Information
  • Lead-organizer: Brazil
  • 09:00 - 10:30
  • Date: 20 Jun 2012
  • Room: T-7

Public Investment: challenges and opportunities of sustainable development

Organizing partners

Organizer: Brazilian Ministry of Planning, Budget and Management,
Participants: Argentinean Ministry of Planning and Public Investment,
BNDES Brazilian Development Bank,
ABDIB Brazilian Infrastructure Industry Association,
ECLAC - Economic Commission for Latin America

Introduction

In recent years, Brazil has "relearned to think the future", but our pattern of development is still in development itself. In comparison to the 1980s, there have certainly been important changes. The first one is the role of income distribution as an essential element "distribute to grow". Social inclusion is a core issue for our development. The second point is environmental sustainability and the struggle to overcome the false antagonism between ?development? and ?environment?. These changes place Brazil as an internationally recognized reference for sustainable development strategy. However, some challenges still remain:

- Reduced interested of entrepreneurs on investment and technical progress;

- Structural, economic and social disparities, which lead to maldistribution of income and to poverty;

- A pattern of international insertion with excessive specialization in natural resources and insufficient export diversity;

- A Social Welfare State still under construction.

Detailed programme

Rio+20 is a conference to discuss new models of development to be chosen by each country according to their economic, social and environmental realities.

In recent years, Brazil has "relearned to think the future", but our pattern of development is still in development itself. In particular, we have been consolidating how to seize opportunities and defining how to face challenges.

Regarding the pattern of development that lasted until the 1980s, there have certainly been important changes. The first is undoubtedly the role of income distribution as an essential element "distribute to grow". Social inclusion is no longer for a later time, it is now one of the basis of our development pattern.

The second point is environmental sustainability. Preoccupation with this theme is a reality in Brazil, but it is still necessary to remove the antagonism between development and environment that persists in some views.

These two changes, among others, place Brazil as an example of a sustainable development strategy that is already recognized internationally. However, some characteristics pointed out by Prebisch, Furtado and their followers still remain:

Little devotion of entrepreneurs to investment and technical progress;
Structural, productive and social heterogeneity, and, consequently, persistence of poverty and maldistribution of income;
A pattern of international insertion with excessive specialization in natural resources and insufficient export diversity;
A Social Welfare State still under construction, though more developed in Brazil than in other Latin American countries.


4. Please include thematic focus, speakers and potential contribution to the outcome of UNCSD/Rio+20 (Max 800 words):

Roundtable: Infrastructure as a Pillar of a New Pattern of a Development?
focusing the role of infrastructure as a mean to increase social well being as well as economic development.

Speakers:
Miriam Belchior
Minister for Planning, Budget and Administration of Brazil

Ana María Pastor Julián
Minister for Public Works of Spain

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
Finance Minister of Nigeria

Fu Ying
Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of Chine

Alicia Bárcena
Executive Secretary Of Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC)

Potential Contribution:
Infrastructure as a basis for the new pattern of development ? Program of Growth Acceleration (PAC) as an essential component

In Brazil, the ability to think the future has been growing stronger with investments in infrastructure. These investments mobilize resources and create jobs and externalities for the private sector and the economy in general, being the basis for competitiveness gains. However, the power of this engine depends on the development that is trigged around it, such as the impacts on the production, social (e.g. urbanization, nurseries, schools, hospitals) and environmental (e.g. sustainable cities, housing, energy) spheres. Increasingly, cutting-edge technologies are critical for infrastructure solutions that are environmentally sustainable and that save natural resources.

In Brazil, investment in infrastructure joins other engines of development, such as the social protection and promotion system, and the strong demand for our abundant natural resources. These factors combined stimulate the domestic market, which is even more relevant in these recent years of international uncertainties.

Only a handful of countries have these engines available simultaneously. The notion of engines and their "boosters" is a formula that can help organize the Brazilian debate about a new pattern of development, which needs to gain long-term traction.

Brazil is not isolated in the world and does not intend to be an autonomous autarchy. In recent years, the international sphere is undergoing profound social and economic transformations. A "New International Division of Labour" is under way, alongside major geopolitical changes. The unipolar world no longer seems to be a reality, and there are changes in the integration of countries to the world system.

In this sense, the consolidation of a pattern of development that strengthens the role that various countries, especially Brazil, will play in this new setting becomes appropriate.

We therefore propose a debate about the new Brazilian pattern of development that includes investments in infrastructure as one of the pillars of the model.

Within this debate, some points should be addressed:

1. The role of government in planning and ensuring sustainable development regarding investments in infrastructure, in high-tech industries, and in innovation in domestic businesses.
2. The role of infrastructure for the country to consolidate a development pattern that ensures a stronger international insertion.
3. The role of technological innovation in enabling environmentally responsible infrastructure investments
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