Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Saturday, Mar 16, 2002

Port Info

Group Sites

Industry & Economy - Foreign Trade

Brazilian province says Ciao! to Kerala

Vinson Kurian

An effort is under way to identify areas of cooperation between the sprightly province of Ceara, that nestles in the north-east fringes of Brazil, and a laid-back Kerala.


NEITHER the natural attributes of size and scales nor the acquired features of numbers and figures seem to have prompted either Brazil or India, the two largest and among the most populous developing nations, to count their blessings and leverage strengths and opportunities on their own to mutual benefit.

Trust the Brettonwood twins to help!

The World Bank, the better-known sibling in this part of the world, has apparently sized up the situation and seized the initiative to build bridges between the two countries of almost continental proportions.

In the first such move, a team of top ranking World Bank officials, led by Dr Vinod Thomas, Vice-President and in charge of Latin American affairs, is trying to identify areas of cooperation between the sprightly Brazilian province of Ceara and a laid-back and far-off Kerala.

Reaching out to Business Line from Ceara, Dr Thomas said the province nestles in the north-east fringes of Brazil and has a population one-fourth of Kerala, even while featuring similar characteristics and developmental needs.

"During my visit to the State in early March, the Governor, Dr Tasso Jereisatti, came to me and introduced four leading personalities from his State who had spent some time in Kerala in November last after having been invited there by the Governor and Chief Minister. We agreed that a workshop in Ceara could be the next step where a number of participants from Kerala would participate. My World Bank colleagues from the State of Ceara are equally excited at this prospect,'' Dr Thomas said.

In the words of Dr Mansses Claudins, the Vice-Chancellor of the State University of Ceara, he was impressed by the herbal medicines and ayurveda and the research taken up in these areas in Kerala.

Also in the team was Mr Joachim Celestino, CEO of a leading Ceara-based software company. "Bangalore is far too advanced and commercialised to be a useful partner for Ceara,'' he said. "I am convinced Kerala would be an ideal partner for us in information technology, given the impressive talent available.''

Dr Jair Filho, a research director in the State Government of Ceara, is convinced that both Ceara and Kerala could benefit greatly from a partnership, in a manner that adds more value than could relationship with some of the more advanced countries be expected to. "This is a genuine feeling shared by many here in Brazil,'' Dr Thomas says.

There is no doubt Kerala is way ahead of Ceara in the area of social progress. Ceara has a higher average income but the incidence of poverty is perhaps twice that of Kerala. School enrollment and life expectancy are higher in Kerala, infant mortality much less.

But these are also areas in which Ceara is marching forward. With great openness to the rest of the world and with strong support for reforms, Ceara is making rapid strides on all fronts.

Meanwhile, a weary Kerala is stuck in deep slumber, waking up only to periodic nightmares that throw light on the inevitable reality - that others have left it far behind, Dr Thomas said.

Send this article to Friends by E-Mail

Stories in this Section
I-T rapped for slips in cement co assessments

$100-m IBRD aid for projects to push economic reforms
Each panchayat in TN to have a big industry: CM
Post-reforms, job growth sharply down, says study
Kerala Govt liabilities on the rise
NGOs take up wasteland regeneration
Bengal tanners ready pollution control plan
Brazilian province says Ciao! to Kerala
Govt reviews crude oil price rise
OIDB funding for geochemical project
KPCL begins work on Almatti project
REC, IDBI to fund small power projects
Govt move on SSI subsidy dues
Tyre output
Water crisis grips Karnataka districts
CII for community-based water conservation effort
Bangalore pubs go to sleep early
Primary education in AP to be made compulsory, free
RASET teams up with US varsity
Will Budget cement construction?
Heritage buildings vanish as Bangalore goes hi-tech
`Realty can contribute 2% of GDP growth'
W. Australia eyeing mining prospects
IDBI plans consortium for film financing
`Banks not keen on lending for films'
Fears over Domestic Violence Bill allayed
Options to sweeten AI, IA sell-off
Sell-off, dampener for Tide Water Oil?
Transfer of tribal land -- AG's opinion sought on Sponge Iron divestment
Corporates split over FDI in retail trade
`HR is the key to success'
Hyderabad Engagements
Kochi/Thiruvananthapuram Engagements
Chennai Engagements
Entertainment sector growth pegged lower
Tax base wider; but little change in mop-up: CAG
Revised import norms for inputs irk soap sector
Birds of passage

The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | The Sportstar | Frontline | Home |

Copyright 2002, The Hindu Business Line. Republication or redissemination of the contents of this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of The Hindu Business Line