A trade mission from the Chinese province of Hubei is in São Paulo, in southeastern Brazil, for meetings with Brazilian businessmen at the Brazil-China Economic Development Chamber.
According to the president of the chamber, Paul Liu, the province of Hubei has many attractions for Brazil, such as farm goods, minerals and manufactured items, ranging from clothing to furniture to pharmaceutical products and food.
"This is the biggest trade mission that Hubei has ever sent abroad and it could be the beginning of something very fruitful," said Liu.
Hubei has a GDP of some US$ 50 billion, which makes it economically bigger than São Paulo.
China’s global economic influence and the strategic options open to the Chinese market were the main theme of a conference last month in the Brazilian southern state of São Paulo.
In 2004, China was the third largest importer of Brazilian products and the prime market for Brazilian soybeans and iron ore. Brazilian export revenues from its sales to China in 2004 totaled US$ 5.43 billion, an 83.4% increase in relation to 2003.
Between January and July of 2005, the Chinese market absorbed US$ 3.499 worth of Brazilian goods, 4.4% more than during the same period last year.
Brazilian imports from China, on the other hand, amounted to US$ 1.9 billion during the first seven months of this year, up 47.2% in comparison with the same period last year.
From 1999 to 2004, trade between the two countries expanded more than 800%. China currently accounts for 7% of global industrial production, trailing only the United States and Germany.
The conference represents the first time that specialists on the Chinese economy met in Brazil.
The visitors included Nicholas Lardy, an American professor at the Institute of International Economics, in Washington; Huang Yasheng and Richard Locke, professors at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Stoyan Tenev, chief economist in the East Asia Department of the International Finance Corporation; Jim Lennon, executive director of the commodity division of the Macquarie Bank; and Lois Dougan Tretiak, director of the Economist Intelligence Unit in Beijing.