Brazil: China may overtake US as Brazil’s biggest trade partner

28 April 2009

Sao Paulo, Brazil, 28 April – In the future, China could replace the US as Brazil’s main trade partner with the increase in trade with China, according to Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper.

In the first quarter trade with China reached US$7.01 billion dollars, up 12.5 percent on the same period last year, this increase being generated by Brazilian exports which rose 63 percent over this period, whereas exports fell.

With the US the pattern was reversed, with trade falling 19 percent in the first quarter to US$8.9 billion while for the same period in 2008 trade between the US and Brazil was almost double Brazil’s trade with China.

Also in the first quarter, exports to the US fell 38 percent, although there was a slight rise in imports.

The newspaper quotes Márcio Sette Fortes, the director of the Brazil-China Chamber of Commerce and consultant for Funcex (Foreign Trade Foundation), who recalled that China has 400 million middle class consumers, over double the entire population of Brazil, making it important for Brazil to invest in promoting trade and in the diversification of export products.

“China will come out of the financial crisis before the US,” said Fortes, adding that Brazil was more interested in investing in negotiations with China than trying to persuade the US government to reduce its protectionist mechanisms.

President Lula da Silva will make an official visit to China from 17 to 22 May and will be accompanied by a group of businesspeople and Development minister, Miguel Jorge. (macauhub)