Brazil must balance its trade relation with China, its leading commercial partner, and not allow an anti-Chinese feeling among manufacturers to spoil relations with Beijing said economists in Sao Paulo.
“Brazil does not make much out of this association, but China makes a lot more out of it”, said Matias Spektor, Professor at the Getulio Vargas Foundation during a conference on Brazil’s aspirations to become a global power.
Bilateral trade in the last decade has increased 2.300% but while Brazil provides raw materials, China floods the Brazilian market with cheap shoes, clothing, electronics, cars and motorcycles.
Spektor believes that the United States can help Brazil reach a more solid position when it comes to negotiations with Beijing.
“The US and Brazil are potential allies, Washington can help Brazil sit to the table and negotiate with Beijing a more balanced position”, added the economist.
To feed its growing appetite for food and minerals China, in recent years has consolidated relations with Latin America, particularly with the very rich Brazil.
But with the flood of manufactured goods from China, local manufacturers are loosing competitiveness which generates a strong anti-China feeling, warns Spektor.
“Many Brazilian manufacturers understand that China offers many opportunities, we must strengthen Brazilian business people”, said Charles Tang, president of the Brazil-China Commerce and Industry Chamber.
Tang said China is not responsible for the high costs faced by Brazilian manufacturers to produce and which make them uncompetitive vis-à-vis those imported from China.
In the first nine months of 2011, Brazil-China trade reached 57.6 billion dollars, above the 56 billion for the same period a year ago, according to official data.
The conference organized by the Brazilian association of information technology and communications, Brasscom, and The Economist has convened experts to assess how Brazil can become a world power by 2022.