Building capacity to help Africa trade better

Shall we samba? – an update

Working Papers

Shall we samba? – an update

Shall we samba? – an update

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The world’s economic and trading environments have changed since the 2010 publication of tralac’s South Africa’s way ahead: Shall we samba? In this update to that publication, we examine how the South American Mercosur economies of Brazil in particular have fared from these changes, with again a special focus on agriculture and Brazil’s trading relationship with South Africa. Trade data is updated to December 2011 where possible, but with a literally last minute inclusion of some comments on Brazil’s 2012 trade.

As Brazil is a key agricultural trading partner in this BRIC relationship, the focus of this Samba update will place Brazil against a BRIC background and to complement this we will reference some of the papers intended for a new BRIC book to be published in cooperation with the National Agricultural Marketing Council (NAMC).

In general, we find that while the scars of the bleak year of the 2009 global downturn are apparent, Mercosur countries have recovered better than South Africa. Given the direct definitional economic relationships between trade performance and Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the emphasis in this Update is on trade as this is crucial in determining economic wellbeing.

We cannot, of course, directly predict the future, but recent past performances give valuable clues as to how countries may weather the storm clouds that have not fully dissipated since 2009 and indeed are still growing in Europe and other places.


Readers are encouraged to quote and reproduce this material for educational, non-profit purposes, provided the source is acknowledged. All views and opinions expressed remain solely those of the authors and do not purport to reflect the views of tralac.

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Shall we samba? – an update - Author(s): Ron Sandrey

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