Robert Zoellick and President Dilma Rousseff to Broaden Strategic Partnership
Washington, May 27, 2011 – World Bank Group President Robert B. Zoellick will visit Brazil from May 31 to June 3 to broaden the Bank’s strategic partnership with Brazil in the context of the country’s growing role in global issues and international development.
Zoellick is scheduled to meet with President Dilma Rousseff, Finance Minister Guido Mantega and Governors of several states. This will be the first official meeting between the Bank's leader and President Rousseff, who took office on January 1, 2011.
“Brazil has already identified many of the challenges of providing opportunity and protecting its most vulnerable people and has an impressive track record of results," said Zoellick. "Yet we know Brazil has many poor people who need assistance with education, health and job opportunities. At the same time Brazil can share its development experience with the world. We look forward to deepening our partnership and working together to share Brazil's learning with others."
In the last decade, Brazil has raised more than 20 million people from poverty and laid strong economic foundations for growth and crisis resilience. The World Bank has been a partner in these efforts and Brazil is one of the top World Bank Group clients.
Recently, Brazil and the Bank reached an agreement for the prepayment of US$ 3.1 billion of the country’s debt. This effort of the Federal Government will allow the continued support of the World Bank for the development programs of the states, as the country approaches the Bank’s single borrower limit of US$ 16.5 billion.
“We have a strong partnership with Brazil, as this latest agreement clearly demonstrates,” Zoellick said. “It reflects Brazil’s desire that the Bank continues to help address key development challenges, now working with a number of Brazil's state governments that are strengthening capacity to be at the forefront of development."
Zoellick will visit Brasília, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Recife.
In São Paulo he will address the C40 Large Cities Climate Summit, together with former US President Bill Clinton and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. He will also meet State Governor Geraldo Alckmin.
During his visit, Zoellick will discuss with Brazilian authorities how the Bank can support Brazil’s flagship program to eradicate extreme poverty, to be launched in the near future.
Brazil’s growing role internationally will also be a focus of the visit. Brazil is a source of innovation and knowledge on a range of development challenges, and is increasingly taking an active role in international development, especially through South-South knowledge exchanges with Africa and Latin America and freely sharing its technology in areas such as tropical agriculture, sustainable biofuels, HIV-Aids and poverty reduction.
The country is a major donor and supporter to Haiti reconstruction, as well as a donor to the International Development Association, the World Bank’s fund for the world's 79 poorest countries.
In Rio de Janeiro, Zoellick will visit the disaster area affected by the January floods and meet Governor Sérgio Cabral and Mayor Eduardo Paes. During his last stop of the trip, in the Northeastern city of Recife, Zoellick will meet with seven governors to discuss the Bank’s assistance for the region, Brazil’s poorest and most vulnerable to natural disasters.
Brazil is one of the World Bank Group’s biggest client countries. The Group’s International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) has outstanding loans of US$ 13.3 billion. IFC, the Group’s private sector arm, has a committed portfolio of loans and equity of US$ 2.6 billion while the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency, the political risk arm, has exposure of US$ 192.5 million.