Sao Paulo, Brazil, 7 Feb – Trade between Brazil and African countries has risen by 153 over the last four years, reaching a total of US$15.54 billion in 2006, according to official figures.
Last year, Brazil exported US$7.54 billion to Africa and imported US$8.09 billion, which led to a trade surplus for the African partners totaling US$640 million.
Brazil mainly sells car parts, frozen foods and ceramics and buys raw materials, such as ore.
A recent report from the Afro-Asian Studies Center in Rio de Janeiro, cited by Portuguese news agency Lusa, also showed increased investments by Brazilian companies in Africa, such as construction company Norberto Odebrecht.
Norberto Odebrecht, which is the largest engineering company in Latin America, is the Brazilian builder with greatest presence abroad, with projects in 14 countries.
In Angola, the company is involved in diamond mining at Catoca and the building of the first shopping center in Luanda, in partnership with Angolan group HO Gestao.
State oil company Petrobras also has investments in Africa, namely in oil exploration in Angola and Nigeria, in partnership with local counterparts.
Brazil’s Vale do Rio Doce, the world’s largest iron ore producer, recently said it planned to invest US$70 million in Mozambique.
The figure would be invested in the Moatize coal mining project, which involves total investment of US$870 million.
There are no statistics about Brazilian investment in Africa, but recently the Brazilian Central Bank said that the total invested by Brazilian companies abroad totaled US$72 billion.
Brazil is currently the fourth largest foreign investor, amongst emerging nations, behind China, Singapore and Taiwan, according to figures from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
Brazilian companies employ over 42,000 workers outside Brazil in 48 countries. (macauhub)