By Thaísa Christine Ferreira da Silva

As the old Chinese proverb goes: “If you are planning for a year, sow rice, if you’re planning for a decade, plant trees, if you’re planning for a lifetime, educate people.” Like the wisdom contained herein, China is taking the long view with Brazil, another leading emerging world economy, and investing heavily in a number of sectors.

Despite the enormous geographical distance separating the two countries, and the difference between Eastern and Western cultures, we can see that China and Brazil have many similarities. Brazil and China are both on the list of the top five largest countries in the world. In addition to this, they also present similar social problems with islands of prosperity contrasting with underdeveloped areas. Social inequality is a concern in both countries. Brazil has one of the worst income distributions in the world; and China has a  disparity especially concerned to the distribution of income between rural and urban areas. As developing countries, both have big challenges for the twentieth-first century: to keep their economies growing, reducing inequalities and creating mechanisms to improve the quality of life of its people–thus helping to preserve peace and stability worldwide.

These two giants began to strengthen their relations in the late nineteenth century. Formal relations were established in 1880 by a Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and Navigation.  In 1913, Brazil recognized the Republic of China.

In the  long period from 1911 to 1949, the relations between the two countries were mainly diplomatic. One of the reasons for this is the fact that Brazil was inserted in the context of the Cold War as an ally of the United States. Only until 1974, was there a new re-approchement between the two countries,  which established  the foundations for a new environment, a process of economic , political, technological and trade cooperation between the two countries.

In the last twenty years Brazil and China have been cooperating in many fields, such as in the production of satellites to monitor terrestrial resources, biotechnology research, genetics, nanotechnology, information technology, agriculture and health fields. In the 1990’s, with the opening of the Brazilian economy, and economic reforms in China, the bilateral trade between the two nations deepened so rapidly, showing the importance and possibilities for the future of these countries. According to Chinese embassy data, the total amount negotiated Between Brazil and China in the years from  1974 to 1979  rose from US$ 17.42 million to US$ 216 million.

Today, China is a major Brazilian commercial partner (to the tune of US $ 30.7 billion). China is the second country in sales to Brazil (first is the United States). Both countries bet on the increase  of their exports and imports to supplement  their  profits. On one hand, the Chinese government is promoting financial inclusion to  the poorest , creating possibilities for the import of Brazilian products, on the other hand Brazil is looking for the insertion of Brazilian companies in the international market ,Brazil exports to China soy and its products, iron ore, rolled and semi-manufactured iron and steel, automobiles and  products related to this industry, leather, wood  and paper. The government’s  aim for the next years is to expand the range of products exported to China, offering more opportunities for increasing the  value added and the quality  of Brazilian exports .

This achievement  will require greater  restructuring of Brazil, eliminating problems such as high taxes,  logistical difficulties, ports and airports with high costs  and  labor legislation. China, which had a tremendous growth and structural modernization, especially with the creation of their EEZs, special economic zones, industrial hubs created to improve development, taking on the world’s attention, exports to Brazil manufactured goods, machinery and electrical appliances , and organic chemicals, fabrics and clothing, toys, superfluous, food  items such as garlic, among  others.China  has been investing heavily on  technology   and education to keep growing  and seeking solutions to meet their needs in energy and natural resources.

The South American giant and the Asian giant still have  much growth potential and much to offer in relation to each country’s expertise in different areas.

Thaísa Christine Ferreira da Silva

Courtesy of Thaísa Christine Ferreira da Silva

Do you want to know more about Brazil? Kairós Educational Consultancy provides  research about the Brazilian market as well as translation and localization services for your B2B company. Contact us at thaisaferr -at-

Author bio: Thaísa Christine Ferreira da Silva is the owner of Kairós-Educational Consultancy, located in Maceió Area, Brazil

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