Chinese Premier Li Keqiang conducted his first official visit to Latin America last month, putting trade, finance and investment deals all high on the agenda. This was particularly true during his visit to the region’s economic hub of Brazil, where he discussed an investment plan worth billions of dollars.
The plan is the latest in a growing series of links that demonstrates the two BRIC nations pulling together to ensure a bright economic future, with Brazil already crowned as China’s biggest trade partner thanks to imports of soy, oil and iron ore. Transportation infrastructure formed a key part of the recent discussions, with both passenger jets and the railways serving as potential investment targets, with energy investment also a priority.
Within this flourishing context, Brazil’s recent recession appears to be a matter of fairly minimal concern to investors. Planning Minister Nelson Barbosa has expressed his confidence that the economy will recover during the second half of 2015 and the addition of a net 19,282 jobs in March (according to data from the Labor Ministry) indicates that the country’s finances are once more moving in the right direction.
The $50 billion trans-South America railway that China is currently discussing, which will cut out the use of the Panama Canal for transporting goods from the Atlantic coast of Brazil to the Pacific coast of Peru, from where they can be shipped to China, will also add a significant boost to the Brazilian economy if it goes ahead. The move is set to strengthen relations further still and would no doubt spark even greater Chinese interest in Brazil, with real estate expected to be a significant beneficiary.