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When the Brazilian fruit açaí berry was shown on Oprah just a year or so ago, its popularity soared to unheard of dimensions. Virtually unknown outside the Amazon two decades ago, and until 2000 not exported from Brazil — its major producer — açaí (pronounced ah-sigh-EE) is now an international celebrity, riding the wave of the antioxidant craze and rain-forest chic. It is now famous for its amazing healing and dietary properties. The Acai palm tree is abundant in the Amazonian rain forests. These dark berries are absolutely packed with antioxidants as well as high levels of essential fatty acids. Amazingly they also contains elements which aid cardio-vascular and digestive health. For families who live in the North state of Pará, along the winding, interlaced rivers at the hub of açaí production, the fruit has long been a vital part of their diet, a cheap way to fill up and a taste of home.

Brasília –   The  Ministry of Extenal Relations of Brazil designated yesterday Mr. Pedro Augusto Leite Costa, a Brazilian entrepreneur of Seattle, Washington, the Honorary Consul of Brazil. Mr. Costa, 53 years old, will work under the jurisdiction of the Brazilian San Francisco’s Consulate and will be responsible for the Brazilian affairs in the state of Washington.

Mr. Costa is  based in Seattle, in the center of a dynamic, diverse and vibrant region, that is more tied to the international economy than any other in the United States. It´s seen as a gateway for today-and tomorrow’s- global economy. Its depth in key industry clusters, such as aerospace, biotechnology and life sciences, information technology, clean technology, and logistics and international trade. Seattle means lots of business opportunities both for Americans and Brazilians entrepreneurs.

Founder and CEO of The Information Company, one of the leading PR companies in São Paulo, Brazil, and Seattle, USA, he comes from a traditional business family in Belo Horizonte, capital of the state of Minas Gerais, in the Southeast of the country. There, he graduated in Communications from the Universidade Federal – UFMG – and became a journalist devoted to economic issues.

His talent, wit and intellect took him to the much more sophisticated market of São Paulo, where he worked for several of Brazil´s most important newspapers, radio stations and magazines. He also spent a year in London, where he had the opportunity to work for the BBC as a stringer and wrote many articles, mainly on the United Kingdom and Europe, for the Brazilian media.

Before getting back to Brazil, Mr. Costa travelled widely, especially around Europe. Between 2000 and 2004, he was head of PR for 150 exhibitions around the globe, taking care of events like Brazil – 500 Years – The Rediscovering Exhibition, Xi’an Warriors, Picasso etc. In the United States, he led two important business missions between the two countries, bringing together hundreds of business, politicians and diplomatas from both countries.

Mr. Costa became one of the foremost PR specialists in business communication, especially in the Brazilian economic and financial systems. Aware that relations between Brazil and United States were bound to become more meaningful for both countries, he idealized an enterprise to bring them commercially together. This is how The Information Company was born.

With offices in both countries, TIC has a history of success with business developments, public relations and partnerships in Brazil and the United States. It develops strategic actions to establish commercial relations bilaterally in order to promote business opportunities for companies and organizations. And there is no better time to do business in Brazil than now, when the country is booming, full of unique opportunities in so many sectors.

Last year, Mr. Costa changed the profile of his company towards the Web 2.0, transforming the business into an information aggregator in order to provide meaningful information and relevant stories to media, bloggers, analysts and influencers.

Mr. Costa works as a press and business adviser in Brazil and the United States, China, Japan, Europe and South America extensively for Brazilian banks, insurance companies, law firms, assets management and IT organizations. More recently, he has been working as a documenter in the United States, making series for the Brazilian TV.

Married with two young daughters, he lives in Seattle and Sao Paulo.

This is an invitation for you to explore a great opportunity to equip
your students to differentiate from others by combining their degree
with an international education experience. Students of many fields of
knowledge will significantly enhance their college experience both
academically and culturally by participating in the Study Abroad program in Brazil.

The program is well known as CIB – Cultural Immersion in Brazil
organized by COPEC â?” Council of Researches in Education and Sciences located in BRAZIL. COPEC and its CIB team has dedicated the last ten years offering education experiences to many colleges groups from many different countries.

Recognized by its value and richness this program affords students the
opportunity to engage in a unique, credit-worthy learning experience and to develop as global citizens. The program will provide students with a chance to explore history, social and political aspects as well as
meeting people of another land and, in the process, gain a competitive
edge in the employment marketplace. The students will learn about
themselves and the global world, have opportunities to meet and network with new people, and create memories that will last a lifetime.

No matter the field of expertise many graduate schools and potential
employers seek candidates with international experience because they
believe such students have the skills to succeed in a global world.

If you get interested in provide your students a study abroad do not
hesitate to contact us. We can provide you with all the information
about dates, costs, certificates and etc.

Prof. Dr. Melany Ciampi
Vice President of COPEC
Council of Researches in Education and Sciences
Phone: +55-13-3227.1898
Fax: +55-13-3227.1998

Brazil’s Sugar Rush

Photo: Reuters

by Peter Day – BBC World Service

Many people have been puzzled by “B” in BRICs; they have wondered why Brazil was included with Russia, India and China in the BRICs club of nations which the investment bank Goldman Sachs thinks will thrust their way to the global economic top table over the next few decades.
After all Brazil has been an up and coming country for the past 100 years and yet something always seems to stop it from actually getting to the top.

As I explained in a recent Global Business there are signs that this time the predictions may come true; there’s certainly an extraordinary spirit of optimism abroad in Brazil at the moment.
One of the things that may have happened is that decades of Brazilian economic isolationism have actually paid off.

For years importing foreign goods was regulated and taxed, to the extent that Brazil built up a manufacturing industries to supply its own (considerable) home market because bringing things inform abroad was impossible … even for the huge international automobile companies, for example.

And that’s one of the reason why Brazil is now well ahead in the alternative energy stakes. Figures from BP show that last year one third of Brazil’s energy was produced renewably… hydropower, wind power and ethanol largely produced from sugar cane.


This is a remarkable record when you compare Brazil with the other developed countries included in the club of 30 nations in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. Totalled up, OECD energy production is still only five percent renewable … 95percent non renewable. If this is a race to sustainability, Brazil is very much in the lead.

In fact sugar cane has been used to create alcohol for fuel in Brazil for some 90 years. But the use of ethanol took off in the 1970’s when the Arab oil producers in OPEC flexed their muscles and the world oil price jumped.

Brazil had its own homegrown fuel. The two 1970’s oil shocks encouraged Brazilian sugar growers to expand their acreage, refiners to build ethanol plants and those domesticated car manufacturers to producer engines which could burn both alcohol and gasoline.

When I first went to Brazil 20 years ago the distinctive smell of ethanol exhaust hung around the streets, but that now seems to have been overcome. So (I’m told) has the tendency for alcohol to induce rust in auto engines, a problem in the past.

Brazil’s car makers seem to have mastered the art of making flex fuel cars that can adapt to what they are being filled up with, and they are getting a lot of experience of a technology that may have global potential eventually.

Ethanol is obviously attractive from the diversity point of view, but some big questions remain. In a hungry world is it right to use food for fuel, or food growing land for fuel?


What is the carbon footprint of ethanol production when you factor in things such as fertiliser, and transportation? There are plans for ethanol pipelines across the country from the main production areas in the state of Sao Paulo, but most ethanol at the moment is moved in trucks which still guzzle carbon fuel.

And (though this is comprehensively denied by Brazilian agriculturalists I’ve met) conservation campaigners in other parts of the world have big fears that the remaining Amazon forest is being devoured by demand for new land for crops such as sugar cane. Renewables are not necessarily a completely benign idea.

Meanwhile this year the Brazil energy picture has got very complicated indeed. Exploration companies have just discovered absolutely huge new reserves of oil in the Atlantic off the Brazilian coast.

And Brazil’s green campaigners are fearful that the effort of exploiting the new tricky-to-extract oil deposits will divert resources and attention from renewables such as ethanol, and then tempt governments into courting popularity with subsidised fossil fuel from the giant new oilfields.

This could be the familiar “oil curse” with a renewable twist to it. Just thinking about these things takes, well, a lot of energy.

By ALEXEI BARRIONUEVO, from The New York Times

BRASÍLIA — Brazil’s ambitions to be a more important player on the global diplomatic stage are crashing headlong into the efforts of the United States and other Western powers to rein in Iran’s nuclear arms program.

President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva said Monday that the world needed to engage, not isolate, Iran, and he defended Iran’s right to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, so long as there was “clear respect for international agreements.”

Mr. da Silva made his comments as he hosted President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran in the first visit to Brazil by an Iranian leader since Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi visited in 1965.

 The visit is part of a larger push by Mr. da Silva to wade into the seemingly intractable world of Middle East politics, and follows visits in the last two weeks by Israel’s president, Shimon Peres, and Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority.

But the visit is drawing criticism from lawmakers and former diplomats here and in the United States, who say it could undercut Western efforts to press Iran on its nuclear program, and consequently chill Brazil’s relations with the United States and damage its growing reputation as a global power.

Brazilian officials say the goal of the visit is to strengthen commercial ties between the two countries and help bring peace to the Middle East.

“This is part of Brazil projecting its role and strength as a global player,” said Michael Shifter, vice president of the Inter-American Dialogue, a policy research group in Washington. “And part of this has to do with Brazil sending a message to Washington that it will deal whomever it wants to deal with.”

And beyond the nuclear standoff, critics in Brazil and the United States say Mr. da Silva’s reception legitimizes Mr. Ahmadinejad just five months after what most of the world sees as his fraudulent re-election, followed by a brutal crackdown on dissent.

“This state visit is a gross error, a terrible mistake,” said Representative Eliot L. Engel, Democrat of New York, chairman of the House Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere. “He is illegitimate with his own people, and Brazil is now going to give him the air of legitimacy at a time when the world is trying to figure out how to prevent Iran from having nuclear weapons. It makes no sense to me, and it tarnishes the image of Brazil, quite frankly.”

Relations between the United States and Brazil were already tense after Mr. da Silva’s government criticized the United States over its handling of the crisis in Honduras and increasing its military presence in Colombia.

But Mr. da Silva’s overture to Iran is consistent with President Obama’s policy of engagement, and the Obama administration says it is optimistic that the meeting will not damage and at best could reinforce the efforts already under way by Washington and European powers to deal with Iran.

“We would hope that all our friends and allies would understand that this is really a critical moment for Iran itself,” Ian C. Kelly, a State Department spokesman, said Thursday. “We would hope that Brazil would play a constructive role in trying to get Iran to do the right thing and fulfill its international obligations.”

Celso Amorim, Brazil’s foreign minister, said Mr. da Silva was encouraged by Western leaders, including President Obama, to seek a “direct and open dialogue” with Iran, in particular on the nuclear issue.

“It was said and reiterated that it was in the interest of Western nations that Brazil has a good interface with Iran,” Mr. Amorim said in an interview.

Brazilian officials said Mr. da Silva would try to sell Iran on the benefits of a Brazilian-style nuclear program, which is constitutionally limited to civilian use.

But Mr. Amorim made clear that Brazil did not see its role as carrying water for the proposed agreement for Iran to export most of its enriched uranium for processing into nuclear fuel.

“We are not here to convince Iran to accept some proposal,” he said. “Brazil is interested in peace.”

Since his election in 2002, Mr. da Silva has sought to cement Brazil’s dominance as Latin America’s economic and diplomatic leader, using its economic might to raise Brazil’s foreign-policy profile.

His government has also lobbied for a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council and has become a respected voice in world climate change discussions. In recent months, he has added Middle Eastern diplomacy to his portfolio.

Brazil is no stranger to the region. Its national oil company, Petrobras, is helping Iran develop its oil fields and the two countries did about $2 billion in trade in 2007, mostly in Brazilian exports of food to Iran, Mr. Amorim said.

Brazil joined United Nations peacekeeping missions in Egypt after the 1956 Suez Crisis and has been involved in the Middle East ever since, said David Fleischer, a political science professor at the University of Brasília.

“Brazil is just starting to realize the weight it has,” Mr. Amorim said. “It wasn’t Brazil that went looking for the Middle East, it was the Middle East that went looking for Brazil.”

Brazilian officials say the holy grail of Mr. da Silva’s Middle Eastern initiative is to improve relations between Israel and the Palestinians, and they see Iran as a key player in resolving the conflict.

Success in this endeavor “would really put Brazil on the map and might put Lula in line for the Nobel Prize,” Mr. Fleischer said.

But it would have been difficult to have chosen a more formidable or polarizing quest. Many critics do not see Mr. Ahmadinejad — who has denied the Holocaust, called for Israel to be wiped off the map and backs anti-Israel militias — as a constructive force in the Middle East.

More than 1,500 people protested his visit this month in São Paulo, home to Brazil’s largest Jewish community, and a smaller protest took place on Sunday in Rio de Janeiro. Another is planned for Brasília on Monday.

It is not only the Israeli side that is leery of Mr. Ahmadinejad. Mr. Abbas, the Palestinian leader, said after meeting Mr. da Silva in Brazil on Friday that he had asked him to urge Iran to end its support for Hamas, the radical Islamist movement that controls Gaza.

But both Mr. Abbas and Mr. Peres urged Mr. da Silva to join the Middle East peace process. “Brazil, as an important country, and President Lula, as a respected leader, can play an important role,” Mr. Abbas told the newspaper Folha de São Paulo.

Some political analysts and American officials say that in his effort to burnish his credentials as a statesman, Mr. da Silva is marching to his own drummer rather than cooperating with allies to achieve larger geopolitical goals.

“As Brazil becomes more relevant on climate change and in world economic forums it is not going to be able to so openly criticize or be antagonistic with other major powers without paying a political price for it,” said Christopher Garman, an analyst with Eurasia Group, a political risk consultancy in New York. “Brazilian policy makers will no longer be able to have their cake and eat it too.”

But a diplomatic success would go a long way toward muting the criticism.

“Brazil should expect criticism for hosting Ahmadinejad to be sure,” said Julia E. Sweig, a Latin America expert at the Council on Foreign Relations. “But if it can play a moderating role — and clearly Washington is hoping as much — on the nuclear issue, it can surely deal with the critics.”

Mery Galanternick contributed reporting from Rio de Janeiro.


As part of its ongoing mission to advance understanding of Brazil and foster partnerships with Brazilian institutions, the Center for Brazilian Studies of the Jackson School hosted a delegation of Brazilian officials to the Seattle and Tacoma campuses. The delegation included two Federal University Presidents and the President and the Director of International Cooperation of CAPES, a Brazilian government funding organization for research and higher education.

Those from the UW community who participated in the presentations, meetings and discussions provided a broad panorama of the high level of academic development taking place at the University of Washington. The delegation was very impressed and expressed enthusiasm in supporting partnerships with the University and with individual academic units.

In general terms, the University of Washington and Brazilian officials agreed to explore possibilities for a full-time Portuguese professor at the University of Washington and the development of full reciprocity agreements which would include the waving of tuition for Brazilian students at UW who are part of a partnership agreement. The CAPES and UW officials will be working through the Center for Brazilian Studies to develop these proposals.
The Brazilian delegation included:
Prof. Jorge de Almeida Guimarães – President of CAPES.
Prof. Sandoval Carneiro – Director of International Cooperation of CAPES
Prof. Amaro Lins – President of the Federal University of Pernambuco

Prof. Alvaro Prata – President of the Federal University of Santa Catarina

On their visit to the Seattle Campus, they talked with directors, professors and researchers from the Jackson School, the Information School, the Engineering School, Applied Mathematics, the School of Forestry, the College of the Environment, and the School of Medicine. They also met with President Mark Emmert and Provost for Global Affairs, Stephen Hanson, to discuss ways of facilitating exchange between the University of Washington and Brazilian institutions. As part of the program, a short question and answer period was held for professors and students as well as an informal gathering in the Faculty lounge at the end of the afternoon.

On their visit to the Tacoma campus, they met directors, professors and staff from the Institute of Technology and the Environmental Studies program. A meeting was held with Chancellor Pat Spakes followed by an informal gathering with interested professors and staff. The delegation also visited the INTEL company in DuPont as part of their mission to become acquainted with opportunities in the region.

The Center for Brazilian studies will be following up on the proposals discussed during the visit and supporting professors and researchers as they develop partnerships with Brazilian institutions.

This visit is part of an ongoing mission of the Center for Brazilian Studies to develop exchange between the University of Washington and Brazilian Institutions. Other events already hosted by the Center for Brazilian Studies include the visit of FIESP (Foundation of Industries of the State of Sao Paulo) in 2007; a meeting with the Brazilian General Consulate in 2009; and a conference with the Attorney General’s Office in Sao Paulo in 2009.

San Francisco, May 26thThe Consul General of Brazil in San Francisco, Mauricio Cortes, arrives in Seattle and Olympia next June 1st to visit the Governor Christine Gregoire and the Lieutenant-Governor Brad Owen.

Cortes will be delivering a speech to MBA students from Foster School of Business, at the University of Washington, where he will also meet Jonathan Warren, Chair of Latin American Studies and Associate Professor of International Studies at the UW. Professor Warren is in charge of the Center for Brazilian Studies at Jackson International School.

On June 1st, the Consul General will gather with the business community, an initiative of the Trade Development of Greater Seattle, and will attend a special dinner with the Brazilian community at the Kitanda restaurant in Redmond.

Mr. Cortes has jurisdiction over Northern California and the States of Oregon, Washington and Alaska. In the context of growing interest for trade development between Brazil and Northwestern economies in the US, he will also visit companies such as Costco, Boeing and Starbucks. 

The purpose of this visit is to strengthen trade, political and cultural bonds particularly with the Washington State, following two major business missions held in 2006 and 2007: the Federação das Indústrias do Estado de São Paulo (FIESP), largest business association in Brazil, visited Seattle, reciprocating a mission of the Washington Council of International Trade to São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Curitiba.

In Seattle, Mr. Cortes will announce the opening of the Trade Promotion Sector (SECOM) at the Consulate General of Brazil in San Francisco, as part of the steps being taken to improve business relations between Brazil and the West Coast.  The head of the new SECOM, Deputy Consul General Evaldo Freire, will accompany Mr. Cortes on this trip.

About The Center for Brazilian Studies at University of Washington

The Center for Brazilian Studies at the University of Washington is dedicated to advance understanding of Brazil within the University and serve as a resource center for the broader community, strengthening the Brazilian community in Pacific Northwest, buttressing ties between local and Brazilian companies and making the region of United States more visible to Brazil. We aim to bring together all organizations and individuals interested in Brazil, and have the junction of these interests embodied in the Center.

About Brazil

Brazil is the world’s tenth largest economy at market exchange rates and the ninth largest in purchasing power. Economic reforms have given the country new international projection. It is undoubted that Brazil has suffered the effects of the world crisis but it is equally true there is consensus that it will be one of the least affected countries. The conclusions of the research have been summarized under the cover story of a recent issue of “Veja” , named “Ten Reasons for Optimism”.

This is the blog of the Center For Brazilian Studies at the University of Washington. Here we will discuss and inform subjects relevant to the  economic, political and cultural importance of Brazil for the Pacific Northwest.