China's Li brings investment pledge to struggling Brazil
By Anthony Boadle
BRASILIA May 19 (Reuters) - Chinese Premier Li Keqiang will push trade, finance and investment deals worth tens of billion of dollars on Tuesday to help Brazil upgrade its dilapidated infrastructure and boost a slumping economy.
On his first official trip to Latin America, Li will meet President Dilma Rousseff and attend the signing of a raft of agreements ranging from a $1 billion purchase of passenger jets made by Brazil's Embraer to the lifting of an import ban on Brazilian beef and a long-discussed plan to build a railway over the Andes to the Pacific.
While China has failed to deliver on many past investment promises, Brazilian government officials said they are hoping for agreements worth 53 billion reais ($17.6 billion) with the Chinese.
However, China's ambassador to Brazil, Li Jinzhang, told Brazilian newspaper Valor Economico the deals to be inked during the premier's visit would total about 26 billion reais.
An injection of capital from China could not come at a better time for Brazil, which is sliding into recession following the end of a commodity boom that was fueled by voracious Chinese demand for its main exports, iron ore and soybeans.
As China's economy slows, Chinese companies are also looking abroad for new opportunities to invest.
Chinese companies with technology and experience are ready to build factories in Brazil to produce materials and equipment needed for large-scale infrastructure projects, premier Li said in a column published on Monday by Valor Economico.
"China wants to get involved in Brazil's large plans to build freight railroads, electricity and telecommunications networks," wrote the Chinese premier, who arrived on Monday night before beginning his official round of meetings on Tuesday. Continuación...