Brazil and China to sign investment agreements of $53 bi

brasilobserver - May 19 2015
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Center: The Political Under-Secretary-General of Brazil's Foreign Ministry, Ambassador José Alfredo Graça Lima Marcelo Camargo/Agência Brasil

Danilo Macedo reports from Agência Brasil

As part of the official visit of Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang, the governments of Brazil and China will sign investment agreements worth $53.3 billion on Tuesday (May 19) for partnerships in agribusiness, auto parts, transport equipment, energy, railways, highways, airports, ports, warehousing, and services. The Political Under-Secretary-General of Brazil’s Foreign Ministry, Ambassador José Alfredo Graça Lima, said the amount includes existing projects, but mostly projects that are still being planned.

“Out of this $53.3 billion amount, something very close to $50 billion is for new projects,” said Graça Lima. The plans for the visit include four government agreements, four business agreements, three joint statements, and over 25 acts, some of which are still being prepared.

Among the most anticipated announcements for the visit are the opening of the Chinese market to Brazilian beef and the official completion of the sale and delivery of the first of 40 batches of Brazilian EMBRAER aircraft to China’s Tianjin Airlines, both of which were commitments made during President Xi Jinping’s visit to Brasília in July 2014.

Ongoing investment projects include the connection of the Belo Monte Dam to consumer centers in the South and Southeast regions. Among upcoming projects is the construction of the Transoceanic Railway, a collaboration with China and Peru which should allow easier transport of grain and other products from Brazil’s Central West to the Pacific Ocean.

“This trilateral cooperation to build a transoceanic railway is an iconic example and will enable us to create an export corridor for Central West grain and animal protein,” the ambassador said.

Asked about what China asked in return for providing such an amount of resources to Brazil and potential concerns around China growing its influence over South America, an area naturally under Brazil’s influence, Graça Lima said he sees no “hidden agendas” in the diversification of Chinese investment in Brazil and its neighbors.

“I find it very positive that cooperation to increase investment for, say, processing natural resources, should meet needs on both sides. First, Brazil’s [need] to add value to its plentiful natural resources, and then China, who’ll be able to move to the next level,” said the ambassador, mentioning the potential for Brazil to benefit from China’s expertise in a number of areas including construction and transport.

Li Keqiang arrived in Brasília in the late afternoon on Monday (18) and was to be welcomed by President Dilma Rousseff at the presidential palace on Tuesday morning. Later that morning, the agenda includes an act-signing ceremony and a press statement. Then Rousseff and Li Keqiang will have lunch at Itamaraty Palace (the seat of the Foreign Ministry), in honor of the Chinese Premier.

In the afternoon, the Chinese leader will pay courtesy visits to the presidents of Congress, Renan Calheiros, and the Chamber of Deputies, Eduardo Cunha. Later that same day, he will head for Rio de Janeiro to complete the rest of his  Wednesday agenda before leaving for Colombia. In Rio, more investment announcements are expected.



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