Politics, Business & Culture in the Americas

Prost, Brazil!



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Not a samba parade: Oktoberfest celebrations in Brazil. Photo: Samara Both and Lucimara Both

Grab a stein-full of caipirinha and stroll down to Ipanema beach in your lederhosen—it’s Germany-Brazil Year in Brazil. The yearlong festival, aimed at deepening German-Brazilian relations, kicked off in May with the opening of the German-Brazilian Economic Forum in São Paulo.

“Brazil is one of the most successful new centers of power in the world,” says Guido Westerwelle, Germany’s foreign minister. “We want to intensify cooperation with Brazil, not only economically but also culturally.”

It’s no surprise that Brazil, the sixth-largest economy in the world, has caught the attention of Europe’s financial powerhouse. Brazil is Germany’s most important trading partner in Latin America, accounting for $14.2 billion in imports in 2012. With some 1,600 German companies in Brazil providing 250,000 jobs and 17 percent of industrial GDP, it’s an economic relationship that clearly has mutual benefits.

But it’s not all about the money. Under the motto “Where Ideas Connect,” Germany is organizing some 400 events around Brazil in the fields of culture, sports, energy, science, and technology designed to foster dialogue.

Cultural highlights of the festival include KulturTour, a cultural roadshow that will bring live performances, a media library, storytellers, and films to public spaces in 17 cities. And at the São Paulo Biennale in February 2014, the Brazil-Germany Chamber of Commerce will present Ecogerma—Future Visions, an exhibition of innovations for sustainable urban living that will tour the country.

With the run-up to the 2014 FIFA World Cup, there is no better way to celebrate shared bonds than the favorite sport of both Germans and Brazilians: soccer. The exhibition Os Brasileiros na Bundesliga (Brazilians in the German National League) summarizes the rich history of German-Brazilian futebol relations and highlights some of the Brazilian soccer legends who have played in German clubs.

For a full program of events, visit: www.alemanha-brasil.org.

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