Brazilian economist and self-proclaimed expert on Chinese-Brazil relations, Ronnie Lins has spoken about his thoughts on economic development between the two countries.
Following the opening of his Chinese blog on one of the most influential Chinese websites, Lins now believes that the economic and trade exchanges between China and Brazil will be more frequent despite the great geographical distance between the two countries and a huge cultural gap currently causing some Chinese companies to suffer risks in the Brazilian market.
China has been Brazil’s largest trade partner since 2009 and Brazil is China’s ninth-largest trade partner worldwide and the largest in Latin America. As trade between Brazil and China has prospered in recent years, more Chinese companies are now investing in Latin America’s largest country.
Talks have now come in to play, according to Lins, to have both nations work together to bring electricity to several areas of Africa as part of the BRICS partnership.
The strategic China/Brazil partnership has been strengthened by the visits of Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang to Brazil over the past year, although the two countries remain rivals in some sectors, such as supplying machinery and equipment to develop the electricity network in Africa.
There are vast regions of Africa devoid of electricity network and the UN is now making efforts to remedy the situation. According to a recent report from the Africa Progress Panel, over 600 million people in Africa still do not have access to modern energy, and the energy consumption of the entire Sub-Saharan Africa is lower than that of Spain.
The situation poses a great opportunity for these countries to invest in the important energy market in the African continent, with China already making investments through partnerships which aim to send electricity to rural and isolated African Villages.
In addition, Brazil can be a successful example of a country which invested in clean energy and managed to increase access to electricity in a relatively short time.
Over the past years, Brazil has managed to increase electricity access to 99% of its population taking advantage of renewable sources such as hydroelectric, wind and solar power.
Lins also highlighted the significance of Brazil’s trade with Africa which reached 28.5 billion US dollars in 2013 and that several agreements with the African nations are expected to be signed in the second half of 2015.
“Brazil’s historic connection to Africa and its expertise in essential aspects defined in the UN campaign, such as universalization of access, intense use of renewable energy and efficiency measures, qualify Brazil as an important player to act in this market, which will reach over 400 million U.S. dollars per year until 2030,” Lins said.