed-his-chavez-image/

“Valter Pomar, the head of the Workers Party’s committee for international relations, said Mr. Humala would be “an ally in the process of continental integration.””

“Brazil’s interest in Peruvian politics reflects Peru’s growing strategic importance as a gateway to markets in the Pacific. As the economies of both countries have grown in recent years, business between Brazil and Peru has ballooned. Trade between the two countries, just $565 million at the end of 2000, by last year grew to $2.9 billion, according to Brazilian government figures. The increase in Brazil’s exports has been especially marked, soaring from $354 million a decade ago to just over $2 billion last year.”

“Brazil in recent years has increasingly been using Peruvian ports to ship goods to China, India, and other fast-growing markets in Asia. “Much of the relationship has to do with Brazil’s need to get across the other side of the continent,” said Paulo Fleury, a logistics expert and business professor at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro.”

“Miguel Vega Alvear, a former Peruvian senator who is president of the Peruvian Brazilian Chamber of Integration and Commerce, said that the two countries signed a “strategic alliance” in 2005 to work on a series of infrastructure and energy projects and he was confident Mr. Humala would expand the partnership.”

“The two countries in recent years have worked to complete a transcontinental highway linking Brazil’s agricultural heartland and industrial south directly to Peruvian ports. The project, traversing the Amazon and scaling the Andes, remains under construction, but other, less direct links between the two countries are improving, too. Brazil’s government even commissioned a study, still underway, to determine the feasibility of a rail link between the two countries.”

“Meanwhile, Peru’s fast-growing economy presents a big opportunity for many Brazilian companies well-placed to take advantage of massive infrastructure and energy projects now planned or underway. Companies like Odebrecht SA and Camargo Correa SA, two big construction and engineering firms, are active in Peru’s ongoing building boom, while energy giant Petrobras SA pumps and explore for oil and gas in Peru’s Amazon and off its Pacific coast. Companhia Vale do Rio Doce has a port concession. Grupo Gerdau has steel operations in Peru.”

“Brazil’s interest in Peru fits with “its very mercantalstic model of foreign policy,” said William Summerhill, a University of California at Los Angeles historian. “Brazil is a country with global ambitions, and that’s no secret to anyone.”Mr. Summerhill said that by involving itself at the ground floor level of the Peru’s presidential campaign, Brazil “paves the way for the avoidance of future conflict.” By befriending Mr. Humala now, “Brazil solves problems before they become problems.””

“He notes that Brazil has been mired in continuing trade spats with Argentina. In Bolivia, the leftist government of Evo Morales government moved to abrogate contracts of foreign energy companies like Brazil’s Petrobras. “The first thing (Boliva) wanted to do was throw out gringos,” he said. “Well in Bolivia, the Brazilians were the gringos.””

For the original article see http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304474804576369940548775726.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

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