ALFREDO LEONI: Brazil ready to share modern tech with Pakistan, By Ansar M Bhatti

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ISLAMABAD, SEPT 05 (DNA) Ambassador of Brazil to Pakistan Mr. Alfredo Leoni has said, his country was eager to share knowledge and technology with other countries including Pakistan.This he said while giving an exclusive interview to Diplomatic News Agency (DNA) here on Wednesday. The interview mainly focused on Brazil’s rapid advancement in the field of science and technology and its apolitical relations with Pakistan.

 Ambassador Leoni further said, ‘we have been working hard to strengthen our educational cooperation with Pakistan. Brazil is also eager to share knowledge and technology with other developing countries, and we are working on that with Pakistan”.

 He added one example of this was in the area of social policies: we are sending Pakistani experts to Brazil to learn about our successful programs so that Pakistan could also work on its own policies.

Another very important tool is the Brazilian Program for Exchange Students, which has started benefiting Pakistan in 2012. Through this program, which works both for undergraduate and graduate level, Pakistani students will be able to go to Brazil and study in some of our best universities for free, he maintained.

The ambassador hoped that through such initiatives, we could share education and technology, which were needed in all developing countries.

Talking about the Brazil growth in various fields the ambassador said, “-Yes, in the recent period, Brazil has achieved sustainable economic growth, becoming the sixth largest economy in the world, and was also able to significantly reduce income inequality. We have been able to lift 30 million people out of poverty line and now have more than 50% of the population in the middle class. But there are still important challenges for our country’s development in the near future. And I believe the greatest one is Education”.

Although we have achieved near universal school enrollment and above 98% youth literacy, working on education is still a key to develop Brazil. And our government is aware of that necessity. President Dilma Rousseff has already stated that education is the priority of her Government and is working hard to improve the quality of the Brazilian educational system, Mr. Leoni told.

Sharing more details about the Brazilian education system the ambassador said, One of the most important things the government was working on was investing in the qualification of teachers. “They are the ones who forward knowledge to the students and should be very well prepared and rewarded for their work. Another significant policy is increasing the access to universities to all the society. And in the case of higher education, the focus that is being given in science and technology and innovation is of utmost importance”.

When asked to comment on initiatives that the Brazilian government had taken in the field of science and technology he said, we believe that is extremely important. Developing science and technology and trying to boost innovation is the way Brazil can continue on the development path. The world economy today is driven by innovation and technology improvement, and to remain competitive, it is absolutely necessary to develop technology”.

‘Science Without Borders’ is in fact a new program that our government has launched. The program is structured in four years, and will send Brazilian students to some of the best universities of the world, so they can come back and share the knowledge acquired in Brazil. It will also give some scholarships to top foreign specialists to go to Brazil and participate in researches and share their knowledge and experiences.

He said, the program was a focused program, with 18 fields of study to be stimulated, all of them connected to technology and innovation. All in all, the program is designed to allow the transfer of technology between Brazil and the world and to put our country in the frontier of knowledge.

“And this program, as well as the other policies I mentioned, is just an example of Brazil’s effort. I believe that with the priority my Government is giving to education, science, technology and innovation, Brazil will be able to get to the next level of development”, he added. DNA