After the end of the Second World War and the fall of the Soviet Union, disputes for zones of influence around the planet began to be waged beyond the military scope and became much more subtle, intertwined by the development of the International Liberal Order and capitalism. Geo-economy first arose in this scenario. It is the study of the political aspects of the economy and usage of natural resources. It can also be understood as the use of economic instruments by Governments to achieve political goals.
The Liberal Capitalist order transformed our country, Brazil. Little more than 100 years ago, the country only exported four types of agricultural products, and nowadays, it has become the seventh largest economy in the world. We were a nation that produced nearly nothing from the industrial point-of-view, whereas our deficit in the balance of trade was exponential and daily inflation was poisonous to the poorest people. That period ended and nowadays economic stability is a victory for Brazil. Although, we still are going through what is known as the “continental country syndrome,” as our relations with other nations is still rather shy, and we have not been able to keep up at the necessary speed with the global integration level.
“That period ended and nowadays economic stability is a victory for Brazil”
Africa is one of the fastest growing consumer markets in the world. Family consumption has increased vertiginously in the last few years, as it exceeds the worldwide average. Based on population growth, there are around 1.2 billion inhabitants. Thus the increase in the urbanization rate, the rapid expansion of internet access, and smartphones have made the continent become a greenfield of opportunities for Brazilian companies and for exchanging technologies and services.
“Africa is one of the fastest growing consumer markets in the world ”
Family expenses have been increasing at a rate of 4.1% since 2010, and they even exceeded the volume of US$ 1.6 trillion in 2017. We expect that volume to reach US$ 2.1 trillion by 2030, and US$ 2.9 trillion by 2035. The development of a Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) is another important advancement so that the continent can improve the quality of life of its inhabitants and attract more Foreign Direct Investments – FDI, something that is capable of modernizing the infrastructure of entire nations, as well as increase the employment level and the per capita GDP.
By 2030, the economic development on the continent should bring about the strongest impact on Nigeria, South Africa, and Egypt. Other markets that should develop more strongly are Morocco, Kenya, Angola, Ethiopia, and Tunisia. These countries are going through important transformations ranging from improvements in their governments to developing bank systems and national savings.
It is not a coincidence that the Chinese strategy Belt and Road initiative focuses a great deal on Africa, as a strong source of national resources and consumer markets. Nowadays, there is a growing concept considered by African societies that learning Mandarin is more useful than English due to the level of developing economic relations.
European countries previously were colonizers on the African continent (the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, and Portugal) but nowadays, they view increasingly expanding opportunities for investments, as well as selling their products to a new growing middle class.
We cannot ignore the opportunities on the African continent in Brazil, as besides just participating in an important group of Portuguese-language-speaking countries, CPLP, the geo-economic development of Brazil makes it necessary to see and develop partnering projects with the African continent.