Brazil’s President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva received today the President of China, Hu Jintao. China is Brazil’s third largest trade partner, trailing only the United States and Argentina.
By 2010, according to estimates by the Chinese Trade Ministry’s director of Imports and Exports, Li Minglin, trade between the two countries should attain US$ 35 billion.
There is an interest on both sides for investments in such areas as infrastructure, home appliances, the furniture industry, and tourism.
Besides agreements for the construction of two satellites, Brazilian and Chinese officials signed other documents: an extradition treaty, a cooperation agreement to combat organized crime, an industrial cooperation memorandum in the area of ethanol, and a protocol on poultry exports.
Brazil and China also ratified an agreement that can pave the way for a six-fold or more increase in the number of Chinese tourists who visit Brazil each year.
The document, referred to as an Approved Destination Status (ADS), provides for the sale of Brazilian tourism packages in China and can earn the Brazilian economy around US$ 250 million over the next three years.
The expectation is for the number of Chinese tourists who visit Brazil each year to climb from the current 15 thousand to 100 thousand by 2007.
Brazil is the second country in the Americas, after Cuba, to obtain this agreement.
China currently exercises migratory controls on its citizens, and, up to now, Chinese tourists who desired to come to Brazil, had to be invited and receive government authorization.
With the signing of the agreement, Brazil can sell tourist packages to China without these bureacratic impediments.
Between 13 and 17 thousand Brazilians visit China, annually.
The Brazilian government also recognized China’s status as a market economy. As a result, Brazil forms closer ties and demonstrates support for its trade partner, guaranteeing changes in the two countries’ bilateral relations.
Prior to the signing ceremony between the two countries, President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva paid homage to the Palestinean leader Yasser Arafat, who died November 11. The Brazilian President proposed a minute of silence, emphasizing that it was in tribute to a man who lived and died for liberty.
Translator: David Silberstein
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