Already Brazil’s Third Largest Trade Partner, China Wants More

The Chinese government hopes that trade between Brazil and China will reach US$ 20 billion in 2007, 65% more than the US$ 12.18 billion registered in 2005.

This forecast was made by the Chinese Deputy Minister of Communications, Qian Xiaoqian. Through February of this year, trade between the two countries stood at US$ 1.8 billion.

"Our trade relations are very important to both countries, and there is still great potential for developing this relationship. Given the size of our countries, bilateral trade is still small," the Chinese minister declared, in Brazilian capital Brasí­lia.

Xiaoqian is in Brazil to become acquainted with the vehicles of communication and seek partnerships with Brazilian media. The Asian giant, according to the deputy minister, has 1,900 newspapers, 9,500 magazines, over 2,000 television channels, another 2,000 thousand radio stations, and more than 700 thousand Internet portals.

"The Chinese population is increasingly interested in the world and in Brazil, which is one of the world’s most important countries," he pointed out. "To my satisfaction, I also perceive a great interest in China on the part of the Brazilian media."

At present, despite a trade balance that favors Brazil, some Brazilian industrial sectors claim they are being harmed by competition from Chinese products.

This is the case of manufacturers of shoes, toys, electro-electronic goods, eyeglasses, and machinery to produce plastic items. Except for the textile sector, the Chinese have always demonstrated adamant opposition to any type of agreement.

Notwithstanding the Chinese resistance, Xiaoqian assured that the Chinese government is willing to search for solutions. "It is natural for problems to arise in any commercial relationship," he affirmed. "We shall try to resolve this on the basis of mutual interest," he said.

According to Xiaoqian, the visit by Brazil’s Vice President, José Alencar, to China "is a big stimulus to bilateral relations, especially economic and commercial ones." Alencar will be in China until this Saturday, March 25. He has been there on official business since March 20.

Comparing to the 70s

Brazil and China began a closer diplomatic relationship in 1974 and, since then, have kept friendly and cooperative relationships. At that time, trade between the two countries reached approximately US$ 17 million, according to data from Chinese customs agency.

In 1993, during the administration of Brazilian President Itamar Franco, the two countries established a strategic partnership, which brought them closer and fostered bilateral commerce. In the 90s, business between Brazil and China surpassed US$ 2 billion.

Trade exchange got a new impulse in 2000, jumping from US$ 2.3 billion that year to US$ 12.18 billion in 2005. Importation of Chinese products went from US$ 1.22 billion in 2000, to US$ 5.35 billion in 2005.

Brazilian exports to that country increased even more – from US$ 1.08 billion to US$ 6.83 billion. China became the third major destination of Brazilian products, following the United States and Argentina.

And Brazil went from a US$ 135.20 million deficit to a US$ 1.48 billion trade surplus with the Asian giant – a result the Chinese government wants to reverse.

Agência Brasil

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