Executive Intelligence Review

FROM EIR DAILY ALERT


China’s Running Brazil’s Paranagua Port Advances Belt and Road

Sept. 4, 2018 (EIRNS)—In September 2017, China Merchants Port (CMP) purchased for $935 million 90% of the TCP Participaçõµes (Paranagua Container Terminals), the Brazilian company that manages the port of Paranagua, Brazil’s second largest and only container terminal, located in the southern state of Parana.

According to CMP’s Vice President Lu Yongxin, as Xinhua reported on Sept. 1, with the purchase of the port, CMP intends to take a leadership role in Ibero-America’s port activity, as part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

“We’ll aim for the TCP to become one of the major business platforms between Brazil and China, with the goal of becoming leaders in Ibero-America,”

Lu said in conversation with Chinese media in Brazil. TCP is the first container port controlled by the state-owned China Merchants Group outside China.

Lu explained, too, that in 2016, CMP made a strategic decision to “advance toward the American continent.” Brazil’s most important ports are located in the three states of Parana, São Paulo and Santa Catarina, where 45% of the population lives, and represents enormous investment potential.

TCP’s capacity is the second-largest in Brazil, and the port is currently being expanded to increase annual container traffic from 1.5 million to 2.4 million, which TCP CEO Luiz Alves says will lead to “the development of the entire region.” Logistics, railroads, highways will all generate wealth for the local population, he said. Currently the port employs 1,000 people directly, and another 3,000 indirectly; one of every four containers is directly linked to China-Brazil trade.

The BRI excites Brazilians involved in this venture. Luiz Alberto Bressan, TCP’s financial manager, spent four weeks in several Chinese cities in June and July for training, and told Xinhua how important it is that Chinese culture and language be included in Brazil’s school curriculum, so that from a very young age, children can learn about Chinese culture. Many Brazilians “don’t even know that China is our major [trading] partner,” he said.

He underscored also that China has continued to invest in Brazil “despite the Brazilian economy’s difficult moments. With the TCP, we expect greater trade, more exports and more imports from China.” It is so important that China has included Brazil in the Belt and Road, he emphasized.

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