Brazil needs strategy to enter Chinese market, expert says

3 July 2009

Sao Paulo, Brazil, 3 July – Brazil has no strategy to invest in the Chinese market whereas China has a diplomatic, commercial, cultural and military strategy for Brazil, said David Shambaugh, a George Washington University professor said in Sao Paulo.

Shambaugh, who, as well as being professor of Political Science and International Relations at George Washington University is also the director of the Chinese policy programme of the Sigur Centre for Asian Studies at Elliot School, was speaking at the 3rd International Conference – The Presence fo China in Latin America, held Tuesday in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

“When I ask Itamaraty (Brazilian Foreign Affairs Ministry) what the strategy is for China, I get a hollow look in reply. There is no strategy,” he said, and as an example noted that China’s ambassador to Brazil, Qiu Xiaoqi made a speech in Portuguese at the conference, but no Brazilian diplomat is fluent in Mandarin.

Shambaugh also noted that there are no programmes on China in Brazilian universities, and that there were just two Chinese programmes at universities in Latin America, one in Mexico City and the other in Buenos Aires.

The executive secretary of the Brazil-China Business Council, Rodrigo Maciel agrees saying that China, “has a clear strategy of buying raw materials from Brazil that ensure its economic growth.”

The executive secretary of the Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade, Ivan Ramalho noted that Brazil’s exports to China were focused on just two products – soy and iron ore – although there were many other opportunities to diversify Brazilian exports to the Chinese market.

According to the secretary for International Relations of Agri-business of the Agriculture Ministry, Célio Porto, China is especially important for Brazilian agri-business as in 2007 and 2008, 92 percent of the sector’s exports to the Chinese market were soy. (macauhub)