University of Pittsburgh
March 2, 2000

PITT TO SPONSOR TWO-DAY CONFERENCE ON BRAZIL Appearance by Brazilian Ambassador Highlights Event

Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH, March 3 -- Rubens A. Barbosa, Brazilian ambassador to the United States, will open a two-day conference, "Brazilian Economic, Political and Social Policies: Adjusting to the Global Environment," at 10:30 a.m., Monday, March 13, in Room 2K56 Posvar Hall (formerly the Forbes Quadrangle Building), on the University of Pittsburgh campus.

Sponsored by Pitt's Brazilian Studies Program in the Center for Latin American Studies, the conference continues on Tuesday, March 14, offering topics that include judicial challenges of the new democracies in Latin America, the impact of global finance on social security reform in Brazil, and politics and bureaucracy in the Brazilian presidential system and the role of the Ministry of Finance.

Brazil, a country struggling to determine its regional and global role, has the eighth largest economy and is one of the biggest emerging-market members of the World Trade Organization. The U.S. is Brazil's largest foreign investor and trading partner. While its government has demonstrated a commitment to privatization, free trade and globalization, recent financial turmoil highlighted the need for political and economic reforms.

Barbosa has held a variety of posts in Brazil's government and in the Department of Foreign Affairs, including Secretary for International Affairs in the Ministry of Economy, Brazilian Permanent Representative to the Latin American Integration Association, and coordinator of the Brazilian Section for Mercosur-Southern Cone Common Market. Before his appointment to Washington, Barbosa was Brazilian ambassador to the Court of St. James from 1994-1999. He holds a master's degree from the London School of Economics and is the author of several articles, essays and two books, one of which is on Latin American economic integration.

The conference is free and open to the public. A complete schedule of speakers and other information can be obtained by calling 412-648-7391.