Brazil's Foreign Minister Carlos França Thursday expressed his country's intentions to expand and diversify its economic and trade relations with China, which has grown to become its largest trading partner.
In a hearing before the Senate's Foreign Relations Committee, França highlighted that ties with the Asian country were among the Brazilian government's priorities regarding foreign affairs.
China, of course, is a country with which we work on a priority basis. It is, of course, the largest trading partner of Brazil and one of the five largest foreign investors in the country. I will not mention any figures, because they are well known, França was quoted as saying by the Chinese Xinhua news agency.
I will only say this: bilateral trade grew in 2020, despite the pandemic, to a record volume of US $ 102.5 billion, with a surplus balance, also a record for Brazil, of the US $ 33 billion. And, in the first quarter of 2021, there are already signs that this trend will continue, França went on.
We want an even greater economic-trade relationship with China, and also more diversified. Our exports to China, still concentrated on a few primary products, will be able to expand in quantity and variety, he added.
França specifically addressed the increase in the sale of animal proteins and highlighted Sino-Brazilian High-Level Commission for Consultation and Cooperation (Cosban) is about to meet again in the second half of this year. It is a high-level forum and, on the part of Brazil, it is led by the Vice President of the Republic, Hamilton Mourão. It will be an opportunity to promote topics that help to intensify trade, investment and cooperation with China, He said.
I want to point out here that the 5th edition of the Cosban, held in May 2019 in Beijing, determined the updating of the Commission's structure and the elaboration of a new bilateral cooperation plan, and it was up to Brazil to prepare the two initial proposals, he elaborated.
During the hearing, Senator Kátia Abreu, who chairs the committee, highlighted that, in 2020, 32.2 per cent of Brazilian exports were to China. And we have room to move forward, she added.