Trade and investment in the bilateral Brazil-China agenda

  • Trade and investment in the bilateral Brazil-China agenda
    Author
    • Lia Valls

      Lia is a Doctor in Economics from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (URFJ), Master of Philosophy in Economics from Cambridge University, Master's degree (completion of credits without defense of the Master's Dissertation) from FGV's EPGE Brazilian School of Economics and Finance (EPGE) and a Bachelor in Economic Sciences from Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-RJ).  

      She currently coordinates Foreign Trade Studies at FGV's Brazilian Institute of Economics (IBRE) and teaches as Adjunct Professor at the Faculty of Economic Sciences of Rio de Janeiro State University. Research areas: foreign trade policy; international economic relations, international trade agreements and regulations.

Summary

The article is part of ongoing research on Brazil-China economic relations, where a new stage is identified not only in trade in goods but in China's role as one of the main sources of direct investment in the world and in Brazil.

It is observed that trade has characterized Brazil-China economic relations, since the first decade of the 21st century. China is the main destination of Brazilian exports as of 2009. This result is explained by China's demand for commodities, coupled with food security, access to energy resources and mineral inputs. About 80% of Brazilian exports to China are iron ore, soybeans and oil. On the import side, Brazil imports Chinese manufactures (about 90% of Brazilian purchases).

Since the end of the first decade of the 2000s, the Chinese government's orientation for the country's insertion into the world has ceased to privilege only trade and has now emphasized the country's role as an investor in third markets - "the going out strategy". The article analyzes the main characteristics of this orientation and its possible impacts on the Brazil-China economic relations.

It is important to define the Chinese guidelines, which inform the priorities of their investments abroad, acquisition of technologies and guarantee of the supply of commodities. In Brazil’s case, it is necessary to define priorities and rules regarding the entry of Chinese capital. In addition to the contribution of Chinese investment in infrastructure, it is necessary to assess the potential of Chinese capital inflows to increase intra-industry trade and thus diversify the export agenda.