GRM 2010 GRM 2011

Abstract Details

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Title of Paper:
The role of the business sector in trade relations between Brazil and the Gulf countries
Paper Proposal Text :
Analyses about the role of non-state actors in the current South-South rapprochement are few, and tend to conclude to a lack of their participation in the process. They consider that it represents an obstacle for the deepening of the relations (Alden, Vieira 2005; Brun 2012).
However, regarding the Brazilian case, we also observe that non-state actors are not systematically in favor of South-South relations, and may pledge for prudence and protection. The most famous example is illustrated by the increasing trade with China and its competitive effects on several sectors of the Brazilian industries. It is not the only one.

In the wake of the first ASPA Summit, a trans-regional forum that gathers South American countries and the members of the Arab League, the Common Market of the South, Mercosur - to which Brazil is a member -, and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) signed a project of trade liberalisation agreement in 2005. After a good start, negotiations appear to have come to a standstill.

The main objective of this paper is to get a better understanding of the role of the business sector in the context of dynamic political relations between Brazil and the Gulf countries.
Indeed, their presence is under-studied, and may help to explain why trade projects are not so easy to implement.

First, we will propose an overview of the main business actors (companies, associations) engaged in the rapprochement between Brazil and the Gulf region.
Is there any correspondence between those interested and those who are already present in the Gulf?
Then, we will focus on the process of negotiations of the Mercosur-GCC agreement on trade liberalisation, trying to point out which business actors are in favour, and also those who are more reluctant.
We will conclude by assessing the complex set of interests at stake in the evolution of exchanges between Brazil and the Gulf, underlining the non-automatic virtuous effect of the participation of non-state actors in the South-South dynamic.

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