There are three nations that have survived the recession quite well, thank you very much, due to their raw material riches – Australia, Brazil and Canada. It would seem to be a natural progression for these three countries to come together in a new economic bloc to be known as the ABC nations.
Canada and Brazil have oil. Australia is the world’s largest exporter of coal. All three have nickel. From Billiton, Vale and Rio Tinto in metals and Bombardier and Embraer in regional jets, there are many commonalities in mining and industrial enterprises.
Wheat, corn, sugar cane and oranges – with respect to one crop or another, the ABC nations are all deep in agricultural products. The list of ingredients in their treasury chests goes on and on.
There’s the natural beauty. Australia and Brazil have incredible beaches. The girl from Ipanema strolls along the sea-kissed sands south of Rio de Janeiro. Canada has the honeymoon capital of the world, Niagara Falls.
Australia is known as the land down under. For its part, Canada is the land frozen over. That may be a little harsh.
Australia has the outback. Check out a map of South America. Brazil is the hunchback. Three continents are represented in ABC.
Canada has the North Pole. Santa Claus is a Canadian and pays taxes in this country. So do his tiny little elves. His reindeer take off under Canadian air traffic control.
What about adding Chile to the grouping. After all, it is the world’s largest producer of copper. I’m not crazy about the name though. Canada is cold enough.
Brazil is already part of an internationally recognized economic group, BRIC, comprised of Brazil, Russia, India and China. Why would the Cariocas want to join with the Aussies and the Canucks?
In Australia’s case, the two are similar in their exotic natures. Brazil has the Amazon River, verdant jungles, Bossa Novas and Sambas. Australia has kangaroos and wallabies, boomerangs and billabongs. It also offers the chance to dance with Matilda.
In Canada’s case, to learn English? Or French? Or a hundred other languages in the new national mosaic. Here’s another thought. A nation that once had a President with the nickname LULU seems to be a likely candidate to hook up with a country that has a currency referred to as the loonie.
But where does Canada sit on the exotic-o-meter? We’re kind of the regular bagel in the Tim Horton’s donut shop. We’re the bran to other nations’ fruit loops. Let me revise bran to corn flakes. At least that way, we have half a chance of being seen as flaky.
Come to think of it, Montréal’s Cirque du Soleil is a natural fit with Carnival de Rio. There are some definite potential synergies there.
I know, somebody is going to say that we’ve given the world hockey. Okay, then maybe another name for the three-nation grouping could be the “hat trick.” It’s a well-known gambit of conference organizers that one way to get staid delegates to loosen up is to have them wear silly hats.
Actually, I would prefer the ordering of ABC to be altered to CAB. First, because it would place Canada at the front. Second, because it lends itself so well to further demonyms.
CAB, if it is successful enough, could eventually come to form a common market with its own currency. And there’s where the CAB designation comes in so handy.
Such a common currency could be called the “taxi”. Or how about the “fare”, “ride”, “stand” or “hack”? Here’s my favourite, the “rogue”.
The population of CAB is presently about one quarter of a billion, with Brazil contributing 80% of the total. Maybe we should keep things real when it comes to the currency.
Sorry if I’m confusing you. You may think that I’ve adopted a street lingo affectation. No, it just so happens that the name of Brazil’s currency at this time is the “reale”. What a coincidence.
The blended exchange rate for CAB may be on steroids, but ”keeping it real” may have extra meaning for Brazil over the next several years. It is a legitimate theme for the athletes who will be competing at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio.
Let’s all head down there, and who needs much of an excuse, six years after Vancouver’s big sporting events – the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games concluded.
“Three Cities with a Lot in Common: Calgary, Edmonton and Venice” is another story with a mischievous take on the economy.