The look ahead: Can the US and Brazil forge a cosier economic relationship?

In the coming week: US President Barack Obama and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff will meet in Washington to continue dialogue on energy and economic issues. Meanwhile, new data could tell if China’s economic growth continues to slow. And the IFRS Foundation trustees meet in London.

US-Brazil talks

Rousseff will be in Washington on Monday. The leader of the fast-growing South American country, which last year passed the UK to become the world’s sixth largest economy, is meeting with Obama at the White House to continue dialogue regarding the growing partnership between the two nations.

The presidents are expected to follow up on Obama’s visit to Brazil in March 2011, when the leaders discussed energy policy and other economic and financial issues.

The leaders also are expected to meet with the U.S.-Brazil CEO Forum, a group formed by the two governments to strengthen economic and commercial ties. Brazil’s growing middle class has drawn plenty of interest from US companies. And business prospects in both countries, particularly among manufacturers, have been on the rise.

“The United States and Brazil should expand trade, expand investment, so that we create new jobs and new opportunities in both of our nations,” Obama said during his 2011 visit to Brazil. “And that’s why we’re working to break down barriers to doing business. That’s why we’re building closer relationships between our workers and our entrepreneurs. Together we can also promote energy security and protect our beautiful planet.”

On April 13th, Obama and Rousseff will be amongst the 34 heads of state scheduled to attend the sixth Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia. The summit, which occurs every three years, gives countries the chance to develop an agenda for the western hemisphere. The theme of the summit, “Connecting the Americas: Partners for Prosperity”, will focus on regional cooperation regarding solutions to poverty, inequality, security and access to technologies, among other issues. 

Is China downshifting?

Data due out next week will tell if China’s growing economy, which slowed in the fourth quarter, continued to downshift in March.

The Chinese Customs General Administration on Monday is scheduled to release data on the merchandise trade balance. In February, the country’s trade balance swung to a seasonally adjusted deficit of $19.34 billion, reflecting a weak global economy and an import surge. Exports had fuelled double-digit growth of the Chinese economy in past years.

On April 12th, the Chinese government is scheduled to report GDP and industrial production. In the fourth quarter, China’s GDP growth slowed to an annual 9.2% from 10.4% in 2010.

And in January and February, industrial production increased less than in the same period a year earlier, missing expectations.

IFRS Foundation trustees

The IFRS Foundation trustees will meet April 13th in London.

IASB Chairman Hans Hoogervorst will report to the trustees, who also will hear reports from the Due Process Oversight Committee and the Education & Content Services Committee, as well as IFRS Advisory Council Chairman Paul Cherry.

The meeting is available via webcast.