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Friday, May 22, 2009

Brazil looks to China for port investment


Shanghai: In the month when China became Brazil’s leading trade partner, the South American country’s Port Minister Pedro Brito has declared he is confident of persuading the Chinese to invest in the $1.2bn Barnabe Bagres port complex in Santos. This statement comes on the heels of a week-long visit to Beijing by a 240-strong Brazilian trade delegation.
Brito, as well as Jose Serra, the President of Santos port authority Codesp, were part of the special envoy accompanying Brazil’s president Luis Inacio Lula da Silva for high-level talks with the Chinese leadership in Beijing.
And Brito has already said that he is “hopeful” of Chinese interests investing in the Barnabe Bagres complex, which will take the capacity of Santos from today’s 110M tones per annum, up to more than 240M tons per year.
Deals definitely signed in China are a $10bn loan from the Chinese Development bank to Brazil’s state-owned oil company Petrobras, and an MOU between Wuhan and mining, ports and logistics company LLX, which will involve some $4bn investment from the Chinese company. The CDB will also lend another $800m to the Brazilian National Development Bank for infrastructure projects – including port projects such as BB - and another $100m to the Itau Bank. Petrobras has promised (via a 10-year pact) to deliver 200,000 barrels of oil per day to China.
And regarding the BB project, the manager of one Santos based container terminal told Seatrade Asia Online “It is a Win-Win situation really. Santos and Brazil need investment and the Chinese have plenty of spare money to invest, plus they are, with ZPMC, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of port equipment so there are extra bonuses there, plus the increase of trade between the two countries, so everyone gains.”
In March and April, China’s trade with Brazil was greater than that of the US for the first time over two consecutive months, heralding a new trade paradigm, according to Brazilian economists. In May China also heads the US vis a vis trade with Brazil.  [22/05/09]