Brazil's President in China for Talks Cementing Partnership


5-19-09, 9:25 am

Original source: Global Times (China)

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva spent his second day in Beijing in meetings with Chinese leaders Tuesday, which analysts said will cement bilateral partnership.

Lula da Silva began the day by opening a Brazilian studies center at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, the country's top research body.

'In 2009, China became Brazil's first trading partner. Now we still face the challenge of exploring the full potential of investments that our economies can offer to each other,' Lula da Silva told an audience of around 200 officials and scholars.

From 2006 to 2008, China-Brazil trade surged at an average annual growth of 50 percent and China replaced the United States as Brazil's top trade partner last month.

Brazil's Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Commerce said trade with China in April reached $3.2 billion, compared to $2.8 billion with the United States.

'During my current visit to Beijing, we have renewed our determination to keep strengthening the Brazil-China partnership,' Lula da Silva said, referring to the strategic partnership established in 1993.

This was Lula da Silva's second state visit to China since he assumed presidency in 2003. It coincided with the 35th anniversary of the establishment of China-Brazil diplomatic ties.

Together with more than 200 Brazilian and Chinese entrepreneurs, Lula da Silva addressed a business forum on how to explore the new opportunities facing both countries.

Lula da Silva was due to meet his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao, Premier Wen Jiabao and other leaders in talks focused on boosting business with China and promoting closer cooperation to fight the global financial crisis.

'A number of cooperative agreements will be signed during Lula da Silva's visit,' Chinese Foreign Ministry Ma Zhaoxu said, without specifying more details.

Ma said that Lula da Silva's 48-hour China visit would cement existing friendly relations between China and Brazil and push forward strategic partnership.

'President Lula da Silva could play as the best salesman of Brazil's aircraft, bio-fuel engine, pork and beef, as well as other goods,' said Chen Jiaying, a research fellow of the Beijing-based Xinhua Center for World Affairs Studies.

The analyst said the two states could explore more business opportunities in sea drill and energy projects in other countries.

As he leaves Beijing on Wednesday, Lula da Silva will also visit the Chinese Aerospace Technology Agency to underscore bilateral space cooperation.