Ahead of 2016 Olympics, Chinese Premier visits Rio

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (center) attends an expo of Chinese equipment manufacturers in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on 20 May 2015 [Image: Itamaraty, Brazil]

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (center) attends an expo of Chinese equipment manufacturers in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on 20 May 2015 [Image: Itamaraty, Brazil]

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday tool stock of Chinese investments in Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro and attended the unveiling of Chinese-made trains for a new Metro line.

After holding talks with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff in the capital Brasilia, Li headed to Rio to attend a Chinese equipment-manufacturing exhibition on Wednesday.

At the coastal city’s Pier Mauá, the Chinese Premier was accompanied by Brazilian Foreign Minister Mauro Vieira.

“Bilateral trade between Brazil and China grew 500% in 2014. Currently Chinese investments in Brazil total $14 billion,” said Vieira on Wednesday.

“We want to deepen this relationship with signing of joint action between the two countries,” the Brazilian Foreign Minister added.

Luiz Pezao, governor of Rio de Janeiro, also welcomed Chinese investment in infrastructure projects that could boost the city’s preparedness for the global sporting event.

In Rio, only about 10 per cent of 56 Olympic construction, overlay and energy projects have been finished, says a recent Reuters report.

Rio de Janeiro hosts the Olympic Games in August 2016.

Li and Brazilian President Rousseff have announced that the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd (ICBC), the world’s largest bank by assets, will set up a $50 billion fund with Caixa Econômica Federal, Brazil’s largest mortgage lender, to invest in Brazilian infrastructure projects.

Meanwhile, Jose Graca Lima, head of Asian affairs in the Brazilian foreign ministry, said on Tuesday that 37 business and government agreements were signed during Li’s trip.

Trade and investment deals worth $27-billion were inked on Tuesday that included loans from Chinese banks for Brazil’s mining giant Vale and state-oil company Petrobras.

The two sides have also announced a Joint Action Plan Brazil-China for 2015-2021 as the two BRICS partners aim at boosting ties.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Tuesday met Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff in Brasilia, with both sides vowing to boost trade and economic ties.

Brazil is the first leg of Li’s nine-day South American tour, which will also take him to Colombia, Peru and Chile.

China-Brazil trade reached $86.7 billion in 2014.

Chinese foreign investment in Brazil topped $18.9 billion in 2014.

Li, on Tuesday, also attended a China-Brazil entrepreneurs summit during his visit to the Latin American country. 200 Chinese business heads, including bankers, are traveling with the Chinese Premier during this tour.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang announced in Brasilia that Beijing will establish a $30 billion special fund for promoting China-Latin America cooperation in production capacity and equipment manufacturing.

“The fund will be channeled directly to cooperation projects with no political strings attached,” Li said at the closing ceremony of a China-Brazil business summit.



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