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Brazilian export chief hails China's opening up drive, eyeing Chinese market

Xinhua | Updated: 2018-07-22 15:42
Roberto Jaguaribe, president of Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex-Brasil), speaks during the Brazil Investment Forum in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on  May 29, 2018. [Photo/VCG]

BRASILIA - China's reform and opening-up drive over the past four decades has been "extremely successful," the president of Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex-Brasil) said.

"The process beginning in 1978 has been fundamental to the commercial, economic and industrial modernization of China. In 40 years it gave rise to a strong economy and the world's biggest trader," Roberto Jaguaribe, also a former Brazilian ambassador to China, told Xinhua.

In other major economies, international trade accounts for a small portion of the gross domestic product but not in China, thanks to its policies, he said.

Jaguaribe also praised China's recently-announced initiative to encourage more exports to China by its trade partners, saying the initiative is doubly important as global trade is currently undergoing a difficult period due to the resurgence of protectionism and the looming threat of a trade war.

"The protectionist trend is stronger than it was 20 years ago. It's an issue that requires vigilance. A trade war has no winners," he said.

In 2009, China became Brazil's largest trading partner. It has also been an important investor in different sectors in Brazil, including energy, minerals and food. Trade between the two countries has plenty of room to grow, with food and agriculture being the most obvious sectors.

"Demand for food is going to increase and Brazil is the best country in the world to satisfy that demand," Jaguaribe said.

Apex-Brasil plans to send a delegation to the first China International Import Expo in Shanghai in November to present new Brazilian products.

"There are various industrial and comestible products, including foods that are little known in China, like Brazilian fruits acai [berry] and cupuacu, which have a strong [potential] to penetrate the Asian market," Jaguaribe said.

The cupuacu, related to the chocolate-producing cacao, is often called an Amazonian superfruit, rich in Vitamin E.

"We are also creating an e-commerce line for immediate consumer products. Brazil wants to partner with Chinese e-commerce [companies]," Jaguaribe said. "We have started a partnership with Alibaba and are looking for other Chinese companies in the same sector."

To make it easier for Brazilian companies to break into the Chinese market, Apex-Brasil is hiring local businesses with insights into the local consumer market.

"China ... has an extraordinary market. If a company wants to be a global player, it has to go to China. Apex's role is to facilitate these ventures," the trade expert said.

Given the "great solidity" of China-Brazil ties, Jaguaribe doesn't expect the outcome of Brazil's presidential elections in October to affect the bilateral relations.

"China-Brazil ties are permanent. They are both large developing countries with numerous reciprocal and common interests. I see a natural and necessary tendency [toward growth] in all aspects of the relationship," he said. "The common foundation is a world governed by stable rules, by multilateral measures. We share this foundation."

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