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Brazil and China planning to build Atlantic-Pacific rail route

President Dilma Rousseff and China’s Prime Minister Li Keqiang signed a cooperation plan Tuesday (May 19) effective until 2021. The two countries entered into 35 agreements, including one to conduct feasibility studies for building a railway linking Brazil’s Atlantic coast to the Pacific through the Peruvian coast, called the Bioceanic Railway Connection.

“The railway will cut westbound across the country and the continent, linking the [Brazilian] Atlantic [coast] to the Pacific. It’s a new route that’s opening to Asia, cutting down on distances and costs. A new route that will take us right to the Pacific, to China’s ports,” Rousseff said in a press statement after signing agreements with the Chinese leader.

According to her, the deals signed Tuesday total investments of $53 billion and cover strategic planning, infrastructure, transport, agriculture, energy, mining, science and technology, trade, and others.

One of the agreements will allow Brazil to resume beef exports to China. During President Xi Jinping’s visit to Brazil last July, China announced it would lift a ban on Brazilian beef that had been in force since 2012, but a sanitary protocol was still pending.

“This is the legal framework required to resume beef exports to China in a sustainable manner, to be implemented upon the approval of the first eight Brazilian suppliers,” Rousseff said.

She pointed out that China is Brazil’s main trading partner and urged the expansion of investment, increased, open, and diversified trade between the two countries, and the enhancement of partnerships in education, science, and technology. Moreover, she maintained that Brazil and China should unite to demand changes in the United Nations Security Council and multilateral financial agencies, including the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

According to Li Keqiang, strengthening cooperation between Brazil and China can help protect emerging economies from international adversities.

“In a changing international political and economic scenario, particularly in the context of weak global economic recovery, cooperation between Brazil and China will foster the development of the developing countries, emerging economies, and help the world economy recover. Financial cooperation will provide support as a safeguard to the financial sustainability of emerging countries,” he said.

The deals between Brazil and China go on to include the sale of EMBRAER aircraft and Vale ore ships, the construction of a remote sensing satellite, investments of $7 billion in Petrobras projects, the construction of a steelmaking center in the Brazilian state of Maranhão, and even sports cooperation in table tennis and badminton.

Translated by Mayra Borges

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