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Xi and Bolsonaro plan increased trade amid US trade war

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Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro (R) and China’s President Xi Jinping (L) walk during a welcome ceremony outside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on October 25, 2019. (Photo by NOEL CELIS / AFP)

China said Friday it would increase its trade with Brazil, as it seeks to balance the impact of a protracted trade war with the US.

President Xi Jinping and Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro reaffirmed ties on Friday during the Brazilian leader’s first official visit to China.

“China is willing to import more high-quality goods and high value-added goods from Brazil that meet Chinese market needs,” said state-run CCTV, quoting Xi.

Brazil and China expect to “promote the diversified growth of bilateral agricultural product exports” through agreements between the customs and agriculture authorities of the two countries, according to a joint statement by Xi and Bolsonaro.

China is already Brazil’s largest trading partner for both exports and imports, according to data from Brazil’s trade ministry.

With a trade war raging between Washington and Beijing, China’s imports of US farm goods fell from $19.5 billion in 2017 to just over $9 billion last year, creating a shortfall between supply and demand for key products like soy.

Brazil is already China’s biggest source of soy imports, according to agriculture data provider Trade.

Brazilian and Chinese leaders emphasised continued cooperation between emerging economies in the face of protectionism worldwide.

“The world is facing serious challenges from unilateralism and protectionism, putting pressure on major economies as uncertainty and instability are on the rise,” Chinese vice premier Hu Chunhua said at a morning business forum attended by Bolsonaro, who also met with Premier Li Keqiang later in the day.

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


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