What are your thoughts on UK-Brazil trade?
We believe the two economies are very complementary. Nowadays, I would pinpoint the following sectors as our trade priorities: Energy (including Oil & Gas, Renewables and Marine), Life Sciences, Education and Financial Services. We hope to increase investments of the UK in Brazil, and vice versa.
What can UK-Brazil trade tell us about evolving global trade patterns?
The UK and Brazil are both services-based economies (around 70 percent of both countries’ GDP are services), but the bulk of trade between the countries is in the form of goods. The flow of services from the UK to Brazil has been increasing over recent years, which is reflective of global trade patterns. Services are becoming increasingly important. In that context, quotas and tariffs become less of an issue and regulations and standards become more important. We are working with Brazil to improve the regulatory environment and we cooperate in a number of sectors on best practices. Additionally, the WTO is starting new negotiations on issues such as e-commerce. Joining the OECD is a very important step.
What are the alternative scenarios for global trade and trade policy further out in the future?
Future trade will move away from goods-based trade to services, investment and more innovative areas. The rules-based international economic system will shape the global economy—and it is important to get the rules and institutions right. That is the reason why the reform of the WTO matters, and Brazil’s application to join the OECD too. The UK is in favor of free trade supported by the right rules and regulations. And obviously much of this will be digital: a very fruitful area for UK-Brazil joint work.
Can you tell us about partnerships that already exist between UK and Brazil?
The recent partnership that has been very active is our Infrastructure and Capital Markets Task Force. Through meetings and workshops, we are bringing together the private sector and government, both Brazilian and British, to discuss ways in which we can share best practice and highlight opportunities for cooperation and investment in both our markets. A session of the Task Force focused on capital market investments was held in Brasília last week.
Do you have any examples of the results of these partnerships?
A good example is the engagement we have been doing through Prosperity Fund. Two core areas of this work are Green Finance and Future Cities. In Recife, an important city in northeast Brazil, we have signed an agreement with the local sanitation company to study and implement alternatives for water loss management in the water supply systems of Recife’s metropolitan area. In São Paulo, we are working on a project to improve traffic flows, improving the quality of life for poor communities, and reducing negative impacts on Brazil’s economic development in the city of São Paulo. Both projects will have the Prosperity Fund as funder and the World Bank as an implementer. But these partnerships span so many areas: from tax cooperation to intellectual property, cooperation to increase the efficiency of ports, to sharing expertise on energy challenges.