Besides plans to help out small businesses, the BRICS summit is also focused on helping its members upgrade infrastructure- and one of Brazil’s biggest most profitable container terminals is getting a Chinese makeover.
CGTN’s Lucrecia Franco takes a closer look.
This is the TCP port in Paranagua, the second largest container terminal in Brazil. Located in the southeast state of Parana, it serves a region that generates almost half of the county’s GDP. In February this year, the state-owned China Merchants Group acquired 90 percent interest in TCP’s 30-year concession for $925 million. It is the biggest deal ever for a port in Latin America. The company says this massive injection of capital will increase the company’s productivity.
“So today our capacity is 1.5 million containers per year so after this investment that we are pursuing now we are going to 2.5 million containers per year. This positions TCP as one of the largest terminals in Brazil and Latin America,” said TCP Terminal CFO Alexandre Rubio.
According to TCP’s Alexandre Rubio, there are good reasons for Chinese interest in the port.
“So 25 percent of all trade in containers is going or coming from China so having now this big brother -China Merchants Port- owning TCP we think we can go faster in the future,” said TCP Terminal CFO Alexandre Rubio.
This includes enlarging the dock, buying two new cranes among other improvements this year alone… giving the port the capacity to receive some of the world’s biggest ships. Having a controlling interest in this mega terminal is part of a new wave of investments in Brazil by Chinese companies. It is a move into logistics, a key sector in boosting trade between the two countries.
There has been a Chinese presence in Paranagua since 2013, starting with the China Communications Construction Company which was awarded dredging contracts for the port’s channels and basins. All indications are that with increased port traffic and vessel size the dredging volume will only increase.
“There is a lot of businesses between China and Brazil. I think our work can improve the efficiency of the transport issue and the business between the two countries,” said CCCC Dredging Vice Project Manager Li Yijun.
China, already Brazil’s biggest trading partner, has expressed interest in even greater trade with South America’s largest economy. The TCP investment, part of the “Belt and Road” initiative, is the most tangible indication to date of just how strong that interest is.