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China-Brazil: Make That $73 Billion... and Make It for Industry, Infrastructure, and Friendship

May 20, 2015 (EIRNS)—In addition to the 30-plus agreements signed Tuesday by Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, involving $53 billion in investments and financing, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed by two state finance institutions, Brazil’s Caixa Economica Federal and the Industrial and Commerce Bank of China (ICBC), for the creation of a bilateral "Fund for Productive Cooperation."

China proposed the fund, to serve the upgrading of relations between the two nations around "a roadmap for industrial investment cooperation." Opening a Chinese Equipment and Manufacturing Exposition in Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday, Prime Minister Li emphasized that China does not merely want to export to Brazil, but also to invest in factories: "Brazil needs a great amount of equipment for infrastructure. We would like ... to install factories and production lines, guaranteeing more employment for local citizens."

China is proposing to put $20 billion in this fund to start, and Brazil is checking how much its contribution can be. Priority areas for the fund are the components needed for meeting Brazil’s giant infrastructure needs: steel, cement, glass, construction material, equipment, and manufacturing, according to President Dilma. The two sides are to define, within 60 days, specific areas for investments, specific projects, and the companies which will work on them, a top Caixa official reported.

Underlying Brazil and China’s exciting productive projects, as important as they are, are "intangible values," President Dilma declared, in her remarks at the lunch held in honor of Li Keqiang and his wife, after the signing ceremony on Tuesday.

The history of China, a millennial civilization of great cultural richness, offers Brazil important examples, for it "has overcome colonial plundering and the trauma of two world wars, to recover its eminent place in the international system," she said.

"Today, China is a country whose insertion in the world is based on concepts such as peaceful development, the Chinese dream, and Confucius’s concept of harmony, the elements of stability for a more just and equitable international order...

"The friendship between China and Brazil, beyond all the concrete advances which we have seen, is also based on immaterial values, among them, equality, mutual confidence, and once more, time, harmony, and respect for diversity."

The Brazilian President cited two recent statements by Li—"cultural diversity is the most precious treasure of our planet," and, "human society is like a garden, where civilizations flourish, where different cultures and religions must seek peace, stability, harmonious co-existence"—to then toast Li and his wife, in the name of those shared "intangible values" upon which their nations’ friendship is based.