Brazil's Lula, on China visit, secures 13 deals
Chinese President Hu Jintao (L) holds a welcoming ceremony for his Brazilian counterpart Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in Beijing, capital of China, May 19, 2009. (Xinhua/Rao Aimin)
Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva spent his second day in Beijing in meetings with Chinese leaders Tuesday, which analysts said will cement bilateral partnership.
Lula da Silva was welcomed Tuesday afternoon by Chinese President Hu Jintao and a 21-gun military salute at Tian'anmen Square, festooned with the national flags of China and Brazil.
Following an honor guard reception at the square, Hu and Lula da Silva talked for an hour in the Great Hall of the People.
"The two leaders reached wide consensus on deepening bilateral strategic partnership and decided to start to formulate a Joint Action Plan," said a statement released by China's Foreign Ministry after the talks.
Lula da Silva said the Joint Action Plan "will lay the new foundations to an expanded cooperation for 2010-2014."
Hu and Lula da Silva witnessed the signing of 13 cooperative agreements in oil, equipment, financing, loan, science, space, law, port, agricultural products, among others.
On the energy front, China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation (Sinopec) and Brazilian Oil Corporation signed a contract on crude oil trade and a memorandum of understanding.
China Development Bank signed an agreement on loaning 10 billion U.S. dollar to Brazilian Oil Corporation.
China Development Bank and Brazilian Development Bank agreed on a framework deal of 800 million U.S. dollars credit extension loan.
In the talks, Hu reviewed the 35-year-long diplomatic ties between China and Brazil, particularly the period since both forged strategic partnership in 1993.
He said bilateral relations have fully advanced, citing frequent leaders' exchanges and a number of established mechanism.
"Our trade cooperation has expanded continuously as bilateral trade volume hit the target three years ahead of time," Hu said.
From 2006 to 2008, China-Brazil trade surged at an average annual growth of 50 percent and China replaced the United States as Brazil's top trade partner last month.
Brazil's Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Commerce said trade with China in April reached 3.2 billion U.S. dollars, compared with 2.8 billion U.S. dollars with the United States.
Hu proposed that both countries work more closely in such key areas as infrastructure, energy, minerals, manufacturing and agriculture.
He also called for stronger financial cooperation in regards to bilateral economic and trade activities.
The Chinese president also proposed closer cultural and people-to-people exchanges.
Lula da Silva echoed Hu's proposals, saying the deals on energy will offer new opportunities for business cooperation between both countries.
This was Lula da Silva's second state visit to China since he assumed presidency in 2003.
Under a joint communique issued after the presidents' talks, both countries agreed to hold a second strategic dialogue in the latter half of 2009.
The communique said China-Brazil satellite cooperation on earth resources is one of the most successful science projects between developing countries. Both pledged to further space cooperation.
Regarding the global financial crisis, the communique stressed deeper reform of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, giving more representation and say to developing countries. Both countries called for international institutions to provide more assistance to developing nations.
Before his talks with Hu, Lula da Silva met with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, top political advisor Jia Qinglin and Vice President Xi Jinping for talks focused on boosting business with China and promoting closer cooperation to fight the global financial crisis.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (1st R) meets with Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (1st L) in Beijing, capital of China, May 19, 2009. (Xinhua/Rao Aimin)
Lula da Silva began the day by opening a Brazilian studies center at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, the country's top research body.
"In 2009, China became Brazil's first trading partner. Now we still face the challenge of exploring the full potential of investments that our economies can offer to each other," Lula da Silva told an audience of around 200 officials and scholars.
"During my current visit to Beijing, we have renewed our determination to keep strengthening the Brazil-China partnership," Lula da Silva said.
On Tuesday noon, together with more than 200 Brazilian and Chinese entrepreneurs, Lula da Silva addressed a business forum on how to explore the new opportunities facing both countries.
Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Dejiang (4th R) and Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (4th L) attend a seminar on the new opportunities of the China-Brazil strategic partnership, in Beijing, capital of China, May 19, 2009. A seminar on the new opportunities of the China-Brazil strategic partnership was held in Beijing May 19. (Xinhua Photo)
"President Lula da Silva could play as the best salesman of Brazil's aircraft, bio-fuel engine, pork and beef, as well as other goods," said Chen Jiaying, a research fellow of the Beijing-based Xinhua Center for World Affairs Studies.
The analyst said the two states could explore more business opportunities in sea drilling and energy projects in other countries.
Before leaving Beijing on Wednesday, Lula da Silva will visit the Chinese Aerospace Technology Agency to underscore bilateral space cooperation.
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