The changes in Brazil's political landscape pose no harm to the country's bilateral relations with China, Zhu Qingqiao, director-general at the Latin American and the Caribbean Department of China's Foreign Ministry, said today (May 19).
He noted that Chinese state-controlled companies prioritize long-term investment in Brazil and the other Latin American countries and the Caribbean. “When we make cooperation efforts with other countries, like Brazil, we must have a long-term and strategic view to develop a long-lasting partnership,” the diplomat stated during a press conference at the embassy, in Beijing. Chinese firms, Zhu Qingqiao went on to say, focus their investment wherever the market shows potential.
“The political and economic problems may increase risks for cooperation between firms in the short run, but they won't bring about significant changes overall,” he added.
In moments of crisis, he continued, companies take enterprising measures which bring favorable results in the long run. “Since last year, Chinese companies are very active in the purchase of Brazilian companies.”
According to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, the Asian country invested $10 billion in Brazil last year, and the accumulated investment adds up to $30 billion. The investment of Chinese companies in Brazil focus on infrastructure, especially energy and transport, and also in the agricultural sector.
Zhu Qingqiao pointed out that Brazil represents a third of China's commercial exchange in Latin America and the Caribbean. He mentioned how complementary the two economies are, as Brazil's exports to China focus on agricultural commodities, minerals, and animal protein, whereas Chinese exports are based on manufactured goods.
Since 2009, China has been Brazil's main commercial partner. Data from the Brazilian Ministry of Industry, Foreign Trade, and Services, show that the commercial exchange between the two countries in 2016 totaled $58.49 billion. Exports from Brazil to China added up to $35.13 billion, with a surplus of $11.76 billion.
*The reporter traveled at the invitation of the China-Latin American and the Caribbean Press Center
Translated by Fabrício Ferreira