U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton emphasized deepening business ties and promoting innovation in a speech to Brazil’s National Confederation of Industry (CNI) on Monday. Clinton had traveled to the capital city of Brasilia for a two-day visit following her participation over the weekend in the Summit of the Americas meeting in Cartagena, Colombia.
In her remarks before the CNI, Clinton noted that last year trade between the U.S. and Brazil reached $75 billion, and that Brazilian investment in the U.S. now stands at $15.5 billion. She also praised Brazil for undergoing inclusive economic growth in recent years, saying the country “has ascended to the world stage as an emerging economic dynamo, lifting millions of Brazilians into the middle class while maintaining and improving democratic institutions.”
However, she said the U.S. and Brazil could do much more. “I believe that the opportunities and potential for greater investment, trade, growth and jobs is only now being tapped,” she said. Specifically, Clinton pointed to private-sector innovation as a key element of the bilateral relationship between the U.S. and Brazil, yet she also emphasized a role for government, which she said “can work closely with business leaders to create the conditions [for innovation to] take hold.” In particular, the secretary mentioned a double taxation treaty, a bilateral investment treaty and a future free-trade agreement.
Beyond the CNI speech, the secretary met yesterday morning with the new head of Petrobras, Maria das Gracas Foster and led the U.S. delegation for the third U.S.-Brazil Global Partnership Dialogue. The Global Partnership Dialogue builds upon previously-reached agreements in the areas of development and education cooperation and global political and economic issues.
Today, she and President Dilma Rousseff speak at the First Annual High-Level Meeting of the Open Government Partnership (OGP). The OGP, launched eight months ago by President Rousseff and President Barack Obama, includes 42 countries that have pledged to prevent corruption, promote transparency and devise ways to harness technology to empower citizens.