UPDATE 1-China deepens ties to Brazil, plans to build railways

jueves 17 de julio de 2014 15:53 GYT

(Adds comments by official, second credit for Vale)

By Anthony Boadle and Alonso Soto

BRASILIA, July 17 (Reuters) - China expanded its trade partnership with Brazil on Thursday with $7.5 billion in financing for Brazilian miner Vale, the purchase of 60 passenger jets from planemaker Embraer and renewed commitment to invest in infrastructure.

In a raft of energy, finance and industry accords signed before presidents Xi Jinping and Dilma Rousseff, the two nations agreed to team up to build railways to help Brazil reduce its infrastructure deficit and feed China's hunger for commodities.

One project under study is building a railway from Brazil's Atlantic coast through the Andes to Peru on the Pacific that could cut the cost of shipping Brazil's grain to China by $30 per tonne, a senior Brazilian official said.

Trade between China and Brazil soared to $83.3 billion last year from $3.2 billion in 2002, with iron ore, soy and oil making up the bulk of Brazilian exports, making China the South American nation's biggest trade partner.

"China's two main strategic concerns are energy security and food security. Brazil is an ideal partner on both counts," said the official, a cabinet member who asked not to be named.

Xi visited Brasilia after a BRICs summit that set up a new $100 billion development bank, to be based in Shanghai, that will fund infrastructure projects, providing developing nations with an alternative source of funding to Western-dominated multilateral financial institutions.

In a sign of deepening financial ties between the two members of the BRIC bloc of emerging nations, the China Construction Bank formalized acquisition of 72 percent of Brazilian mid-size lender Banco Industrial e Comercial SA, a 1.62 billion real deal agreed in October.   Continuación...