Interview: Brazil major beneficiary of Belt and Road Initiative, says expert

Source: Xinhua| 2019-03-26 20:55:40|Editor: Shi Yinglun
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by Pau Ramirez

RIO DE JANEIRO, March 25 (Xinhua) -- Brazil stands to be one of the major beneficiaries of the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which is in line with the government's economic development plan, Brazilian expert Xia Huasheng has said.

The Belt and Road cooperation with China helps boost Brazil's agricultural exports and attracts investment for infrastructure construction from Chinese multinationals, which brings resources, experience and technology, Xia, a professor of finance at the Sao Paulo School of Business Administration under the prestigious Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV), told Xinhua in a recent interview.

"Within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, the majority of projects are related to infrastructure," he said, noting strengthening infrastructure is essential to Brazil's economic recovery.

"The new Brazilian government wants more investment in infrastructure projects," he added.

Xia said the BRI is also in line with the pro-market policies of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who took office on Jan. 1.

"The participation of Chinese multinationals is essential" to bilateral cooperation, because they not only invest in the government's infrastructure projects, "but they also take a series of measures to increasingly become local companies with greater interaction with Brazilian companies, and generate jobs and benefits for the country," Xia said.

In his opinion, the Belt and Road can help open up markets and promote a greater "involvement" of the private sector in participating countries.

"Heavy investment by the government is very important to laying the foundation of this initiative, which is now more mature," he said. "The moment has come for private companies and banks to take advantage of this opportunity to do business and generate benefits."

He said he believes that the market forces of supply and demand within the context of globalization will prompt industrial, agribusiness, manufacturing and trade centers to be built along the Belt and Road, and gradually, greater interaction between such businesses will further expand the initiative.

Through the initiative, goods and services from different regions can be traded at lower logistical costs, he said, and more jobs are meanwhile created, technology promoted, and living standards improved, especially of the people previously marginalized by globalization.

Since its launch in 2013, the China-proposed BRI has involved more than 100 countries, making it a factor in promoting mutual benefit on a global scale and an important platform for international cooperation, said the academic.

In Brazil, researchers are closely following the developments of the BRI, he said.

China has remained Brazil's largest trading partner since it took the place of the United States in 2009. In 2018, bilateral trade hit a record 100 billion U.S. dollars, official data showed.