Sun, Nov 14, 2004 - Page 11 News List

Brazil recognizes China as market economy: Hu

BILATERAL TRADE The recognition came after China, which entered the WTO in 2001 as a non-market economy, agreed to increase its imports from Brazil

AP , BRASILIA, BRAZIL

Brazil has recognized China as a market economy, Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) said on Friday after meeting with Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

"President Lula da Silva announced the recognition by Brazil of the Chinese status as a market economy," Hu said after the meeting in the presidential Planalto Palace. "I wanted to express my thanks for that recognition."

Besides Brazil, China has so far received recognition as a market economy from at least 20 other countries, mostly developing nations. China entered the WTO in 2001 as a non-market economy.

Chinese diplomacy had eagerly sought that recognition, which makes it more difficult for China's trading partners to impose penalties on dumping of Chinese exports.

The recognition came after China on Friday agreed to sign two accords that will increase its imports of Brazilian chicken and beef, two of the most important objectives Brazil was after.

"Several bilateral agreements have been signed in areas that include trade, industry, organized crime, science, technology, energy and tourism," Silva said in a brief statement delivered after meeting with Hu.

A US$1 billion agreement signed between Brazil's oil giant Petrobras and China Petroleum and Chemical Corp and China's Export and Import Bank calls for the construction of a natural gas pipeline from the South American nation's northern fields to its industrialized south. No details about the project were given.

Hu and an entourage of 150 Chinese businessmen began a five-day visit to Brazil on Thursday, hoping to boost bilateral trade and mutual cooperation.

The Brazilian president also said the two countries had also signed an agreement for the launching of a new Chinese Brazil Earth Re-sources Satellite, or CBERS 2B.

The Chinese-Brazilian space cooperation agreement dates back to 1998. Since then, the two countries have built and launched two earth-monitoring satellites.

Silva said that Hu had urged Brazil to boost trade and raise it to US$20 billion in three years, doubling the current annual bilateral commerce of US$10 billion.

Hours before Hu's arrival, Paul Liu, president of the Brazil-China Chamber of Commerce, said China is willing to invest up to US$7 billion in Brazilian transportation projects in an effort to obtain lower prices for the soybeans, steel and other commodities it imports from this country.

Speaking at a separate event in Brasilia, Wong Guoxing, vice president of China's National Development Bank, on Thursday echoed Liu's comments.

He said the bank was planning to invest US$2 billion in Brazil's North-South railway line and the port of Itaqui in the northeastern state of Maranhao.

Brazil and Chinese officials, Wong said, were discussing revamping Brazil's transportation infrastructure for shipments of grain and other commodities. China is a major consumer of Brazilian agricultural and mining products.

Besides Brazil, Hu will also visit Argentina and Chile, where he will attend the APEC forum in Santiago next Saturday and Sunday. He is then slated to go to Cuba.

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