August 17, 2012
The coincidence is without precedent as Brazil will be the first country ever to host the World Cup of Football and the Olympic Games in a row, in 2014 and 2016. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for the country to catch it from the hair and establish its geopolitical position amongst great powers in the global scene. Nonetheless there are several risks for consideration.
Both events will attract international attention and Brazil can benefit from in various ways. From an economic perspective, Rio de Janeiro is turned to be an immense construction field inciting investments and creating new jobs for the locals. In addition to that, the technological capacity acquired from Beijing and London will match with the expertise expatriates will bring in the organization field and the development of all necessary issues dealing with media and computing. Alongside, “collateral” benefits will occur as before and after the World Cup and the Olympics the marketing field will thrive and foreign investors can merge agreements with local entrepreneurs and the state of Brazil. Inevitably it is expected that growth will reach high digits bringing ahead additional investments in the means of transport, aviation, tourism and the services involving these sectors.
From a political perspective, Rio has one of the highest rates of criminality globally with the favelas being in the center of attention. This large-scale phenomenon in the hills of the city is something local communities and authorities have hardship in coping with. Drug and weapon trafficking is uncontrollable whereas poverty and unemployment spurs up. The issue is literally pending for severe action, but it goes without saying that nothing will be done as this situation cannot change dramatically in a couple of years just because of the arrival of these two global events. It might even possibly grow in the years to come as the gap of inequality widens; it might be even easier to leave it like that as for the moment no one seems willing to combat two of its basic components: the extensive corruption and the local perception of the people living there as being outcasts.
Furthermore, in the context of geopolitics, Brazil has a lot to gain by organizing these events. First it can prove its capacity as being a modern state apt to mobilize its forces and prepare something really special. In this respect the culture of the country and its history can be two of the best assets to advertise and remind all people what the position of Brazil is in the world. From the period of salvation up to the reformative policies of Lula Brazil has made a long way in and succeeded to be considered amongst the most promising developing economies and part of the BRICS, the alliance of what we could call the “alternative capitalists”.
During and after the completion of the events, and if the general branding and marketing prove to be robust, I sincerely believe that the country could be in place to propose along with BRICS the restructuring of the Security Council of the UN with the introduction of new permanent member-states and the shaping of a new global order, more geographically-balanced and geoeconomically-determined for a wider burden-sharing of global issues. In that occasion, Brazil will be the first of the new ones.Dimitris Rapidis