Mr Brett Hackett, Australian Ambassador to Brazil


Uploaded by dfat on 16.10.2012

Transcript:
today in the next installment in our ambassador series we're joined by our first
ambassador from latin america
Brett Hackett from Brazil
Brett thanks for joining us today
it's good to be back Tom
Brett how would you characterize the current state of the bilateral
relationship with Brazil
historically the relationship between Australia and Brazil has been a good one
uh... it's been characterized by considerable corporation in multilateral
forums
we for example were founding members of the cairns group of international
agricultural free-traders
we've worked very closely in a number of disarmament fora
and indeed we've incorporated considerably in environmental issues
uh... we're in lock-step for example in our efforts to protect
whales uh... we've mega diverse countries
uh... and have an interest in protecting global biodiversity and increasingly our
views converge on climate change
it's fair to say i think though that
uh... relationship in a multilateral sense has outstripped our bilateral
engagement
in part that's a function simply of geography
we've always perceived Brazil is literally being half a world away
in recent years however i think both sides have realized that there is
considerable potential to expand on bilateral cooperation
the first clear sign of that was in our agreement on an enhanced partnership
memorandum of understanding in two thousand and ten
that set
a few benchmark i think for both sides to take the relationship forward
and certainly
subsequent to that agreement
we saw an intensification of ministerial contact
both in the margins of international meetings but then in the highly
successful visit of Dr Emerson into brazil in April of this year and
culminating in the Prime Minister's visit
to to Brazil in June
which incidentally was the first visit by a sitting Australian Prime Minister
to Brazil
one of the landmark uh... outcomes of that could of that visit was an
agreement on a the strategic partnership
which now will set a path for engagement in the years to come
and uh... what benefits will a strategic partnership deliver
well I'd like to say at the outset that it's not
just to see a theoretical document
uh... of course it's based on our shared traditions of democracy and our shared
values
and our shared commitment to to the global
a global well-being
but it also sets out the number of very practical steps that that we can take
uh... to to to to avail ourselves if you like of our
individual expertise and experience in our respective regions
for example the agreement
commits both sides
to working to expand bilateral trade and investment
it commits both sides
to identifying opportunities
to partner in development
uh... developments are cooperation in third world countries
it commits both sides
to enhanced
and diversified
and strategic dialogue
on a number of issues which are of course of pressing concern
we are for example both members of the G20 and the
strategic partnership
commits a commits both Brazil and Australia
to working hard to improve global economic governance
but just as importantly as the things that out most immediately apparent
the strategic partnership also serves to identify areas where we could and should
be doing better bilaterally
uh... my personal view is that education corporation is at the forefront of that
uh... there are roughly
fifteen thousand Brazilian students who are currently studying in Australia
uh... about we can do much better than that
uh... there's an absolute thirst on the part of Brazilian students
for global
educational qualifications and indeed the Brazilian economy
uh... and has another of skill shortages where we uh... very well placed
to to to take up the slack
uh... we
uh... very encouraged i think by by that level of interest that is currently
being shown by Australian educational institutions
not only in attracting an increased number of Brazilian students
but also in developing institutional links between the two countries
uh... that of course will serve to lay a very healthy platform for
future research and development collaboration
but also serving to
expand the knowledge base of both countries about each other
uh... importantly
uh... there is also an absolute interest on the part of Brazilian
uh... ah Brazilian institutions
to attract an increasing number
of Australian researchers uh... to to undertake
uh... research uh... and collaboration in Brazil itself
and some very encouraging signs that the Brazilian education sector in general
is opening itself up
very much to global influences and global engagement
on the face of it Australia and Brazil appear to be pretty similar both
big exporters of energy of agriculture
both big growing economies would you describe us as natural partners or natural
competitors
well it's true to say that many of the strengths of the Australian
economy and many of the strengths of the Brazilian economy
are are the same and
as a result
occasionally we'll find ourselves pitted in competition uh... in international
markets
but the fact that there is such commonality also gives us many shared interests
we have for example an interest in global economic governance as exporting
nations we have an interest in ensuring
that markets remain open
that uh... that the global economy remains healthy
uh... to enable our export industries to compete
there's also as a significant opportunity to promote research and
development
uh... and collaboration in areas uh... of mutual interest
uh... Brazilians often remarked to me that they think that there is enormous
potential
for Australia and Brazil to collaborate more closely
in biotechnology in agriculture
in medicine in general and tropical medicine
in particular
that provides us with an enormous opportunity to work together with Brazil
but also because of our shared interests there and and the the
building understanding of each other's economies uh... in in in our respective
countries
uh... enormous growth in in investment
uh... Australian mining companies were at the forefront of of
uh... our push into Brazil
uh... as they often are
uh... they bring uh... to the table enormous expertise in exploiting uh...
mineral deposits in
uh...
very diverse terrain
often in isolated areas
and doing so in a very sustainable way
uh... that they are
entry into the Brazilian market
was followed quite closely by our mining services and related services companies
that in recent years we've seen rapid diversification in the investment
and the investment world
for example Australian companies and now increasingly involved
in the Brazilian retail sector
uh...our Australian companies uh... even forging uh... niche
role for themselves in Brazilian manufacturing
ultimately
uh... the the
establishment and enhancement and rapid growth in those investment links
and the
increasing interconnectedness of our two economies
uh... will far out way
the the elements of competition that exist between us
So Brett Brazil has an exciting few years coming up with the world cup and the
olympics
what are the major challenges Brazil faces as it gets ready to host these major
events
i think if anybody ever needed any evidence that Brazil has emerged on the
world stage
one only has to look at the rather significant to agenda it has set for itself
over the next five years
arguably
the the first of these major events has already happened to the Rio+20
earth summit
which Brazil successfully hosted in June of two thousand and twelve
next year Brazil will host world youth day in Rio
uh... following that it will host the world cup across the country
in two thousand fourteen
there will be a number of major significant sporting events in two
thousand fifteen culminating in the Rio olympics in two thousand sixteen
there obviously opportunities for Australian individuals and companies
who have a demonstrated track record in the staging of major events
we are quite good at that and have a demonstrated track record in that
but i think that also
uh... this series of events
is really going to
attracts the attention of the Australian public
uh... we expect that
Australians uh... in increasing numbers will travel to Brazil over the next four
or five years
and that is
by any stretch of the imagination a great thing
but that said
uh... any successful visit overseas
uh... requires a little bit of planning on the part of Australians
uh... the smart travel website
uh... is an invaluable tool for any Australian who is looking to travel over
seas and contains a lot of great
general advice
but it also contains some some very specific advice
for Australians thinking of traveling to Brazil
uh... i would encourage any Australian
who is thinking of uh... participating as a spectator in any of these major
events
to to have a look at the smart travel website
certainly the embassy and the department of foreign affairs and trade
accords the highest priority to ensuring
that the information on that website
is of uh... is current
uh... and is of maximum use
and we will be updating uh... on a regular basis
uh... the the content of the the web site to ensure
they're Australian travelers
can undertake uh... travel to Brazil uh... very happily
and hopefully without incident
that's Brett and lets hope Australia is there for the two thousand fourteen
football world cup
well we've had a good night overnight haven't we yes ok Brett Hackett
thanks for joining us on our ambassador series
thanks very much Tom
and that was Brett Hackett Australia's ambassador to Brazil