Brazil to learn valuable lessons from SA

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Pretoria - Brazilian President Lula da Silva and his delegation that will arrive in South Africa for a four-day visit must establish tighter ties- so that they can learn all the requirements for staging FIFA's quadrennial showpiece in 2014.

Dr David Hornsby, who is a lecture at the Wits University's Centre for International Relations, says the Brazilian delegation should use the state visit to learn more about the 2010 legacy pillars.

"Brazil has everything to learn from South Africa ... we have done a fantastic job in hosting the tournament. They can use SA as a case study on how can they effectively organise a World Cup event," Hornsby told BuaNews.

Lula da Silva, who will lead seven ministers, will arrive in the country on Wednesday evening.

Hornsby said they must use this time to cement the already strong ties so that they can take lessons from the football legacy of better infrastructure- like stadiums, training grounds, broadcasting centres, roads, tourism and education.

If Brazil and South Africa can build a basis of world class infrastructure, Hornsby said they can create a central economy of football for the developing world.

Brazil will stage the 2014 World Cup- the second time the South American nation has hosted the tournament since 1950. The country is only the fifth to host the World Cup twice, after Mexico, Italy, France and Germany.

Besides the sporting front, SA and Brazil are two of the biggest economies in their regions and share a lot of similarities, among them an extreme gap between the rich and the poor as well as pursuing a common agenda on the international front.

They cooperate on multilateral flora in line with trilateral relations through the India, Brazil and SA (IBSA) alliance and the G20.

The two countries also see eye to eye on issues of the reform of the United Security Council and the Breetton Woods Institution.

The visit could be beneficial for both countries, said Hornsby adding that President Jacob Zuma must persuade Brazil to open up its market to SA products. This will in turn make South Africa a gateway to the continent for more Brazilian exports.

According to Hornsby this visit must also expand South-South interaction to strengthen the voice of the developing world and its capacity to address the needs of its people, and to demonstrate appreciation for the importance South Africa attached to its political, economic and cultural relationship.

President Jacob Zuma has in recent months been intensifying his drive to cement relations and attracting investors from the IBSA countries. He visited India in June where he wooed investors.

Hornsby believes if Zuma continues like this - a lot more can be achieved in the South-South cooperation. He says their partnership to address their own challenges can work better- because they are all developing worlds.

During the visit Lula da Silva and Zuma will to sign a declaration launching a South Africa-Brazil strategic partnership, as well as a memorandum of understanding on inter-governmental co-operation.

They will discuss bilateral relations, notably issues relating to the fourth meeting of the SA-Brazil Joint Commission held in May.

According to the Department of International Relations the two presidents were also expected to agree to strengthen economic relations and to commit to annual political consultations between their countries to ensure due bilateral interface in the post-Lula era.

Lula da Silva is to step down in January 2011 after two terms in office and this visit is seen as a farewell.

Already he has visited Equatorial Guinea, Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia- which according to Hornsby demonstrates Brazil's interest in Africa.

He said South Africa and Africa as a whole should take advantage of this considering that Brazil is South America's most influential country, an economic giant and one of the world's biggest democracies.

Already Brazil is South Africa's largest trading partner in South America. Total trade between the two countries was nearly $1.7-billion in 2009.