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China says willing to increase ags, industrial goods imports from Brazil

China says willing to increase ags, industrial goods imports from Brazil
China's Vice Premier Hu Chunhua gives a speech during the Brazil-China Business Seminar in Beijing on October 25, 2019. Madoka Ikegami / Pool via REUTERS -
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BEIJING (Reuters) – China is willing to increase its imports of agricultural and industrial goods from Brazil in order to enhance bilateral trade, Chinese Vice Premier Hu Chunhua said on Friday.

Hu, at a seminar in Beijing, also said the two countries can deepen cooperation in areas such as infrastructure, according to a pool report.

China is Brazil’s biggest trading partner and largest source of foreign investment. Last year, bilateral trade rose to a record $100 billion.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who was also at the seminar, is in China to mark the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the countries.

Brazil and China are part of BRICS, a grouping of major emerging economies that also includes Russia, India and South Africa. China has said BRICS countries must strengthen their unity, increase cooperation and uphold multilateralism.

“The world is facing serious challenges from unilateralism and protectionism, putting pressure on major economies as uncertainty and instability are on the rise,” Hu said.

“China and Brazil, as two major economies, should increase communication and cooperation to face these challenges and realise shared development.”

Brazil is hopeful China will authorize more local meat exporters before Chinese President Xi Jinping visits Brazil next month, as the South American country seeks to position itself as a major food exporter to the world’s most populous nation.

Discussions between a Brazilian delegation to China and local authorities this week also covered demand for Brazilian commodities like sugar, cotton and ethanol.

The two nations are still discussing “a protocol” for exporting Brazilian soy and cotton meal.

Brazil is China’s main soybean supplier but has struggled to increase trade in soymeal with the Asian country.

(Reporting by Se Young Lee and Ryan Woo; Editing by Himani Sarkar)

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