Brazil, China agree to deepen exchange, cooperation

Brazilian vice-President Hamilton Mourão has just returned from China

Published in 29/05/2019 - 17:24 By Luciano Nascimento - Rio de Janeiro

Brazil and China agreed to strengthen exchange and cooperation efforts in several fields and facilitate trade, according to Brazilian vice-President Hamilton Mourão, who has just returned from an official trip to the Asian country.

Brazil managed to get its message across to China about the role of deepening commercial ties between the two countries, Mourão said. During his trip, he talked to Chinese investors and also resumed meetings with the China–Brazil High-Level Cooperation and Commission (Cosban), alongside Chinese vice-President Wang Qishan, in Beijing.

The commission, created in 2004 and stagnant since 2015, is the main bilateral coordination mechanism between China and Brazil, and is chaired by the vice-presidents of both countries.

Vice-presidente da República, Hamilton Mourão durante visita à China
Vice-president amilton Mourão during meeting in China. - Adnilton Farias/VPR

Goals

“The trip had two chief goals: the first one was to convey a message from the Brazilian government to the Chinese government about our interest in deepening relations between the two countries, and this was very firmly achieved,” Mourão told Agência Brasil.

“The other goal is to find new way of seeing Cosban—which had been brought to a standstill—and to conduct this meeting in less than six months of government. We showed the Chinese government the Brazilian government’s willingness to maintain the commission as a high-level connection mechanism between the two countries.”

New Development

Among the topics discussed are the approval of Brazilian meat-packing facilities for exports, the manufacture and sale of Embraer airplanes and the market for genetically modified seeds, Mourão reported. Also debated was the need for further promoting infrastructure, with a possible sub-commission on infrastructure.

On the last subject, the Brazilian vice-president once again mentioned the need for Brazil to use more funds from the New Development Bank, created in 2015 by the BRCIS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) to fund infrastructure projects. The topic has been discussed with the ministries for Infrastructure and Regional Development.

Credit

Brazil has a credit line of $2 billion with the New Development Bank, Mourão remarked, and has only used some $600 million.

“We have a good credit line at the bank and we’re not using it because we don’t have the solid projects for that. This must be known, so we can talk to the authorities for project, infrastructure, and development, which are the fields the bank could provide us funding for,” he said.

The nations that founded the bank are seeking new members to join in, Mourão went on to note. “We’ve been considering inviting other Latin American countries, like Chile, Argentina is going through a difficult situation, but Peru and Colombia could participate, and some countries in Central America as well,” he said.

Trade war

When asked for his opinion about how the commercial war between the US and China was unfolding, Mourão said that Brazil should take a pragmatic stance. “Brazil must have a flexible position in the matter, not clinging too strongly to either side. Its stance should be pragmatic,” he argued.

The vice-President landed in China last Sunday (May 19) and left on Friday (24). In addition to the Cosban gathering, Mourão had engagements in Beijing and Shanghai, including a hearing with President Xi Jinping. The trip also served as preparation for President Jair Bolsonaro’s own visit, expected to take place in August.

Translation: Fabrício Ferreira -  Edition: Fábio Massalli / Augusto Queiroz

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