The EU-Brazil Business Summit, organized by BusinessEurope and sponsored by Telefónica, was the occasion for business leaders from both sides of the Atlantic to exchange views and discuss challenges for the strategic partnership between the EU and Brazil.
When listening to the representatives of the Brazilian companies, the feelings that came to my mind were very positive; they brought freshness, hope, innovative ideas and the sincere believe that the future will bring opportunities. They represented a positive spirit that explains why Brazil is today a booming market and shows very good growth rates. In that sense, I am proud to say that Telefónica was on the Brazilian side of the table:
In his speech, Chairman Alierta spoke about the commitment of Telefónica to the country, the plans to invest to expand fixed and mobile networks and the forward-looking efforts done through projects like Wayra and Amerigo to foster entrepreneurship and innovation in Latinamerica. He also mentioned the competence and the advancement of the regulatory environment in Brazil and the institutional stability that are facilitating business success.
Unfortunatley this spirit and hopes are far away from today´s reality in Europe, which is dominated by sluggish growth and is in the headlines for public debt and financial challenges. In my view it would be good for Europe to show some more upbeat and positive “Brazilian” attitude. Instead of European politics discussing only the economic downturn and financial stability, there should be a vision how to go forward in medium to long term and create growth and innovation. This will only be possible with increased competitiveness, trade and investments in future technologies and markets. And the Brazilians, who are ready for action and are showing an impressive growth already, are a reliable partner. However, if this EU-Brazilian relationship ought to be a strategic pillar for the future wealth of both, the business community has to be even more active and engaged. That is why the association EUBrasil has developed a set of recommendations to reinforce this partnership, which can be found at the core of the Joint Business Declaration.
The EU-Brazil Summit was a good start for a strategic partnership. However, much more needs to follow. And I believe it would not be the worst if the EU would start to dance a bit more Samba instead of Waltz !