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China Expands Brazil Frontier as Investment Grows

May 3 2018

After acquiring a Brazilian builder last year, Beijing-based China Communications Construction Co broke ground in March on a port in the northeastern state of Maranhao that will ship millions of tonnes of agricultural exports per year, most of them likely soybeans that will find their way to the Chinese market. The 1.8 billion-real ($520 million) investment is being financed by Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd., the world’s largest lender by assets, which set up shop in Brazil in 2013.

The project is part of a new wave of investments in Latin America’s largest economy by Chinese companies which have started to move into logistics, services, telecoms and even financial institutions. For China, it’s an opportunity not only to secure access to natural resources, but also to strengthen its foothold in a region traditionally under U.S. commercial influence.

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