The Foreign Service Institute, in partnership with the Embassy of Brazil in the Philippines, held the Mabini Dialogue “Brazil and the Philippines: Joining Efforts for Peace and Prosperity” on 27 June 2023 at the Carlos P. Romulo Library. The Dialogue focused on Brazil’s foreign policy, Philippines-Brazil relations, and Brazil’s engagement in Southeast Asia. Ambassador Eduardo Paes Saboia, Secretary of Asia and the Pacific of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Federative Republic of Brazil, was the main speaker at the event. Serving as discussant was Dr. Jeremy I. Gatdula, Dean of the Institute of Law of the University of Asia and the Pacific.
The forum explored pathways on how the two countries can work together to achieve peace and prosperity. Amb. Saboia emphasized that Brazil’s foreign policy approach, based on universalist traditions, presents the country’s credentials as a global leader, highlighting the significance of sustained dialogues in achieving peace. This approach includes expanding Brazil’s relations with regional partners in the Asia-Pacific.
As Brazil and ASEAN relations continue to grow, new opportunities for cooperation are being established. Brazil is currently the only Latin American country to be an ASEAN Sectoral Dialogue Partner, focusing on biodiversity, bioenergy, and food security cooperation.
On Brazil’s relationship with the Philippines, Amb. Saboia underscored both countries’ shared values of peace, prosperity, and democracy. The consistent trade growth between the two countries shows the potential of Brazil as a gateway for the Philippines in Latin America and the Philippines as Brazil’s link to ASEAN.
The discussant, Dr. Gatdula, stressed the importance of trade between the two countries, particularly on meat and agricultural goods. He also commended Brazil’s consistency in its trade practices and the promotion of its trade policies, which have been effective in the growth and development of its industries, especially in agriculture.
Dr. Gatdula stated that relations between the Philippines and Brazil can be further developed based on shared values. Both countries value family as an essential component of society. Individuals who grow up with strong and stable family support are more likely to develop as responsible and successful members of their communities and thus effectively contribute to national development.
During the open forum, discussions included promoting the shared values of both countries, the increasing role of BRICS as a significant regional grouping, and Brazil’s role as an environmental champion in the international community. Amb. Saboia mentioned that environmental issues such as combating climate change could be a significant point of cooperation between Brazil and the Philippines.
The Mabini Dialogue was attended by officers and staff from the DFA and FSI, representatives from other Latin American diplomatic missions, and students and professors from various academic institutions. The Dialogue was livestreamed on Facebook, with guests from various foreign service posts and other academic institutions.