Chinese Premier Li Keqiang’s upcoming visit to Brazil is widely believed to help turn the potential of bilateral cooperation into practical dividends amid efforts to shape a “community of common destiny.”
At the invitation of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, Li is expected to begin his visit to Brazil on Monday, the first stop of his first Latin America trip since taking office.
As Brazil’s largest trade partner, China invested 18.94 billion U.S. dollars in the Latin American country in 2014, while Brazil, China’s largest trading partner in Latin America, trying to get a bigger share of China’s dynamic emerging market.
Due to a slowed growth rate and the restructuring of China’s economy, Brazil’s export of natural resources, particularly minerals, has reduced. However, the two countries are making concerted efforts to expand cooperation in other fields such as the energy industry, equipment manufacturing, infrastructure, finance and the service sector.
“It is not just about resources. China’s trade with and investments in Brazil are showing a tendency of diversification in areas of manufacturing and aviation,” Chinese Assistant Minister of Commerce Tong Daochi told Xinhua ahead of Li’s visit.
A relatively lower growth rate and higher-quality development in China will bring more opportunities to bilateral economic partnership and spur a more sustainable development of their economies.
About 200 Chinese entrepreneurs will attend a summit with their Brazilian colleagues during the visit. Leading Chinese bankers, in particular, will work with Brazilian partners to expand bilateral financial cooperation, which has offered strong support for the trade of goods and services between the two countries, Tong said.
China offers more opportunities for Brazilian financial institutions doing businesses in China, firstly in experimental free trade zones, hoping that its currency, the RMB, will have a stronger presence in bilateral trade and monetary transactions, with an eye to liberalize the Chinese currency, he said.
Space technology is another area both China and Brazil are interested in and focusing on. A satellite was successfully launched from China’s Taiyuan space base into orbit in December 2014 under the China-Brazil Earth Resources Satellite Program.
Li’s Latin America tour coincides with China’s active efforts to promote its Belt and Road Initiative, which aims to promote infrastructure construction cooperation with Asian, European and Pacific countries.
During Li’s visit, the two sides will sign a series of cooperation documents, such as that on a joint study of the feasibility of building a railway connecting the Brazilian Atlantic coast with the Peruvian Pacific coast.
The railway is expected to not only help South America improve its transportation system and regional trade, but also boost the trade and economic cooperation between China and Latin American countries.
A development bank and a foreign exchange reserve arrangement among BRICS, which groups Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, will also help finance large infrastructure projects like a transcontinental railway.
Meanwhile, Brazil is enthusiastic about investing in Asian infrastructure construction, having applied for a founding membership of the China-initiated Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.
As China is comprehensively deepening its reforms, Brazil and other major trade partners of the world’s second-largest economy will get more investment and job opportunities as well as easier access to the Chinese market thanks to increased trade, tourism and cultural exchanges, analysts say.
Story by Xinhua
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- Investments, particularly in infrastructure have been very modest in Brazil and Brazil has enormous needs that have really accumulated over time.
- South American countries are looking to add value to their economies through deeper trade ties with China.
- There is a sense that the China connection is bolstering commodities, bolstering the economy, but it may be causing a decline in industrial development in Latin America, because China is supplying a lot of the industrial goods that, for example, Brazil was producing.
Also on the agenda, the proposed construction of a massive railway project linking Brazil’s Atlantic coast to Peru’s Pacific coast. China’s motivated to fund the project by the need to transport grains and soy beans more efficiently. This year, China pledged 250 billion dollars in investment in Latin America over the next ten years, signaling a long-term commitment to economic ties with the region.
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The number of Brazilians learning Chinese has exploded over the last few years, evidence of Brazil’s growing interest in doing business with China. Paulo Cabral has this story.
Victor Gao on Premier Li’s visit
For more perspective on Premier Li’s trip to Latin America, CCTV spoke to Victor Gao, a Beijing based current affairs commentator.
Victor Gao on Premier Li\'s visitFor more perspective on Premier Li's trip to Latin America, CCTV's Michelle Makori spoke to Victor Gao, a Beijing based current affairs commentator.
Teng Jianqun on the expectations for Premier Li’s visit
Joining CCTV America from Beijing is Teng Jianqun, the Director of the American Studies Department at the China Institute of International Studies.