Friday 07 May 2021 | 20:38 | SYDNEY
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Great Southern Lands: Time to build closer ties between Australia and Brazil

A new report from the Lowy Institute for International Policy, ‘Great Southern Lands’: Building ties between Australia and Brazil’, sheds new light on the Australia–Brazil relationship.  

’With Brazil already a key player in the global economy, Australia needs to pay more attention to Brazil, and in particular the Brazilian economy’, said Mark Thirlwell, Director of the Lowy Institute’s international economy program and report co-author.

‘Both countries are ‘resource superpowers’, sharing common policy challenges and opportunities’, he said.
The report is the product of a grant from the Council on Australia Latin American Relations (COALAR) and presents a series of perspectives on the modern Brazilian economy, its economic history, its ties with Australia, and its place in the world economy.

’For many years Australia ignored Brazil. It’s partly due to distance, as the two great southern lands were so far away from each other that it was a case of “out of sight, out of mind”’ said  report co-author and UNSW International Economics Professor, Tim Harcourt.  

’But Brazil is now demanding Australia's attention. It’s too big to ignore, and economically, many investors are now flying down to Rio’, he said.

Great Southern Lands: Building ties between Australia and Brazil: content overview

The report’s overview, written by Tim Harcourt, the J W Nevile Fellow in Economics at the University of New South Wales and former Chief Economist of Austrade, looks at the current bilateral relationship across a range of sectors and industries, drawing on a series of interviews with key Australians and Brazilians. Harcourt argues that Australia and Brazil have the potential to be great collaborators in terms of agriculture, resources infrastructure, urban planning, education, science, and research and development.

Fernando Cardim, an eminent professor of economics at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, provides an assessment of Brazil’s long-run economic performance and describes the important victories over high inflation and external vulnerability that have helped set the stage for the current era of economic prosperity

ANU-based Brazilian economist Patrick Carvalho, former head of the Economic Studies Division at the Federation of Industries of Rio de Janeiro, provides a guide to the new Brazilian economy, setting out some of the key trends, opportunities and risks. Carvalho argues that ‘Brazil is ready to finally embrace its long-heralded prime position in global affairs’.

Mark Thirlwell, Director of the Lowy Institute’s International Economy program, puts Brazil’s economy into a global context, comparing it with the other BRIC economies, and draws on this analysis to make the case for Australia paying more attention to South America’s leading economic power.

The full report can be downloaded from the Lowy Institute web site and a limited number of hard copies are also available.